– SPOILER FREE MINI REVIEW –
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Alien Love Story
Author: A.K. Dawson
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Release date: June 21st, 2016
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Love at first sighting.
Life is a headache for 15-year-old Dan. This isn’t some kind of metaphor. Dan suffers from migraines that make just about everything he does unbearable. Added to that he’s lost almost everyone he cares about. So he feels lonelier than the last puppy in a pet shop. But one day he sees a mysterious girl digging in the rubbish bins behind his house. Just by being near her, he finds that all his pain goes away. So he wants to see her again, of course. And get to know her. But she’s a bit strange. And her big eyes make her look, well, like an alien. Does she really exist? Or is she just a figment of an overactive, under-loved imagination?
Close encounters of the romantic kind.
From Northern England to outer space, and from Dan’s bedroom to the sandwich shop over the road, ALIEN LOVE STORY is about a close encounter of the romantic variety. But there’s more to it than that. This book is about discovering parts of yourself you never knew existed. It’s about coping with grief and somehow moving on. And it’s about how Dan breaks into a mad scientist’s lab to perform a daring rescue – but that bit comes much later.
For now it’s enough to know there will be excitement, adventure and kissing. Lots of kissing. We did say it was a love story, didn’t we? So fasten your safety belt, put on some background music and enjoy the book.
Sadly, I couldn’t finish this book and left it at 32%. Up until that point it was easy to read, silly and filled with humor, a quirky read. My issues with this novel came from all the tropes that were thrown at me instantly and the characters themselves. Maybe at another point in my life I would have read it, but right now there are some of the tropes I avoid at all costs.
- The girl is an alien, which I thought would be cool to explore, but I noticed right from the start she was the typical Manic Pixie Dream Girl. She hasn’t even talked to the guy and she kisses him and then just tells him how special he is.
- Insta-love. The guy immediately obesseses over the girl and starts the most cringy behavior of them all: he stalks her. He waits for her where he knows she’ll likely turn up, runs after her, looks for her in the park… And that was just after seeing her one time! I can’t stand that. It isn’t romantic. There are other ways to make two characters meet and start a conversation.
- Dan, the main character, suffers from migraines. I have never read a book that discusses that and, as someone who is surrounded by people affected by them but haven’t experienced them myself, I thought this would be a great opportunity to understand more about them. It wasn’t the case, as another trope made its appareance: the Mystical Disability. If you don’t know this trope, check this or this article. In this novel, migraines are an effect of Dan’s supernatural abilities. They are even “cured” whenever he is around Alexander, the alien girl.
The writing itself was quick paced and had a lot of personality, which was the only thing that made me stick around a little longer. Still, that wasn’t enough for me to keep reading. If you stand these tropes, go ahead, the science fiction part didn’t sound bad and it’s a short quirky read. But as for me… I prefer to stay away from them.