Monday, January 25, 2016

STUCK ON EARTH by David Klass

Stuck on Earth
Tom Filber is constantly taunted by his neighbors and classmates.  They have nicknamed him "Alien."  Little does he know he is considered to be a "perfect" fourteen year old subject whose body is about to be taken over by a real, snail-like alien by the name of Ketchvar III.

Ketchvar III has been sent from his home planet to study humans and return with a report indicating whether or not the human race is worth preserving.  Ketchvar assures a frightened Tom that the takeover of his body will be painless.  Ketchvar tells Tom he will simply slither through Tom's nostril and take possession of his brain.  No big deal.  Yikes!

Ketchvar completes the takeover and begins his study.  The first thing he notices is that Tom's family is in turmoil.  His father and mother fight constantly, mostly about money and their lack of it.  Tom's sister Sally is an evil young woman who spends her time playing her cello badly and making life miserable for Tom.

Tom's life outside of his family is not much better.  He is bullied at school and has no real friends.  The only highlight in his life is his crush on his beautiful neighbor Michelle Peabody.  Ketchvar's initial observations reveal very few redeeming qualities about the human race. 

Oddly, no one seems to notice much difference in Tom after he is possessed by an alien.  He and Ketchvar manage to find a peaceable way to inhabit the same body, and with Ketchvar controlling things, Tom's relationship takes some interesting turns.  Ketchvar strikes up a friendship with Michelle that has her revealing some of her darkest secrets.  He is also able to chat with Tom's father, discussing things the two have never felt comfortable discussing before.  As Ketchvar spends more time with humans, he begins to understand what makes them tick.

Author David Klass uses humor and clever dialogue to create this page turner.  STUCK ON EARTH will make readers laugh at the same time it makes them angry and a bit more conscious of who they might be as human beings.  Released in 2010, readers might have to search a bit to find a copy, but it is worth the time and energy.

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