oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen


Ten reasons why you should read THE TRUE MEANING OF SMEKDAY by Adam Rex.

Here are excerpts..

Not yet convinced? Not yet speaking like a Boov?

I don't think there's another book out there like SMEKDAY, YA or otherwise, and I'm not just talking about the occasional illustrations. It's narrated by Gratuity Tucci (nicknamed "Tip"), who starts out writing an essay for a time capsule contest, detailing the months after aliens first invaded Earth. For the most part, the narrative style is light, and if you read the excerpts you've seen the wacky humor, but there are also important issues addressed, among them race and colonialism, which are treated with serious intent.

Gratuity, for example, is biracial, and grew up in a single-parent home in the Philadelphia area. It becomes an issue later in the book when others are helping her to look for her missing mother, because the searchers turn out to have been seeking a black woman, when her mother is white.

The early part of the Boov invasion features the aliens simply choosing areas and even specific houses they like in "Smekland," and moving in, leaving the humans to shift for themselves. Eventually, the humans in the US are exiled to Florida; but when the Boov discover the joys of oranges (for shoes, not food), their "reservation" is shifted to Arizona. Connotations of Indian treaties are not accidental. Later in Arizona, an elderly Indian known as "Chief" is presented as having different personalities for dealing with white people and with everyone else. When Gratuity informs him she's half white, he asks her which half, and after that refers to her as "Stupidlegs."

Relations between the Boov and the humans are pushed aside later in the book because other aliens arrive to take over, and they behave more badly than the Boov did. The rest of the book is spent attempting to eradicate them or at least send them away, so the humans can have Earth back.

Besides being funny and an entertaining read, it's got a lot of food for thought in there.

Go, read! Or I will do my DEVASTATING EYE LASERS!
Tags: books, race matters, sf/f, ya

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