Alien Love Story has a simple first line ‘someone shoved a pencil into Dan’s left nostril’ which made me chuckle.
What I do like of the opening chapter is the delicate way the reader is introduced to Dan and learn more of his story. It is a captivating narrative. It becomes not only humorous but emotional too, as we discover the reason to why Dan is living with his nana.
Dan is a selfless teenager, endearing in the line ‘there are some things worse than losing your parents and he imagined losing a child was right up there’
His perception of life is special and so are the one-liners. When debating whether to address the girl of his dreams with a ‘hello’ or ‘yo’ he dismisses ‘yo’ because it is a slang term for rappers and ‘the closest he got to the streets was when he fell off his skateboard’
Dan meets a girl, well, he sees somebody rooting through the rubbish bin of a cafe and this sighting cures his headaches, which haunt him. Suddenly he is obsessed with this hoodie and beanie hat wearing girl. Who is she?
The first conversation between Dan and the girl, who introduces herself as Alexander, is sweet. It does remind you of how it is to be fifteen and in, supposed, love. Dan is remarkably innocent. Not that he is different from many teenage boys with his attempts to get a kiss from Alexander and expects the poor girl to instantly be intimate with him.
Although increasingly obvious to the reader Alexander is an alien, as well as the novel title giving us a clue, when Alexander is without her beanie hat and it is revealed to Dan she has no ears, Dan, regardless, tells her she is beautiful.
Alien Love Story does become surreal. The pace ricochets to its finish, with events taking place left, right and centre. I was enthralled by the story.
It is, by no means, perfect. I think the characters of Tony, Nana and Doctor Conlon are woefully under written and I cannot quite get my head around Dan being only fifteen and yet can absolutely say without doubt Alexander is the one for him (although I am a romantic and am willing to believe it) This does almost become a twenty first century Romeo and Juliet.
If you leave your cynicism at the end of your bed and curl up with Alien Love Story I think, and maybe you will too, that this is an excellent novel and I am glad there will be a sequel because I want a happier ending than the one Andrew Dawson gave me.
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AK Dawson, aka Andrew, was born in South Africa, spent twelve years in the UK and now lives in Warsaw, Poland. Last year his feature film won ‘Best Screenplay’ at the Sydney Indie Film Festival. When he’s not working on scripts, he writes prose and was given a Northern Promise Award at the 2010 Northern Writers’ Awards.