Review copy provided by Tor Books.
The tagline on this book is “Cheerleader Vs. Alien. Who will win?” And that’s pretty accurate. If you think, “I don’t want to read a fun book about a high school junior and her friends running around trying to figure out what’s going on with unexpected aliens and Men In Black-type agencies in their New England town!”, then this is probably not the book for you.
If that sounds like fun, though, well, it is. Mana–and this is important to me–genuinely likes her mom. She likes her friends. She doesn’t have random drama just to have random drama. Carrie Jones trusts her plot–she doesn’t introduce sniping or ill-treatment between Mana and her friends or family in order to “heighten tension.” Some books are about people from abusive families, and those books should take that seriously. But some books can be about people from loving families whose moms bake them cookies and still are managing to get up to alien-hunting shenanigans. This is one of the latter.
This actually may be the only one of the latter. But there should be more.
There is quite a lot of action, and Mana gets to rely on her strengths as a tiny acrobatic cheerleader–a flyer, the one who does the high-flying stunts–and on talents she never knew she had, when her family and friends are in unexpected danger. She is realistically sometimes confused, sometimes a little whiny, sometimes a little frustrated with herself for getting whiny, sometimes not entirely sure how to handle new situations…none of this bogging down a book that moves quite quickly. Light and, as I said, fun.
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