Review: Mothership by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal

11 Oct

A sci-fi book about pregnant teenage girls on a cruise-ship turned boarding school that orbits Earth sounds utterly ridiculous for sure. Unfortunately, for Elvie Nara the phrase “things can only get better” does not apply to the situation she has gotten herself into at all.

Typically I wouldn’t read a book about teenage pregnancy. They usually fall into one of three categories: 1) cautionary tale, 2) religious cautionary tale, 3) societal cautionary tale… None of these things particularly appeal to me. The only kind of cautionary advice really given in Mothership is to perhaps be more careful about trusting your teachers. You never know when they might turn out to be baby snatching aliens.

This book is unlike any book I’ve ever read.

For starters the language is spot on with how teens and young adults talk. Frequent use of such cute little phrases as “shit balls” appear all throughout the book. In general people look at swearing as way for so-called less intelligent folks to express themselves, but honestly it is just how we all think and speak in the real world. Elvie isn’t going around swearing non-stop, but the use of “bitches”, “slut”, and “screwed” show up frequently and seem completely appropriate to the situation she is in.

The second thing I really like about the book is the idea of the future. 2074 seems really far off from now, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be completely unrecognizable to someone from 2012. The authors do a really great job of writing a future that is different, but totally relatable to today’s teens. They “blink” instead of text, but they still play video games and watch movies, they still wear jeans and tee-shirts, and the cute boy even has a cool car. Everything is just a little bit more advanced. And apparently teenage girls still get knocked up every now and then.

The biggest draw of this book is that it is totally fun while still dealing with some serious material. Elvie faces a tough decision about the fate of her baby, but this book isn’t about this. People do get hurt along the way, but the book doesn’t dwell on it. Elvie pushes through all the obstacles before her with a survivors mentality like no other. If you were going to be a pregnant 16-year-old girl… Elvie is the one to be. The book is funny and fresh and managed to turn a really serious situation into something really amusing.

The “mythology” of the alien race is all pretty fresh and interesting as well. Nothing like a stale alien story to drag down an otherwise interesting book. Everyone has an agenda of course, but it is pretty easy to suss out who are the good guys and who are the bad guys (at least in Elvie’s eyes).

The characters are pretty standard high school types at first glance. The mean girl cheerleader, the sexy mysterious new boy in town, the weird girl who likes unusual stuff (like non-3D movies and fixing vintage cars from the 2040s), and her dorky and utterly devoted male best friend. Every single one of them is a lot more than that though… okay maybe not the mean girl, but we all knew that was going to happen.

Even though this is a YA book about a teen girl I think a lot of adults will really enjoy it and look forward to future installments of the Ever-Expanding Universe series by Leicht and Neal. There are a lot of humorous moments and a good amount of action that make it a very well-rounded story.

My GoodReads Rating: didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it (my current rating) it was amazing

(Normally I think I’d give it a 4 star rating for the story, but it totally gets an extra star for being so original)

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