Love and Other Alien Experiences by Kerry Winfrey
Release Date: July 11, 2017
DNF @ 34%
*Thanks so much to the publisher for sending me over an E-ARC for an honest review via Netgalley – thank you again!*
Okay, I was so swayed to pick this book up, because, I mean, aliens. ALIENS. Me and aliens are like…me and Bigfoot (but not as rapid as my love for the big furry creature). I was always fascinated by it as a child and the stories that I would read (thank you, junior high librarian for letting me sneak out the reference book full of weird supernatural stories that included alien adventures and Bigfoot sightings that has now fueled my random YA obsessions). So, of course, the moment I saw aliens, I was like GIMME GIMME GIMME MORE.
In this heartwarming debut by HelloGiggles blogger Kerry Winfrey, a young agoraphobe begins a journey of first love that leads her to the true meaning of home—just by taking one small step outside of her house.
My name is Mallory Sullivan.
My therapist says I have an anxiety disorder.
My brother says I’m an “optimistic recluse.”
Everybody else says I’m a freak.
And they kind of have a point, because I haven’t left the house in 67 days and only attend class via the webcam on my laptop. The person I talk to the most other than my mom and brother is the completely obnoxious BeamMeUp, and all we do is argue on New Mexico’s premiere alien message board.
But after yesterday, I have something: a chance. If I can win the homecoming crown by convincing resident hot popular guy and Friday Night Lights spawn Brad Kirkpatrick to go as my date, then maybe #stayathome will never appear next to the name @Mallory_Sullivan ever again.
First, I have to leave my room.
Okay, first and clearly foremost, not enough aliens. THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH OF MY LITTLE GREEN CREATURES. I wanted lots and lots of aliens and alien talk and talk about alien sightings and alien kidnapping and beaming up and at least some Star Trek references, but nooooooooo. There was like none of that. There was some talk of arguing on the alien message board, which seemed very promising although to be truthful, the thing they were discussing sounded far more Bermuda Triangle than aliens (oh dear gosh, why do I know that??????). So, I was more than a bit upset about that. I just wanted lots of kooky alien fun and there was no lots of kooky alien fun.
Secondly, I felt like I read this story before. Like, girl gets set up with one guy but oh, look, his mysterious and “bad boy” brother is around who is a total jerk to MC for no reason. Hmmmm…I wonder what’s going to happen?
And then let’s talk about that for a second more, because it’s official: I’m over the love interest being a jerk to the main character. I know some people love this trope (one of my best friends lovesssssss it), but I. AM. DONE. Why can’t the guy be sweet and kind and caring? Why does he have to hate on the main character for no reason? How is that attractive? If a guy acts like a jerk to me and picks on me and tells me I look horrible, I’m going to veto the man out of my life and not somehow fall in love with him? I’m just really tired of this trope, especially when the authors fail to create the characterization that is needed and instead the guy just looks more like a jerk than the guy that will somehow be redeemed. That’s what Jake was in this situation. I love me a guy with complex issues, but dear gosh, I just wanted to throw a football at this guy’s head. Multiple times.
And then there was the storyline, which I was having multiple issues with. Mallory has anxiety issues. Anxiety is becoming a huge part of YA, and discussing it is so issues. I’m pretty sure I saw a statistic that anxiety in people is growing faster than it ever has, and young people are especially in harm’s way. I’ve read a few books this year that have handled it wonderfully, but this book? It seemed like Mallory would get confused about her disorder. Like, she could go outside, but then she would get scared and pass out. And she could go to the front door and open it with no worries; go outside in her backyard to grab something; and SHE GOES OUTSIDE TO PLAY FOOTBALL WITH BRAD AND JAKE. Yes, she does have some anxiety over it, but it seems to fade in and out? Like, oh, I’m so nervous, but now Brad is throwing a football at me, but oh, maybe this will kill me, but do you know what will really kill me, Brad touching me, because wow.
Also, the storyline about the homecoming queen. I was more than a little concerned and disturbed by this. Mallory is clearly not in school, but she still Facetimes with her best friend during the day and also is forced to call in via webcam for all of her classes. Some people at the school decide to nominate her to the homecoming court – which is a straight up bullying move since it’s making fun of her illness. Yet there is no conversation about it – none of her friends treat this as anything but something good when this a move that could severely hurt someone. Why did the adults not reach out? Mallory’s mom lets another mom make a snide remark about it to Mallory. I get it’s trying to move the plot along, but I’m more than a bit upset about the reaction the book gives about something that could viciously hurt someone.
Okay, I had more than a few rants that I didn’t intend to have in this book. Maybe give some good parts so I don’t feel so bad? I did like the writing style – it was easy to read and I did manage to read all of this 30% in one swoop. And there were parts that I did like and a few lines that actually did make me laugh out loud, which was the reason that I didn’t give up sooner. I did like Mallory, and I thought she had a good voice. As I said, I really did enjoy some parts, but the bad kind of outweighed the good on this one.
No crowns since I DNF’d it, and a Snow White rating!
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