Friday, January 13, 2012

The True Meaning of Smekday

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex, 2007. 423 pages. Published by Hyperion. Source: Borrowed from Library.
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. 
First Sentence:

It was moving day.

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Adam Rex's upcoming book, and thought that before I delved into it that I would check out one of his previous books to see what his writing style was like. So after checking my library I decided upon reading The True Meaning of Smekday and find it to be quite enjoyable-am now working my way through his newest book.

One of the things that makes The True Meaning Smekday such an original read is the way it's told. I loved the fact that the story is written from Gratuity's POV and as essay for her school (to potentially be placed in time-capsule for future residents of earth). I thought it was pretty genius to tell it that way because it definitely pulls you into the story and the struggle that Gratuity faced during the double invasion of earth.

As for the aliens that invaded, I found the Boov to be quite odd, and it was very surprising that they even managed to fully take over the earth. Why, because at the first sign of opposition from their nemesis they pretty much began to call it quits. The other group, were kind of hilarious in their grotesqueness and they way they talked (if you saw my Teaser Tuesday you'd understand). I thought each group brought an interesting slant to the story with the way the humans reacted to them.

Gratuity was an absolutely joy to read about. I loved how she could go from sassing some one to trying to charm her way out of the trouble she found herself in. Attitude aside, I really thought Gratuity was an interesting character, and I loved how her narration of the story came across and that at times she would apologize for something she said (like, cursing or taking the Lord's name in vain).
Ah, J.Lo, what can I say. He was odd cookie and that's not even taking into account the name he picked while on Earth Smekland. His sense of humour is kind of hard to describe, but funny nontheless.

Easily, my favorite thing about The True Meaning of Smekday would have to be Gratuity "Tip" Tucci. She was, like, the perfect mix of sass and wit, and had me either laughing at some of things she got herself into or hitting my head as got herself into one pickle after another. She was just one of those characters that I can't help but like, and for that one reason I will most likely be adding this book to my ever-growing collection one day.
     While The True Meaning of Smekday was one of the funniest and most entertaining books I have read in a while, there was one thing that kept it from being a five pineapple read. My main complaint against this book has nothing to do with the writing, the story, or even the characters in the book, what really annoyed me though was apparent lack of proper chapters and stopping points. I just wanted to read straight through this book but had to put it down at points t accomplish things, so the lack of chapters was a bit irritating because I felt like I was always stopping in the middle of something important. Other than that, this is one incredibly good read.

Final Verdict: The True Meaning of Smekday was a barrel of laughs with a witty, and funny leading character.

The True Meaning of Smekday earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.

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