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VINE VOICEon November 12, 2010
As the title says, this story is "Just Plain Weird". About the time you think it can't get any weirder, sure enough it does! Its one long romp from one thing to the next with a lot of weird mixed in. It has nice balance with the weird and the plausible that pretty much keeps the story close to something possible. That's what helps keep the story interesting enough that you just won't want to put it down. So make sure you have plenty of time before you start reading it.

"Spoiler Warning" After posting this review I thought maybe I should put in this warning. Some people might consider parts of the rest of my review as a spoiler by telling too much of the story plot & etc. I tried to tell enough to let you know what its about and get you interested without telling too much of it. So don't say I spoiled the story for you by telling too much if you read past this.

This was one fun read! Once I started reading it and got about 3 pages into it I just couldn't put it down till I had finished it, at about 2:30 in the morning! I haven't run across a book that has done that to me in a long time. It starts out with the teenage boy, 15 yr old Travis, from a upper lower class or lower middle class family that has some new people move in next door. When they moved in he noticed that there was a pretty girl about his age that was part of the family that moved in. It didn't take long for him to notice that things were a little weird about them. He gets curious when he notices that no one has entered or left the house after they had first moved in and that neither of the two cars in the drive have moved. So he starts watching the house with his telescope from his tree house in his back yard.

He only has one friend, of the geek variety that's pretty weird himself, that he just calls Raffles. Raffles catches Travis spying on the house next door from the tree house and talks him into going over and give them a "welcome to the neighborhood visit" to see what they can find out about them. That's when Travis gets his first good look at Eliza, the girl next door, and falls instantly in love with her. Being an average guy it takes him a while to figure out that he has fallen in love with her. It's during they're welcome visit that Raffles notices something weird about the house next door. It's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

The next day Travis gets to finally talk to Eliza when she comes outside and starts to mow the backyard. He ends up helping her with all the yard work and after a bit of a touchy first start they get more comfortable with each other and it isn't long before they have that feeling that they've known each other for years. After they finish the yard work Eliza takes Travis out for a drive in a nice brand new Lexus and that's when things start getting very weird.

From there things move pretty fast. They get involved with an alien artifact that is several hundred thousands of yrs old. The artifact turns out to be a space ship that has lost its crew and has been waiting all those yrs for someone to tell it what to do. So they decide to help it get back to its home by doing a little time traveling with it and end up breaking the moon, helping another set of aliens find the earth that strips the planet of all its resources and wipes out all life on the Earth.

After a lot of other side adventures they eventually get everything fixed, the time line straightened out, fix the moon, and make it so that the evil aliens don't find the earth. Putting everything pretty much back to normal before they head off looking for something else wild to do for fun.

There is one thing that should be fixed. It was very poorly edited and has several places where the words and the spelling are mixed to the point its almost dyslexic. Even the most basic word program could have corrected a lot of mistakes in its writing. Its like it was written using only "note pad". Frequently there's at least a couple of mistakes on almost every page and quit often there's several mistakes to a page. It gets to the point that its frequently distracting and breaks the flow of the reading to the point of being irritating. But these are things that are mostly the publishers fault and doesn't change the story or keep it from being a fun and entertaining read.
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on April 15, 2012
Wow, this was a brilliant read!!! I have to admit tho, i got lost here and there with all the technical terms, LOL, but i still pressed
on wanting to find out what happened next. It's fast-paced, slows down a bit with the flashbacks but they're obviously all essential
to the story. Spotted several typos past the halfway mark but they're easy to ignore when you're caught up in it. Well done Mr. Upton!
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VINE VOICEon May 18, 2012
I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. Once I started reading it, I had a hard time putting it down.

The main characters are two young teens. One is a boy named Travis who understands he has the 'kick me' sign on his back and that he really doesn't fit into society as teens understand it. The other is a girl named Eliza who has all sorts of weird going on in her home. There are some other characters in this book: Eliza's dad, Travis's mom and his best friend. They are part of the story only as a means of moving the plot forward.

Travis and Eliza meet and it's love at first sight. But very quickly, Travis realizes just how Weird the going ons at Eliza's house really are when she drives him off of a cliff and he survives.
Before the novel is over Travis will break the moon, fix the moon, and communicate with an alien via computer. And all of this he does for love.

The book is a fast read. It was not a laugh out loud book but more of a chuckle quietly book full of light hearted fun. The romance isn't too sickly sweet. This is a book that will appeal to boys as well as girls I believe.

As with all Kindle books; there seems to be a problem with proof reading. I hope that gets fixed soon because that would be the one thing that would bring the rating down lower. Fortunately in this book the typos and words spelled wrong are not so obvious. You can ignore them and move on.

Well worth the money. Enjoy.
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on November 5, 2009
My 9-year old son is an avid reader. In his words, "the book wasn't as funny as I expected," but was still completely engrossing to him.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon September 22, 2013
The very many favorable reviews of this book rightly remark on the appeal of its plot, science fiction angles and beguiling weirdness. But there is another aspect of this book that elevates it beyond just entertainingly weird sci-fi. It is one of the freshest and most engaging YA romances that I've read in quite some time. I don't mean vampy romance or cute guy adventure romance or prom drama romance. I mean that it is a gentle and insightful treatment of a nice guy falling for the first time for a girl and coming to grips with the weirdness of that whole situation. The tag line for this book is "Young Love Has Never Been This Complicated", and instead of the usual, standard, pretty much overdone complications, Mr. Upton introduces over-the-top sci-fi and inter dimensional quantum physics complications. But at the heart of, and underlying, all of the action and all of the crazy plot contrivances, you still just have a regular guy struggling for the first time to try and understand the thoughts and feelings of a girl he likes. The fact that this girl is smart, willful, mercurial and maybe just a little bit dangerous just increases the stakes.

