I just finished The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex about 2 seconds ago, and I immediately feel the need to blog about it. Technically, it's a Middle Reader/Young Adult novel, but, really, who needs labels? The truth of the matter is that Smekday is awesome regardless of how old you are.
The story is narrated by 11-year-old Gratuity Tucci (her friends call her "Tip"). Aliens (Boov) have invaded the earth, her mom has been abducted, and she has decided to drive by herself (with only her cat, Pig, for company) from Pennsylvania to Florida, where the humans are being corralled by the Boov. Luckily, she's been practicing her driving skills for months and has gotten pretty darn good. Along the way, she picks up a stray Boov named J-Lo, who has wicked alien mechanical skills and a quirky sense of humor. J-Lo's on the run from his fellow Boovs after having made one teensy little blunder while working on the radio antenna farm where he was stationed. That teensy mistake turns out to be a bit larger than he lets on, but that's something you'll come to understand when you come here, buy the book, find a sunny spot in the park, pop open a cold beverage, and enter Rex's unique, post-apocolyptic vision.
The thing is, this book is seriously funny. Like, chuckle-softly-to-yourself-so-onlookers-think-you're-a-little-weird funny; but also guffaw-out-loud-so-passersby-cross-the-street-to-avoid-you funny. It's also smart, cute, snarky, heartwarming, clever (both wordplay-wise and in the way it connects the alien invasion with the colonization of America and the subsequent oppression of Native Americans) and, I can't stress this enough, HILARIOUS!
Now I will have to spend the rest of my day searching for another book that is going to be as satisfying. Luckily, I work at a bookstore, so I should be able to find something...