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A Reader of Fictions: Review: Mothership

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Review: Mothership

Ever-Expanding Universe, Book 1

Author: Martin Leicht & Isla Neal
Pages: 308
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Library

Description from Goodreads:
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.

First Sentence: "As far as scientists have been able to determine, the primary function of the human coccyx, or tailbone, is to remind us that once upon a time we were all monkeys or something."

Mothership came highly recommended from a number of highly trustworthy sources, but, I have to admit, I had a healthy dose of skepticism about me ever being able to appreciate it. I mean, it's a book about pregnant teens. I'm not a big fan of anything about pregnancy, let alone with a focus on teenagers. However, Leicht and Neal manage to craft a hilarious, albeit occasionally really gross, story out of the premise of pregnant teens in space.

Though I try not to go too crazy comparing books to other books, since it doesn't tend to reflect well on either of them, I ust have to here. Mothership reminds me heavily of Libba Bray's Beauty Queens in the style of the humor, only, instead of beauty queens stuck on an island, we have pregnant teens on a spaceship. I didn't like this one quite so well, but I think that if you liked Beauty Queens, you will definitely appreciate this and vice versa.

The best part of the book is definitely the humor, which Leicht and Neal keep up throughout. Elvie, the MC, has plenty of sarcasm and makes lots of hilarious observations. On top of that, the whole situation, and Elvie herself, are patently ridiculous, adding additional layers of laughs. There will definitely be a few moments that will make all but the most determinedly grim chuckle out loud. There's a wide variety of comedic styles, varying from potty humor to nerd jokes to irony, so Mothership is pretty much bound to tickle your funny bone one way or another.

The whole pregnancy angle is handled quite well, I think. Though it's obviously a main theme and they do not gloss over it, there isn't so much focus on pregnancy that I couldn't handle it. I mean, there's discussion of birthing and the consideration of the baby bump, but the humor and Elvie's wandering mind keeps things from getting to bogged down in baby drama. Also, just because the girls are pregnant doesn't mean they're completely useless, which was nice.

The reason I didn't like this book more than I did is the characters. They're funny and highly entertaining, sure, but I really don't like any of them. Elvie's probably the best of the lot, in that she's the only one to really have any depth of character, in that, despite the fact that she talks and acts like an airhead most of the time, she's really quite bright. Ducky and Ramona were my favorites, but they, like everyone else, really don't ever emerge from stereotype status. Britta was the worst by far, always remaining the classic mean girl airhead, and never showing the slightest glimmer of uniqueness. Cole, too, is completely unlikable to me, but he's not treated as such by the author, which is frustrating. This doesn't detract from the entertainment of the novel, but kept me from loving it.

The ending sets up the next book nicely, but I do think it was a bit ridiculous, even within the context of this universe. While I cannot explain in detail because of spoilers, I think one of the twists at the end, regarding Elvie's baby, does not make any sense plotwise. There is absolutely no reason for things to have gone down the way they did, except to make things happier.

If you're looking for a book to make you laugh, a nice break from dark contemporaries and dystopian drama, then Mothership is a perfect choice. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series, because you can always use more laughter in your life.

Rating: 3.5/5

Favorite Quote: "Really, for all the poetry in the world on the subject, when you get right down to it, it's mostly just boom! penis vagina."

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Blogger Marathon said...

HOLD UP. I found Cole to be lovably stupid, and Elvie loves that about him. Extremely flawed people gotta have love too and I found it sort of sweet the way they got involved. I'M SAD YOU DON'T AGREE. Though *sigh* I get it.

AND YAY. I'm really happy that you appreciated the humor. There's just NO WAY not to laugh at the absurdity of it all. It's like a spoof of Aliens with pregnant teens. It's ingenius! xD

January 6, 2013 at 2:22 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

I don't think I would pick this one up on my own, but it sounds really fun and an entertaining read! Glad there's not too much pregnancy talk though, that would drive me crazy.

Great review!

January 6, 2013 at 6:48 AM  
Blogger Blythe Harris said...

Pregnant teens in space, you say? Hmmm...

This actually sounds like a book I'd definitely like - aside from the poor characterization. And I'm glad there's not too much pregnancy talk, too, that would definitely be a deal-breaker for me if most of the novel is focused on that. Like Teen Moms in space - minus the drama and bad acting.

January 6, 2013 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger Bekka said...

I think taking any kind of hard look at this book would ruin it for me, so I'll gladly keep it in mind as one of the funniest and most enjoyable books I've read. The circumstances around the girls' pregnancies would have me shouting and raging, but because this book was obviously supposed to be a humor book and not a serious sci-fi, I kind of forgave it its flaws. I'm glad you didn't hate it! The more I thought about you reading it, the more I was dreading the outcome.

January 6, 2013 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Jenni said...

Wow I have NEVER heard of this and it sounds sooo weird.. but in a really good way! It sounds hilarious and I love that it has so many different kinds of funny that pretty much everyone will get a laugh at some point. What a unique idea for a book, this is definitely going on my TBR because I need the funny to break up all the depressing shit I read.

January 6, 2013 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Renae @ Respiring Thoughts said...

I'm with Bekka on this. I don't want to look too closely at this book, because my 5/5 rating was due completely to emotional reaction and fuzzy feelings, which is something I rarely take into consideration when rating books. Grinchy time of year, what can I say?

Your comments on characters were probably right-on. And I must seriously reconsider my stance on not reading Beauty Queens, since I wasn't interested in reading it previously. Mayhap I will like it, too!

January 7, 2013 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger Kayla Beck said...

I have this book at one of my libraries, and I keep eyeing it a bit skeptically. I've heard a lot of good things about it, but I'm very picky when it comes to my sci-fi. I suppose I could be a little more forgiving since it's humorous. :-)

January 31, 2013 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Ew. Really? Cole was a total waste of space IMO. Then again, I go for smart guys that don't cheat. I'm weird that way. True. If Elvie wants him anyway, maybe they are right for each other.

But, yes, it's definitely very funny, so I could overlook a lot of the things that I don't like (COLE).

February 1, 2013 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yeah, it's not something I would have been drawn to without the reviews either.

February 1, 2013 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I DO say. Pregnancy is a dealbreaker for me at pretty much all times. I am not nurturing. Or open to frank discussions of bowel movements and other nasty baby things.

February 1, 2013 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh, yeah, I can see that. I'm just not always good at shutting off that part of my brain. If I'm connected to the characters, I can totally lose the analytical judgy side and just be like BEST EVER. Without that, though, I'm very aware that I'm reading, and keeping an eye out for issues.

February 1, 2013 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

We do read a lot of really depressing shit. Good stuff, usually, but a light read is probably good for our mental health.

February 1, 2013 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I don't blame you! I know I have some 5s like that. It totally happens. We're not heartless monsters analytically dissing books meant just for fun all the time.

You might!

February 1, 2013 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yeah, it's not intended to be serious sci fi one bit. Just depends if that's your style or not.

February 1, 2013 at 2:58 PM  

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