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The Truth Is Out There

When agoraphobic Mallory is nominated for homecoming queen as a cruel joke, she formulates a plan to take the school's hottest quarterback as her date in this sweet debut from HelloGiggles writer Kerry Winfrey.

The Truth Is Out There

BOOK REPORT for Love and Other Alien Experiences by Kerry Winfrey

Cover Story: Out of this World
BFF Charm: Yay!
Swoonworthy Scale: 8
Talky Talk: You've Got Mail Meets The X-Files
Bonus Factor: The X-Files, Internet Friends
Relationship Status: Beam Me Up

Cover Story: Out of this World

I LOVE THIS COVER. It's so cute without being cheesy, and it lacks all my most hated things, including but not limited to bad stock photos or big faces. It has constellations, but also computery fonts, which are both very appropriate. 10/10 would pluck from the bookshelf.

The Deal:

It's been 67 days since Mallory left her house. Her anxiety disorder reared its ugly head sometime after her dad left, and now she's attending classes via Skype and spending all her time chatting with other extraterrestrial enthusiasts she met on the forums of her favorite website - We Are Not Alone. But when she's nominated for homecoming queen as a mean prank, her brother and best friend convince her to go for it, and Mallory agrees to it ONLY because she could really use the $500 cash prize to find her dad. If she can convince the school's hottest, most popular jock, Brad, (who conveniently happens to be her neighbor) to go as her date, then she stands a really, really good chance at winning. Now, if only she can convince herself to leave the house.

BFF Charm: Yay!

Mallory is smart, anxious, and a little weird. Honestly, I've never related to another character quite like I did with her. Her anxiety disorder and the way she coped with it felt mostly realistic, and despite the fact that she felt alienated (pun!) from her classmates, she never lost her humor and moxy. I loved that she was unapologetic about her knowledge of physics when bantering with BeamMeUp, and I would pump my fist in the air whenever she would step outside her comfort zone (and sometimes just, literally, outside) in an attempt to overcome her anxiety. I rooted for her to get better, and I loved that she was willing to take a crazy risk to get there.

Swoonworthy Scale: 8

Y'all there are a lot of swoon clouds floating around the pages of this book, and for a while, I wasn't totally sure which cloud was gonna make it rain, if you get my drift. When Mallory decides she's going to attempt to woo the school's hottest jockbro, Brad Kirkpatrick, and make him her homecoming date, I was extremely concerned. But Brad turned out to be a total sweetheart, and totally worthy of any/all crushing on Mallory's part.

But, lo! Out of the depths of the Kirkpatrick's backyard appears Jake, Brad's half brother whose sudden appearance home from college has the town talking. Jake is surly, to say the least, and Mallory brings out his surliness like no one else. So in addition to the sweet fluttery feelings Mallory has for Brad, we also get a dose of her enemistry with Jake. And through it all, Mallory has BeamMeUp, her friend from the We Are Not Alone forums who loves aliens and physics as much as she does, and BeamMeUp has been hinting that maybe they should meet in person sooner rather than later.

All. The. Swoon.

Talky Talk: You've Got Mail meets The X-Files

Uh yeah, you read that right. This book was apparently tailor made for me because it is a combination of two of my favorite things. Mallory loves to talk about her online community We Are Not Alone, and the friends she's made there, including BeamMeUp. She's also a high school girl with a legit crush on David Duchovny, and her friends make fun of her for it AND I KNOW EXACTLY HOW THAT FEELS. Kerry Winfrey writes about YA for HelloGiggles, so her voice is fun and friendly, and she knows exactly what YA readers love to read - because she is one!

Bonus Factor: The X-Files

Hey, did you guys know that I love The X-Files, because, uh, I do. And I did in high school too, so reading about a smart but anxious girl who loves the same show as me hit me right in the feels.

Bonus Factor: Internet Friends

I have a lot of great internet friends (Hello, literally all of FYA!) and have had a lot of great internet friends since the internet was still something that you only connected to via an AOL sample disk you got in the mail. So I'll always have a soft spot for any story about people who meet on the internet. And if that story ventures into internet more-than-friends? SIGN ME UP.

Casting Call:

Dylan Gelula as Mallory

Charlie DePew as Brad

Nick Robinson as Jake

Relationship Status: Beam Me Up

Book, you are out of this world. You understood me in a way that no Earthling can, and so, I beg you, beam me up and take me to your leader. I wanna live where the aliens are, if it means I get to live with you. <3

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Macmillan, I did not receive money or Girl Scout cookies of any kind (not even the lame cranberry ones) for writing this review. Love and Other Alien Experiences is available now.

Rosemary Hallmark's photo About the Author: Rosemary lives in Little Rock, AR with her cute husband and even cuter dog. At 16, she plucked a copy of Sloppy Firsts off the "New Releases" shelf and hasn't stopped reading YA since. (She's still got a soft spot for the swoony, contemporary stuff.) A former magazine editor, she is now a freelance writer, graphic designer, art director and photo stylist. The rest of her time is spent drinking cocktails, renovating her house and laughing at her husband's ridiculous Pretty Little Liars theories.
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