January 05, 2003
Book Review -- Dancing with an Alien

Dancing with an Alien
by Mary Logue
hardcover from HarperCollins 2000

When I see an intriguing looking YA genre book on sale, I tend to pick it up, without really paying attention to much else about it. I picked up this one on sale at Media Merchant for $3.99 (rather than the cover price of $14.95).

It is told in a style which seems common, almost, in "literary" YA genre novels. The chapters switch between Tonia (a 17 year old girl in St. Paul, MN) and Branko (an alien who has come to Earth to find a female to bring home). each chapter is told in the first person, so we are able to get inside the heads of both protagonists.

This works really well for Branko. His style matches well with someone who doesn't know our culture except for training, with someone who is somewhat alien. But for Tonia, her style of speech seemed choppy in writing. I didn't like the way the sentences seemed to always cut short and talk down. I have never liked the idea of making writing too simplistic -- I have more faith in our childrens' reading capabilities than that.

The basic plot is an old one. On Branko's planet a virus wiped out the female population. They have been surveying nearby worlds and discovered Earth and that they could interbreed with our woman. So they come and court them, and return home with them and turn them into precious baby-producing commodities.

Despite the style and the standard plot, this is a decent book. I wouldn't say its great. I didn't regret reading it, and it was certainly a quick read (perhaps a half hour to an hour, tops). Its short.

The story focuses on the relationship between Branko and Tonia and on the decisions that they face. And in the end, the decision that is made is not necessarily the easiest one, but in Branko's mind, it is the best. There is no happy ending here.

Posted by Deb Atwood at January 05, 2003 02:45 PM | TrackBack
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