256p. ebook available. Tor Teen. Jul. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780765336576.
Gr 8 Up—Mana loves her quiet life. She loves that her mother babies her. She loves that her two best friends, Seppie and Lyle, constantly support her, both on the cheerleading mat and off of it. Although, lately things have been a little confusing with Lyle. And then there's Dakota, the cute percussionist in the school band. Mana is looking forward to seeing Dakota at the basketball game, until he begins spitting green acid out of his mouth and trying to kill her. Without realizing what's happening, the heroine begins to activate some superhuman gymnastic fight moves. Before the night is over, she learns that aliens are real, they have ransacked her house, and her mother is missing. The aliens are hunting for something, and everyone seems to think that Mana has whatever it is that they're after. Who can she trust? And will she find her mother before it's too late? A witty and self-aware heroine carries this entertaining adventure story. Breezy banter and a few well-placed one-liners are sure to incite smiles. The novel's greatest strength is its relatability. Everyone has envied someone with a mother like Mana's or has pitied someone with a mother like Lyle's. The protagonist's conflicted feelings about her crush will be instantly familiar to readers who have ever developed unexpected feelings for a friend. Frequent sexual euphemisms make this a better choice for older teens.
VERDICT This quick, lighthearted romp is a perfect choice for readers who like their romance served with a side of alien butt-kicking action.

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