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Cher-y-lynne {sher-uhl-lin} –noun 1. One who formerly sold and recommended children’s books at a bookstore; a specialist in young adult, middle grade, and picture books. 2. A para-educator at a middle school. 3. A struggling young adult writer. 4. A lover of chocolate and popcorn. Archaic: An Audiology and Speech Language Pathology major at Brigham Young University. Questions? Suggestions? Books you'd like me to review? E-mail me at cherylynne1 (at) gmail (dot) com.
This is a blog for my ranting, raving, and occasionally brilliant opinions. You have been warned. Enter at your own risk.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Book Review: The Only Alien on the Planet by Kristen D. Randle

Randle, Kristen D. The Only Alien on the Planet. Illinois: Sourcebooks, Inc., 2009.

"I'd forgotten how pretty he is until I saw your face this morning," Hally was saying as she dug for a book in the bottom of her locker. "I guess I should have warned you, but I really didn't even think of it."

"Is there--" I asked, trying to read her attitude, "--something wrong with him?"
"Some people think he's autistic," she said, pulling the book out and shoving everything else back in. She stood up, trying to balance all the books she had stacked up on her notebook. "Myself, I wouldn't know." She slammed her locker shut. "Mr. Leviaton--I think you've got him--fifth period, World History. Yeah, you do, see? Smitty's kind of a pet of his. He says it's no way autism." She gave the lock an absent spin.
"Smitty Tibbs. Sounds like a name you'd give a puppy or something, doesn't it? Come on." She started off down the hall. "Anyway," she went on, "
something's seriously wrong with him."

Ginny's just beginning to adjust to her new school and her new life when she meets--him. Smitty Tibbs. Or, as he's known to most of the students, Alien. The boy who doesn't speak. Ever. To anyone. And yet it's common knowledge that he's a genius.

Ginny becomes convinced that deep down, Alien can hear and understand everyone, and she's determined to bring him out of his shell. But when she starts to see results, she wonders if she's doing irreparable damage, and whether she should push harder or back off.

I loved it. Absolutely loved it. I thought the characters were fascinating, the romance was pitch perfect, and the dialogue was fun. Beware, this is NOT a paranormal romance. For a minute or two, I thought it might go that direction. It doesn't. And I'm glad. It didn't need anything at all. I thought Ginny's reactions were brilliant. What does a teenager know about abnormal psychology anyway? And the fact that she realizes she could be screwing up someone's life forever made me love and respect her.

The only issue I had with the novel was whether or not this could happen. Now, I'm not a psychology major, but this seems a little unusual. I guess it's hard for me to believe that so much evil could exist in one person (I won't tell you which person, I promise). I wish I had a little more reason to believe that.

But really, this is an outstanding novel. I highly recommend it to anyone who's looking for a good contemporary fiction. I think it might even be a boy friendly novel, because so much of it focuses on how boys think, act, and react. It's definitely great for girls, because there is a romance in it. Wonderful "discussion" book for book clubs and things like that. It's just great all around.

1 comment:

  1. ooh. New picture. Nice. :)
    This sounds like a good book (yet again, another to add to my list after your reviews...I can't keep up with you! :). Even the little excerpt had me hooked...the dialogue is fantastic even in that segment.
    PS. I'm reading The Forest of Hands and Teeth now. I'm only on chapter 5 or so, but I think you should read that next because I want to see what you think.