Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Book Review: Mothership by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal

Mothership (Ever-Expanding Universe)
Author: Martin Leicht and Isla Neal
Publication: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers (July 10, 2012)

Description: Teen pregnancy is never easy—especially not when extraterrestrials are involved. The first in a new trilogy.

Elvie Nara was doing just fine in the year 2074. She had a great best friend, a dad she adored, and bright future working on the Ares Project on Mars. But then she had to get involved with sweet, gorgeous, dumb-as-a-brick Cole—and now she’s pregnant.

Getting shipped off to the Hanover School for Expecting Teen Mothers was not how Elvie imagined spending her junior year, but she can go with the flow. That is, until a team of hot commandos hijacks the ship—and one of them turns out to be Cole. She hasn’t seen him since she told him she’s pregnant, and now he’s bursting into her new home to tell her that her teachers are aliens and want to use her unborn baby to repopulate their species? Nice try, buddy. You could have just called.

So fine, finding a way off this ship is priority number one, but first Elvie has to figure out how Cole ended up as a commando, work together with her arch-nemesis, and figure out if she even wants to be a mother—assuming they get back to Earth in one piece.

My Thoughts: It has been a while since I have read a young adult book with a pregnant main character and I have never read one as unusual as this. It is 2074 and Elvie who has been raised by her father to be ready for any sort of emergency finds herself attracted to the boyfriend of her biggest high school rival. Despite her daily pill to prevent pregnancy and STDs, after just one encounter with Cole she finds herself pregnant. Her father decides to send her to the orbiting ship that has become the Hanover School for Expecting Teen Mothers where, unfortunately, she is attending school with her biggest rival again. Britta McVickers is two weeks more pregnant than she is and by the same father.

Things are going along just fine when the school is invaded by armed soldiers and her teachers start trying to drown the girls in the Yoga swimming pool rather than surrendering them to the invaders. The troopers save the girls and kill all the teachers but not without taking some casualties themselves. Elvie is very much surprised to find out that Cole is one of the armed invaders. And she is even more surprised to find out that her teachers were aliens who wanted the babies to continue their species.

It seems that there are two groups of aliens who are battling for Earth. The Almiri have been here thousands of years and have provided some of Earth's greatest men. The rival Jin'Kai have only been on Earth for the last fifty years. Both groups need human women to have their babies as all Almiri and all Jin'Kai are males. The only problem is that once a woman has one of these alien babies, she can no longer have children of her own. Cole never mentioned that when he and Elvie had their relationship!

I like Elvie's voice in this one. She is snarky. She is also smart and an intrepid heroine. I like that she has goals and a very level head. I also like Elvie's best friend Ducky who is a major nerd and a very supportive friend. I like Elvie's dad too. Besides teaching Elvie to always be prepared no matter what the situation, he is also very supportive. I have sort of mixed feeling about Cole. I don't like that he abandoned Elvie as soon as he learned she was pregnant. And, while he is undeniably handsome, he just isn't very bright. We don't really get to know many of the other pregnant young girls very well but what we do see illuminates each one in a few phrases. Many of them are quite quirky. Like Heather who corrects everyone's grammar in the most inappropriate situations and Natty who tends to go off into artistic daydreams in those same inappropriate situations.

The book has a lot of adventure as Elvie has to make her way through the school ship avoiding damaged areas and hostile aliens. There is actually quite a bit of violence in the story. Some of the language would also make this one more suitable for the older young adults I work with.  Or, as Heather would say, "with whom I work." The shocker at the end is going to keep me reading the rest of this trilogy and I think it will make a number of my students want to do the same thing. 

Favorite Quote:
I nod knowingly. If anyone can ever find a way to explain to me how carrying around a sack of flour with a diaper on it is supposed to prepare you for motherhood, I will personally bake that person a chocolate cake with my practice baby's insides.
I chose this one from the Amazon Vine program. You can buy your copy here. 


  1. Wow....this one certainly sound....umm...unique! I'm not sure if that is good or bad, but it does sound interesting! Great review.

  2. This was SO strange. My public library has it, so I am going to pass on buying it. I had a parent challenge Logue's Dancing With An Alien-- I won't touch this one!


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