Welcome to the December 5th review stop on the blog tour for Becoming Human by Amy Michelle Carpenter, organized by Silver Dagger Book Tours. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for excerpt spotlights, guest posts, reviews, and a giveaway! (More on that at the end of this post.)
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by Amy Michelle Carpenter
Publishing 8 December 2020
by Immortal Works
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Page Count: 326
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
A redneck boy. An Earth-obsessed alien. And a robotic girl… Three wildly different teenagers must work together, and accept one another, to conserve humanity.
A breathtaking debut with Southern charm, whimsical worlds, and meet-cuteness, for fans of Marie Lu and Lois Lowry.
Carter doesn’t believe in aliens. And he certainly doesn’t defend his dad’s claims that they exist, even if they aired on national television. But then, the girl he’s falling for starts doing strange things, magical things, things that seem a bit out of this world.
Kokab hungers to be a Perfect in a world where her emotions are her greatest flaw. But when her planet faces extinction, her sympathy makes her the best ambassador to persuade humans to accept her people. Failure means invasion, but success means she will never become a Perfect. Ags dreams of graduating from the Academy and becoming a guardian of Earth.
Obsessed with all things human, she’s eager to spend time on the unique planet. But when she uncovers an impending invasion, she’s willing to lose everything, including herself, to stop it.
“Human and alien, complex and sweetly personal, Carpenter’s thoughtful world blends sci-fi with coming of age as three unique worlds collide. This book will make you laugh, make you fall in love, and then make you re-evaluate what it means to be human.” McKelle George, HarperCollins author of Speak Easy Speak Love
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My Rating: 5 Stars
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I was granted complimentary access to an eARC of Becoming Human by Amy Michelle Carpenter through Silver Dagger Book Tours in exchange for an honest review as part of my participation in the blog tour for this title. Thank you to both Amy Michelle Carpenter and Silver Dagger Book Tours for the opportunity! This has not swayed my opinion. My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
Carter is an American teenager trying to live a normal high school student life despite the fact that his father is the disgraced NASA scientist who told the whole world that aliens are real. Kokab, the new exchange student living with Carter, is quite literally an illegal alien. She’s a Foxian youngling sent ahead to prepare Earth for its new co-inhabitants, arriving in about a month’s time. Ags, a Yadian teenager, is Earth’s newest guardian and human culture enthusiast, and boy has she come into this position with impeccable timing…
I adore this book! This is a beautifully written three-way coming of age story packaged as a character-driven science fiction that’s just science enough to be sci-fi, but not so hard science that it’ll drive away readers who aren’t predisposed to like deep dives into science and technology. Fans of science fiction as a genre will absolutely find enough sci-fi in here to love it, but a prior love of sci-fi is not required. Fans of YA, in general, can still dive in and be swept away by this story. If you forget the fact that two-thirds of the main characters are quite literally aliens and have long-range space ships, it reads like a contemporary fiction novel.
The book is told from the points of view of all three main teenagers plus a few brief interludes by Mr. Aliens-Are-Real Turner (Carter’s father.) POV shifts happen sensibly, keeping the reader caught up on what each character is experiencing as the timeline progresses, and each POV shift is clearly labelled with the character’s name. Even if it weren’t, each teenager thinks, speaks and acts so differently it wouldn’t be difficult to keep track of. I expect if this becomes an audiobook it would be easy for a single narrator to make each narrative voice distinct, as the character are already written that way. I can practically hear their voices now! Carter is a typical 21st-century American teenager and he speaks with a southern drawl. Ags is bubbly and cheerfully intense. She knows enough about Earth’s myriad cultures that she probably strives to sound as mundanely American as possible when walking among Americans, but given a choice she’d probably adopt a French accent. Kokab speaks like a teenage Seven of Nine but with a bit of Nelix’s charming naiveté.
Kokab is by far my favourite character, and I love how woefully unprepared she is to understand the species she’s imitating. She has facts without context. She knows humans are a less advanced species than Foxians, but she doesn’t know what she shouldn’t be able to do, and she has absolutely none of the social experience required to correctly interpret the metaphors and slang being used around her. What’s up? 512 ceiling tiles. Give it a little heart? Well she only has one, that would kill her, but if ordered she must obey…
Can we also just appreciate the fact that pretty much no one questions what sort of a name Abedhakokab Trielldegerata is? She offers it every time she’s asked before providing Kokab as an acceptable abbreviation. Is this a Fes situation? Everybody just accepts that they don’t know where the weird kid came from and they can’t pronounce her name, so Kokab it is? I love it.
Normally I try to critique something, anything about the book in question when I write reviews, but I can’t find anything to critique here. This book is gold! I want to read a dozen more just like it. Read this book!
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Amy Michelle Carpenter is a developmental editor with Eschler Editing and a professional blogger. She’s written hundreds of blogs and news articles for local and national companies. She also has a children’s story in an anthology.
As the daughter of an Army officer, she grew up traveling the country and has lived by sandy beaches, southern woods, towering cities, and the rocky mountains. Now, she resides in the countryside of Tooele, UT with her husband and baby girls. She enjoys seeing what wildlife and farm animals dare venture into her yard only to be chased by her toddlers. Wherever family is is home.
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One lucky follower of the tour will walk away with a $15 Amazon gift card, and another winner will receive an eBook copy of Midnight Sun. Don’t forget to visit other stops on the tour for more chances to enter. Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Comments on “Becoming Human – 5 Star Book Review”
Sounds like my kind of book! My husband has gotten me into sci-fi, and he loves that I am into it. It sounds fascinating, and I’m amazed that you couldn’t find anything to critique about this book!
It’s such a good book! I stayed up way too late to finish when I read it 😅 I wish I had known about YA oriented sci-fi when I was reading sci-fi in high school. I don’t regret all the time I spent hopping back and forth between hard science fiction like Sawyer’s stuff and Mom’s old Star Trek novels, but this sort of thing would have been a game changer.