Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Review: Unite by Jamie Campbell

Jamie Campbell

This book was a struggle. It took me MONTHS to read it, because I kept tossing it aside to read something (ANYTHING) else. 

The premise was interesting enough, it was just poorly executed and lacked any realism.
The idea is that somewhere in the vast area we call space, there is another planet very much like our own. This other planet is in the path of another planet... asteroid... whatever. Point is the planet they are living on is going to be destroyed. So in an effort to save themselves the aliens contact Earth. In exchange for some pretty bitchin' technology, we are to take some of their alien offspring and integrate them into Earth's population. The FBI gets involved and creates a program. The little alien babies will be secretly integrated into our school systems. They are required to be good little aliens and do everything in their power to make everyone like them. They must achieve stellar grades, go to college, and get awesome jobs. After 25 years the government will reveal their existence, and since they have already established themselves as lovable aliens, humans will totally accept them. Whoever came up with this idea must have some of the rosiest rose colored glasses ever, because I'd bet money that the big reveal would be mass hysteria. Cuz, ya know... HISTORY. 

However, to be fair, if this was the ONLY unbelievable thing about the story, I might have been able to roll with it. IT'S NOT. 
When a group of people learn of these alien teens (teeliens?).... they start picking them off one by one. The US Government immediately tucks its tail between it's legs and scampers off. They tell the aliens and their foster families that due to budget cuts the program is being shut down. Ummm... WHAT!? Seriously... WHAT?!?!?! I'm expected to buy that the government just invested all this time and money into this project and one little group of extremist takes it down by knocking off a few of their aliens?? We are talking a fairly small grassroots alien take down effort here. Not only is this a small grassroots effort going on here, they aren't very good at it apparently. They find Amery (the MC) studying in the library with her mortal enemy (we'll get to that in a moment) one day. The big bad alien hunters proceed to chase the teens down the school hallways. The teens slip into a janitors closet and carry on a conversation, and the big bad alien hunters lose them. I dunno, maybe they are soundproofing Janitor's closets these days. Whatever.... NOT.BUYING.IT.

So, what is an teelien and her foster family to do when their ONLY means of protection has just left them high and dry? They do the logical thing and go into hiding, right? RIGHT? WRONG. They stay right where they are and the teelien revels in her new found freedom. I'm totally serious. She literally goes out and gets all giddy over the fact that no one is watching her anymore... except maybe the alien killers. The alien killers, who by the way, have already attempted to catch her in her school. The school that she continues to attend. *BANGS HEAD ON DESK*

Ok... So, as for this mortal enemy thing... Amery seriously, seriously hates this guy she goes to school with, Lochie. Which, fine I get it, we all had someone we went to school with that we wanted to stab in the eye with a fork. What I don't get however is WHY she hates him. From what we're told he's never really done anything to her. He never really says anything in the book that makes me go "oh, well, he's an ass." Actually, he seems like a pretty boring nice guy. I dunno... maybe he smells funny or something. 
I get that the author is probably trying to do that whole love-hate thing. However, if you want me to buy into that I have to have a reason to hate the guy.

Overall, I'm sorry to say I don't think I'll be following this book any further. I just didn't get it. There were too many things that seemed highly unlikely, impossible, or just plain silly for me to get too excited over this book. It may be better suited to a tween audience, but I don't foresee a lot of older teens or adults reading this and seeing writing gold.

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