And, Upton is remarkably insightful and very amusing in a deadpan sort of way. There are a lot of very funny conversations here, and our hero, Travis, has a running interior monologue that is particularly engaging. Middle grade social trauma and unease is handled delicately and with authorial good humor. At one point our hero, Travis, thoughtlessly does and says things that hurt our heroine's, (Eliza's), feelings. She becomes angry and Travis becomes confused about what just happened and how he feels. Two scenes follow from this - first, Travis has to figure out that for the first time in his life he has someone who cares enough about him to be hurt by what he does and says. This is not belabored but handled honestly and sincerely. (Whole, earnest YA books have been written on this theme, and Upton just slips it in as subtly and naturally as can be.) But second, after the incident giving rise to the crisis, Travis has a conversation about Eliza with Eliza's father that is effortlessly hilarious, rueful, and clueless on the part of both man and boy. I'm not convinced there are that many books out there that can tell an exciting story, present such engaging and interesting and well developed characters, and toss in some middle grade romance - but this one succeeds in doing just that.

Now don't get me wrong. This isn't "Wuthering Heights". It's breezy and energetic and cinematic. It's written from the guy's point of view so the relationship bits are in easily digestible bits. It seems to me the whole enterprise is just energetic and ramshackle and breathless and personable enough to really grab a younger reader. Add some sharp observations, a good team of characters, and a general sense of good humor and you have this book in a nutshell.

So, if you want to think of this book as sort of entry level middle grade bizarro fiction - well, that's fair. Just remember, there's a lot more than that going on here, and it's all good.

Please note that I found this book while browsing Amazon Kindle freebies. I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
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on January 22, 2013
It took me a bit to get into the story. I was wondering to see how events would turn out so I kept on reading. But then the author hooked me good. Some reviewers found it hilarious but not me; made me smile from time to time with little humor infused here and there, but not hilarious. I am a French speaking grand-mother who enjoyed all kinds of reading from paranormal,to sci-fy, to historical romance and a lot more. I would say that this book, with its action/sci-fy/time travel and sweet romance would definitely be interesting for young teens, boys and girls alike. The author has a good imagination and wrote a great story.
It is too bad that the author, who I am sure target teens as an audience, and used a rich vocabulary did not pursue with a good editing. My goodness, this was simply not edit at all, it was really annoying. I am sure that an English teacher would have a lot of material to cover in asking his students to correct/edit this book ;-)
I do not agree with some reviewers who said it was written for all audience. For parents who would order this book for younger readers (9 or so years old) be careful there is a scene of sexual content that you might not find appropriate.
I enjoyed it. It was an entertaining read and I believe it was written with the possibility of a sequel. If it is the case, I would certainly read it.
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on June 27, 2016
Very well written, surprised by the content. I enjoyed it very much and even found myself reading when I normally don't. Had to know what happened next.

I also enjoyed the characters. Upton did a good job making me see life like a teen would. Great book, I will be reading this author again.
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on June 14, 2016
In the book, Travis says the first honest thing that comes to mind when he first meets Eliza, and my first thought is: I liked it. It was weird, quirky, totally out there, and very unusual from any other fantasy book that I have read. Needless to say, Tom Upton is another author to look forward to in the world of science fiction. 4/5 stars.
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on May 26, 2013
2.5 Stars
This book was beyond frustrating. The premise was actually pretty imaginative: ya alien/sci-fi with a little teenage romance thrown in. However, there were SO many errors that I was too distracted to even enjoy the book. I literally found myself proofreading it as I went along. Now, I am by no means a book snob, nor do I have a degree in English or literature. With that said, I feel that if an author is going to put in the effort of writing and publishing a book, he/she should at least take the time to make sure the grammar is correct and there are no glaring mistakes. Because let me tell you, there were a ton of them.

Aside from the atrocious errors, the writing was...okay. For one, there were many instances when a character would launch into a multi-paragraph narrative that seemed to drag on forever! The author seemed to be telling the story rather than showing it. As well, I was somewhat confused by the characters. Their personalities seemed to change often, and the dynamics of their relationships just didn't make sense to me. There were times when a character would act angry/annoyed/happy/in love/etc. without any justification behind the emotion. The book lacked a solid direction and floundered at times. 

All-in-all, I don't feel like this book was worth the few hours that it took to read it. It pains me to say that, because I really like to support self-published authors. The idea behind the book was good. With several more edits and some beta readers, this book could have been much, much better.
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on April 19, 2016
I liked this book very much and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys scientifically plausible speculative fiction. At first it starts with a fairly "normal" set up between an awkward teenage boy and the cute but strange girl who moves in next door. After about a third of the story, however, the plot takes an entirely unexpected and darker twist that made me literally yell out, "wow!" I don't want to spoil it for you so I won't say what happens... It was a little scary and, again, not what I expected. However, I was glad to see that the author had put some serious thought into what his new scenario would actually look and feel like. This was one of the most original storylines that I have read this year.
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