Title: How to Date an Alien
Author: Magan Vernon
Publish Date: December 6th 2011 by Beautifully Broken Books
High school senior Alex Bianchi’s estranged father gets her an internship at Circe Operations Center to pad her college applications. But Circe isn’t your typical military base. It’s an alien-run operation center and not all of the aliens are friendly, especially the one that tries to kill Alex on her first day. When Ace, a dark-eyed Caltian, enters and saves the day, she can’t help but be drawn to him. Can these star-crossed lovers survive when they’re on the brink of intergalactic war?
I heard about this back when it came out in 2011 and how it was a really fun alien indie YA story. At the time I wasn’t really intrigued by alien stories, as I was super into paranormal stuff (if it didn’t involve vampires, I wasn’t interested). I was browsing previews on my kindle, and I after reading the preview for this one, I knew I had to keep going. Warning: heavy spoilers!
We’re introduced to Alex, a girl in high school who wants to get into an Ivy league college, but doesn’t have anything that helps her stand out besides her grades. There’s a quick jump to how her parents separated because her father left, and how he works at this fancy operations center and she accidentaly tells her recruitment officer that her internship will set her apart from other applicants. With barely a transition, she’s riding in a jeep out in the desert with her father on their way to the Circe Operations Center where he was able to get her the internship. All of this felt very rushed, so I’m hoping it was just because the author wanted to spend the majority of time on the center and how much was going on inside. When we find out the real reason behind Alex’s father’s secret job, aliens, it softens the blow a little but not completely. It reads like a YA retelling of Men in Black, which I happen to love.
Alex is thrown into this internship and the fact that aliens exist on earth and on top of that, she’s attacked and almost killed her first day. And she practically falls into an insta-love with the alien that saved her, Ace. And they also happen to work together, alone, for the duration of her internship. And the male alien also happens to be considered the top of the food chain in outer space and he tries to ignore her at first, but then they DO fall into insta-love with each other. Sound familiar? Yes, we have a cross between Men and Black and Twilight.
Even though the story was very predictable and slightly annoying due to its unoriginality, I kept reading to find out what the plot turned out to be. Girl gets internship at alien compound; falls in love with dangerous alien who wants her back…there had to be more than that, right? Sadly, it didn’t get any better. I enjoyed learning about Ace, and how he came down to earth to interfere with a war and how he’s intrigued by humans and just his background in general. The scenes where Alex and Ace are talking about their differences and finding out why Ace is considered dangerous among the alien race were my favorite. I also enjoyed the scenes where Alex and Ace are acting like Edward and Bella, because I did enjoy Twilight, I just wish it hadn’t been almost exactly mirroring it (there’s a, “I’m not a normal teen boy” scene, a “he’s not safe for you” scene, “he saves the girls life but tries to ignore her” scene, etc.)
Overall, the plot was predictable, but had a few endearing scenes that gave the characters a purpose, if only to continue the plot forward. This story could have been much more substantial if the author had taken a different route and changed the pacing. I think the story was over before it really began, and there wasn’t enough meat to the story to keep my interest past the first book in the series.
Considering the second book in the series is called How to Break Up with an Alien, and my favorite aspect of the first book was Ace, the alien, I might not jump right back into this series. Even if the third book in the series is called, How to Marry an Alien…
If you like sci-fi, Twilight, Men in Black, insta-love, or all of the above, check this one out!
My Over All Rating: