Book of the Month: The True Meaning of Smekday

I'm going to start playing around a bit with my book review format, so bear with me as I try some new ideas. One of new idea is to bookstagram a picture of the book I'm reviewing. (If you want to see my attempts, the link to my Instagram is to the right.)

The True Meaning of Smekday
by Adam Rex

Cover Review: I think this is a great eye-catching cover. The words made out of the buildings is an original idea. The strange ships among the normal looking city give a hint at the sci-fi nature of the book.

The Blurb: It all starts with a school essay.

When twelve-year-old Gratuity (“Tip”) Tucci is assigned to write five pages on “The True Meaning of Smekday” for the National Time Capsule contest, she’s not sure where to begin. When her mom started telling everyone about the messages aliens were sending through a mole on the back of her neck? Maybe on Christmas Eve, when huge, bizarre spaceships descended on the Earth and the aliens – called Boov – abducted her mother? Or when the Boov declared Earth a colony, renamed it “Smekland” (in honor of glorious Captain Smek), and forced all Americans to relocate to Florida via rocketpod?

In any case, Gratuity’s story is much, much bigger than the assignment. It involves her unlikely friendship with a renegade Boov mechanic named J.Lo.; a futile journey south to find Gratuity’s mother at the Happy Mouse Kingdom; a cross-country road trip in a hovercar called Slushious; and an outrageous plan to save the Earth from yet another alien invasion.

Fully illustrated with “photos,” drawings, newspaper clippings, and comics sequences, this is a hilarious, perceptive, genre-bending novel by a remarkable new talent. the planet from a really big catastrophe.

My Thoughts
The first time I read this book, I laughed out loud several times. It's a hilarious book. This isn't another alien invasion where a band of rebels comes together and fights the aliens with lots of explosions and spaceships, ending with a risky plan that somehow works and whoopee, we saved the day. Not that I'm against that, but it's nice to see something different once in a while. All this book has is a girl, an alien fugitive, a cat, and a floating car. Yet they manage to get rid of both sets of aliens with almost nothing.

Tip is a great protagonist. She's original, being Italian and half black. She's spunky, she's brave, and she still acts like a kid. J.Lo is just as good, with is humorous grammar and word mix-ups.

As for the plot, it keeps moving along. It mixes high action sequences with plenty of feeling. The ending is completely unexpected, which is always good.

I'd recommend this book to anyone from thirteen on up. Despite being a children's book, it has a bit more cursing than I'd be comfortable letting a kid read. It would be a great book for anyone who loves light sci-fi and humor.

My rating:

Don't forget to check out the second book, Smek for President!, and the movie based off this book, called simply Home (I plan on doing a post about the movie later if you want to know more). While the book and the movie are vastly different, they're both great in their own rights.

Important Notice: There will be no blog posts next week. It's my birthday and I want a little break, so it sounded like a perfect time. I'll be back on September 5 with a post on either Home or The Lego Movie, I haven't decided yet.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? And how do you like this format? Tell me in the comments, I'd love to know.


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