Friday, September 21, 2012

Flashback Friday: The Only Alien on the Planet

New town, new school, new friends. It was difficult for Ginny at first, but her senior year is finally starting to feel kind of normal. That is, until she sees him--the beautiful mystery in her English class. He has never spoken a word to anyone. He moves through each day at school without making eye contact. His name is Smitty Tibbs, but everyone calls him the Alien.

Ginny is convinced there's more to the Alien than his muted exterior. But as she attempts to break into his safe and emotionless world, she realizes her efforts might be causing more harm than good. Has she gone too far, or not far enough? Quoted from Goodreads


The beautiful thing about Flashback Friday is I can choose books I have honestly, truly loved for years and years.  I know they are amazing, standing the test of time.  There is no fear that I will love a book while I'm reading it and change my mind a week later when I take a step back from the story and really think about it. This is why everyone should read The Only Alien on the Planet.

I should probably warn you up front: there are no aliens in this book.  Despite the title and, if you get an older copy, the cover, this book is has nothing sci/fi or paranormal about it.  It is a book about relationships, people, family, and growing up.

I first fell in love with this book because of Ginny. She is a great character, utterly realistic and fun.  I love that she has crushes on boys to make her senior year more fun. I love that she honestly considers herself a coward, though she can also be brave.  She is simple to relate to, has a great voice, and grabs your interest from the beginning.  

Then there are her friends and family.  I absolutely adore how normal and functional everyone is.  She has a great relationship with her parents and brothers.  She makes good friends at school (Caulder and Hally), who have their own lives and drama but would do anything for her. 

And then there's Michael S. Tibbs--or Smitty or the Alien.  He is the mystery of the book (and like I said, not a vampire, alien, werewolf, or secret superhero).  I love discovering what happened to him and the struggles he faces.  I won't say too much about it because I don't want to give anything away, but he gets better and better as the book goes on.

Absolutely 5 shimmering stars. Despite all the good things I've said about this book, I don't quite know why I love it so much more than so many other books.  Maybe it's Randal's writing, the characters, the the triumph in the end, or some combination of those three and more. I really couldn't tell you. All I know is that this book is amazing.  It is one I read over and over again.  

Oh, on a side note, there are two versions of this book. The original that was published in 1996, and then one that came out again a few years ago in paperback and for kindle, nook, etc.  Don't get me wrong, they are almost identical, but they are not quite the same.  Personally, I own them both (yes, that is how much I love this book), so if you're interested, check them out.  I mostly like the changes in the second one.  They make the book even better, but there are a few scenes in the first one that I love and wish the author hadn't changed.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I was going to post about this book! I guess that says how good it is. I haven't read the revised edition, I would love to check it out. Thanks for the heads up.