Music, Fashion, Romance. Being kidnapped by aliens has been given a new meaning in this funny and easy to read story full of music, fashion and modern day references. A story that radiates youth and entertainment and fits nicely into the New Adult genre. If you’re ready, come and meet – not your typical Fairly Odd Parents, but rather – your Fairly Odd Boyfriends from out of space. – I’ll come back to that in a bit.
Meet Daisy Kirkwood, although you can forget her name instantly for reasons explained further on. She’s an ordinary self-described ‘eternally single’ human girl who, at one point, traded her daily job and normal life to try her luck in Manhattan. A place she chose specifically because of her interest in music. She’s that kind of girl.
Our protagonist is kidnapped by two handsome alien men and their bodyguards, and she is forced to act as a stylist and guide to them. Griffin, one of the two alien men, is the Prince of Kalesstria and the one who insisted on visiting the fascinating planet Earth because of a wager. He is accompanied by his alien friend Devon. With help of our female protagonist they manage to take on the guise of British Pop Stars.
Young Adult or Young Twenties?
Described as a super wacky comedy for fans of Doctor Who, Douglas Adams, David Bowie or Muse, Dating an Alien Pop Star is a light-read and pleasant story. There are many references to artists, television shows, magazines, fashion brands and more. Although said to be a YA novel, there are a few deviations from the norm. The main character is already 29 years old, for instance. This is older than YA characters tend to be. As a protagonist at the end of her twenties she has other worries on her mind than teenagers nearing the end of their teen years, and the scenes about jobs and relationships might fit in the New Adult category more.They might be a bit more mature than expected from a YA, but only just a little. Teens might enjoy the story as much as those in their twenties.
By writing a New Adult rather than a YA, Kendra has expanded her reach and probably attracts a greater audience with her story – as many adults will love it too. Her character of Daisy is very recognizable, whether she reminds us of ourselves or of friends we have. Kendra’s writing gives us a constant insight in the mind of Daisy, and ideas, wishes, and random thoughts keep us amused. Just consider the following quote and try not to fall in love with the character. Daisy, on page 9, at the very start of the story is introduced as someone who thinks herself to be: ”So eternally single that I’ve started getting advertisements in the mail for solo vacations.” (p.9)
Why Daisy is Wanda
The alien boys initially ask Daisy for information. They want to know where they can find David Bowie – an assumed alien pop star and a reference that has, unknowingly at the time of writing, placed the story within a time frame as it must have taken place somewhere in the past, before Bowie’s death. When she can’t tell them where he is, they decide that she is decent enough to ask for tips on how to dress and she’s officially been taken on a journey.
Being kidnapped, in this book, would rather be defined as travelling, rather voluntarily, across all the hot bars and celebrity places New York has to offer with two attractive aliens and their bodyguards. It’s a lovely turn on the usual alien abduction tale where the human is taken from Earth in, quite often, rather unpleasant ways. Her alien captors are energetically optimistic. Griffin has no qualms in acknowledging to interviewers that he has slept with Daisy, for instance. That he embarrasses her – they shared a bed and nothing more – causes for awkward and at the same time funny situations. They have their own view of our world and cling to it, not caring if their behaviour makes them look weird or eccentric to the human race. Their stubbornness and ignorance shows best in the way the boys hazard a guess to find out Daisy’s name. They call her Wanda, to which she replies by giving her real name. Unfortunately they don’t seem to care that her name is Daisy, and for the entire length of the tale our protagonist is addressed – despite correcting and showing her dislike at every given opportunity – as Wanda. Her dry attempt at getting back at Griffin by calling him Cosmo seems to fail. she finds him reading the Cosmo magazine the next day. I told you I would come back to it.
Becoming pop stars and being loved by everyone isn’t their sole objective though, and troubles from their home planet follow them to Earth. There’s more behind the visit of these boys. Curious as to what it is yet? And why did they choose Daisy to guide them? Will she sleep with Griffin? What’s this about a fiancee? First in a series, in this book Kendra has combined – as she described it herself – her own “love of goofy humor, music, and sci fi.” And it works brilliantly. In short this tale is made by the modern day references, the handsome alien men, the behaviour of the fans, the addressing of sexism, the misconceptions when it comes to fashion (Victoria’s Secret… that brand is worn without anything else, right?), the relatable heroine, and most of all the happy tone of the tale. Once you start reading it’s hard to stop, and this book will easily be finished. Not to worry, there are more parts to look forward too!
[ 2016, Crimson Tree Publishing ]