Thursday, July 12, 2012

Book Review: Mothership (Ever-Expanding Universe #1)

Release Date: July 10, 2012
Author: Martin Leicht and Isla Neal
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Length: 320 pages

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.


Characters: Elvie Nara is the forgettable and annoying narrator of this book. She's 16 and pregnant, in space, with aliens. After getting knocked up, her father sends her to a teen-pregnancy resource school on a space cruiser. There she has to but heads with her arch-nemesis Britta McVicker who's an antagonistic, insulting, for the lack of a better term, bitch. However, that's all she is ever shown to be throughout the story, there was no dimension given to her character. Elvie is also forced away from her best friend Donald, nicknamed Duckie, a comedic, smart, and caring friend who "rules the friend-zone with an iron fist." Elvie has yet to experience adventure, but that is about to change when the school is invaded by commando-esque soldiers, one who is the father of her baby, Cole Archer.

Romance: Elvie's first time with Cole would have seemed more romantic if he wasn't dating her arch-nemesis, or if he was dating her instead, however he was and they weren't. However, their affair was not a trashy and shameful one where Cole was going to stay with Britta and pretend that what he did with Elvie never happened, but before Cole can break it off with Britta he finds out that Elvie is pregnant and disappears, only to show up on the space cruiser where Elvie and Britta both attend as expecting teen mothers. Will Cole stay with Britta or will he choose to be with Elvie?

Narration: Remember when I said that Elvie is an annoying narrator? Well, here's why. I don't mind when a teenage narrator uses slang, as long as it's used well enough that readers can identify with the majority of it. However, Elvie sounds life a middle-aged mother trying to communicate unsuccessfully with her teenage daughter, the slang teenagers use today is misused and there's some slang that would be embarrassing for sixteen-year-olds now to use and even though I get that this is set in the future and slang can easily change, I was deterred  because instead of creating new slang for the future the authors tried unsuccessfully to re-use old slang.

"Flashbacks": Throughout the book there are some "flashbacks" sprinkled unevenly. This would be fine and even great, as I love both backstory and flashbacks, however the "flashbacks" would take up entire chapters and were all told from the present tense which can be confusing when you wonder why our heroine isn't inputting about the information she's learned back it the real present. Pretty much these flashback chapters seem to be misplaced and would work better if the story was told chronologically.

Predictability: I was pleased with the low level of predictability, even though some clues were given in advance most of the time the bigger twists were the ones where there was no fore-shadowing involved and would catch the reader completely off guard. I appreciated the surprises and unexpected twists presented throughout the entirety of the book which helped me push through the more annoying parts.

Ending: This was probably my favorite part of the whole book, and before you ask it's not because the book ended. It's because the plot begins to wrap up into a nice pretty package and then, before it could conclude with the nice feeling of closure it veers off course and is left hanging off a cliff. 


Even though the narrator is annoying and the chapters seem to be scrambled due to flashbacks not told in past tense I found the plot rather compelling and the elements mixed together in an exciting way. I would suggest that you at least give it a try.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds confusing. Not sure if I would pick this one up or not, although I do like the concept. Thanks for the review!