Author: Martin Leicht and Isla Neal
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Teen pregnancy is never easy—especially not when extraterrestrials are involved. The first in a new trilogy.
Elvie Nara was doing just fine in the year 2074. She had a great best friend, a dad she adored, and bright future working on the Ares Project on Mars. But then she had to get involved with sweet, gorgeous, dumb-as-a-brick Cole–and now she’s pregnant.
Getting shipped off to the Hanover School for Expecting Teen Mothers was not how Elvie imagined spending her junior year, but she can go with the flow. That is, until a team of hot commandos hijacks the ship–and one of them turns out to be Cole. She hasn’t seen him since she told him she’s pregnant, and now he’s bursting into her new home to tell her that her teachers are aliens and want to use her unborn baby to repopulate their species? Nice try, buddy. You could have just called.
So fine, finding a way off this ship is priority number one, but first Elvie has to figure out how Cole ended up as a commando, work together with her arch-nemesis, and figure out if she even wants to be a mother–assuming they get back to Earth in one piece.
I didn’t hear anything about this book until a month or so before it was published, which was kind of surprising considering its unusual premise (pregnant teens + slightly futuristic time period + space ships + aliens = how was this not on a lot of people’s radars earlier?). I was definitely drawn to the quirky and unusual story, and while I wasn’t a big fan of the main character, the story itself was better.
First of all, my main problem: main character Elvie. She was a “regular” teenage girl, but unfortunately for me she sounded like an adult-posing-as-a-teenager. I understand that teenage slang and such can change fairly quickly and even twenty-somethings can have trouble getting teenage voice right, and I don’t even know how old the two authors of this book are, but Elvie’s voice seemed much too over-the-top for me. And, of course, it was a first-person narrative, which means we didn’t just hear her voice when she was talking, but about everything, which meant I never really got a break from her. I wasn’t really sympathetic towards her, which made it slightly difficult to root for her, and she was fairly judgmental (if you haven’t figured it out by now, I am not a fan of judgmental characters, especially when they bash other girls), but she wasn’t the worst character I’ve ever read (although I did just list her in the Top Ten Most Frustrating Character for this past Tuesday’s Top Ten).
Which brings me to another problem I had with the book: the slut shaming. Unfortunately, I’m not surprised that it’s going to show up in this book, since it’s about pregnant teenage girls, but when the protagonist herself is a pregnant teenager you’d like to think that she’d be at least a little sympathetic and understanding of the other girls who made the same mistakes she did. Needless to say, Elvie was not, and was continually slut shaming other girls, including her self-proclaimed nemesis.
Also, slight spoiler, but this book had a lot more death than I was expecting. Seriously, a lot of people died in this book. For a book that seemed kind of fluffy otherwise, a lot of people died in it. Also, I had trouble taking the beginning seriously, because it just came out of nowhere and I didn’t know whether or not it was supposed to be realistic or comical or what. It’s hard to explain what I mean, but I feel like it would be self-explanatory once you read it.
Like I said earlier, the story is what sold me on this book. I thought it was interesting, with the aliens and the flashbacks and other bits. It had a bit of a cliffhanger that I kind of saw coming (especially when I accidentally saw the last line before I finished the book, but whatever), but I still mostly enjoyed the story. A lot of the characters didn’t seem very fleshed out, which is why a decent story definitely made a difference.
So, overall, despite my many issues with this book, the story won me over enough for me to continue on to the second book in the series.