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Love and Other Alien Experiences

Review

Love and Other Alien Experiences

LOVE AND OTHER ALIEN EXPERIENCES is a standalone contemporary novel about a girl named Mallory Sullivan who has an anxiety disorder and also suffers from agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is the fear and avoidance of situations that might cause panic, helplessness, embarrassment, etc. This causes people with agoraphobia to stay in their houses. Mallory has not left her house in months. She only talks to her brother Lincoln, her friend Jenni, her mother, her therapist and an Internet friend she met on a website for locals who love aliens. However, Mallory’s life changes when she is nominated for the homecoming queen at Reardon High. She has not been physically in class at all this school year. She sets out to win the crown by getting school hottie, football star and her next-door neighbor, Brad Kirkpatrick, to become her date to the homecoming dance.

"This novel was a sweet friendship story sprinkled with a bit of romance. I loved the diverse characters and the relatability of them."

This book was such a fun read! I enjoyed it thoroughly from beginning to end. I think it is important because it represents both mental health and the LGBTQ+ community. While Mallory suffers from anxiety, her brother, Lincoln, is gay. While reading, it was awesome to see such positive representations of diverse characters in this novel. Books that talk about mental health always open the way for much needed conversations and help to let teens know that they are not alone.

This book also had the perfect amount of romance, friendship and stepping out of your comfort zone. Mallory was always challenging herself to overcome her agoraphobia with the help of her family and friends. It was amazing to see Mallory’s character development throughout the story and I was rooting for her the entire time. This book shows that life really starts outside of your comfort zone and that great things can happen when you challenge yourself. Mallory was not perfect which made her even better. She had her flaws and embarrassing moments which made her very relatable and endearing. The book even had me laughing out loud a couple of times!

I also loved seeing Mallory’s close relationship with her brother and her great friendship with Jenni. She was very protective of her younger brother and he was always looking out for her, as well. I really enjoyed getting to know Mallory’s neighbors, Brad Kirkpatrick and his brother, Jake. I found these characters to be very real and relatable --- I definitely had a Brad Kirkpatrick at my high school!

Overall, this novel was a sweet friendship story sprinkled with a bit of romance. I loved the diverse characters and the relatability of them. I liked how the author used technology as a part of the novel, having Mallory attend class via webcam, meeting a friend through her favorite website and the use of social media sites. It made the book very modern and realistic.

As much as I loved this book, I did find it a bit predictable, but that does not mean it is not worth the read, because it definitely is! This book is cute and even inspiring! I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary novels, books that deal with mental health, or reading about great friendships with a tiny bit of romance. This book does include swear words quite often (which is an accurate representation of how many teenagers talk) so I do not recommend it to anyone who may be sensitive to strong language. However, the book is great and appropriate for all people who enjoy young adult novels! It truly is an amazing story that everyone deserves to read and experience.

Kerry Winfrey is a blogger for HelloGiggles and LOVE AND OTHER ALIEN EXPERIENCES is her debut novel. This is her only published book and I hope to see more from her soon. Goodreads shows that readers who enjoyed her novel also enjoyed IT’S NOT LIKE IT’S A SECRET by Misa Sugiura and YOU’RE WELCOME, UNIVERSE by Whitney Gardner.

Reviewed by Shannon C., Teen Board Member on July 27, 2017

Love and Other Alien Experiences
by Kerry Winfrey