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Mothership (The Ever-Expanding Universe) Hardcover – July 10, 2012

53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Juno meets aliens, sort of, in this wacky debut novel. Sixteen-year-old Elvie Nara’s wisecracking voice is the perfect vehicle for her description of encounters with threatening aliens. An extremely clever premise that is skillfully carried off by the authors. Lots of humor, snarky teen comments, and earthy language abound. This reviewer cannot wait to see the next installment of Elvie’s alien encounters. Teens who like irreverent humor, as well as fans of science fiction, are going to enjoy spending time with Elvie and her friends.”

“This science-fiction–comic romp set in a space-based school for pregnant teens hits the funny bone and adds in an alien conflict for good measure. Elvie narrates the adventure, wisecracking the whole time. Leicht and Neal keep the focus mostly on wacky comedy, but it's a creditable adventure as well. Fans of science fiction and zany comedy should both be satisfied. Pure fun.”


“The fast-paced action, laugh-out-loud moments, and memorable characters [are a] a whole lot of fun.”

--Publishers Weekly

“This action-packed first volume in the Ever-Expanding Universe series drips with sci-fi kitsch, including ray-gun-toting aliens and 1980s John Hughes nostalgia. There’s something refreshing about these witty, cursing, sarcastic teen mothers in space, led by a sharp, knowledgeable, and vulnerable young heroine.”


“Authors Martin Leicht and Isla Neal balance Elvie’s significant decisions about the future of herself and her baby with plenty of action, humor and interesting characters. This futuristic romp will delight readers and leave them anxiously awaiting the next book in what promises to be a fun, thoughtful trilogy.”


About the Author

Martin Leicht decided at the age of three that he wanted to spend his life spinning stories, and he went on to receive his MA from the Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing at NYU. He lives in New York City, though his heart will always be in Philadelphia.

Isla Neal grew up in a small mountain town in Southern California and earned her MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Teens at the New School in in New York City, where she currently lives and works.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Ever-Expanding Universe (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (July 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442429607
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442429604
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,832,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By The Compulsive Reader VINE VOICE on July 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Elvie had a plan: get good grades and get a great job after school that allows her to travel the universe. But that plan got derailed by Cole, and now she's pregnant and attending the Hanover School for for Expecting Teen Mothers on a space ship orbitting Earth. Things are going as well as can be expected considering Elvie is pregnant and her arch-nemesis is a fellow student at the school...and pregnant with Cole's baby as well. But when a bunch of hot pirates board the ship just a few weeks short of Elvie's due date and tell the girls that they're not safe, things get interesting. And when it turns out that Cole is one of her so-called rescuers...well, then things get complicated.

Mothership is a wacky and hilarious novel reminiscent of Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicolson books...if Rennison had written about teen pregnancy and aliens. Everything about this book, from the characters to the plot, is very quirky, but engagingly so. The humor is intelligent and quick to grab your attention, but not so out there as to lose your attention. Elvie is an excellent narrator; she's plucky, smart, and a little guy crazy, but that doesn't dimish her intelligence. On the surface she may appear to be silly and superficial, but she really is a mature, resourceful character who has a lot of dreams and is struggling to make the best decisions for her baby and herself, and with feeling betrayed by Cole. She definitely doesn't sit around and wait for anyone to save her, and even eight months pregnant, she is kicking butt. The secondary characters are well-developed as well; Elvie's dad is pretty cool, even if he has trouble communicating with her and her best friend Duckie is fun and supportive in the best of ways.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Emily Cooney on July 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I wasn't sure what to expect from a YA book about a pregnant teenager grappling with an alien crisis but figured what the heck?! The book is fantastic. It is fast-paced, creative, and smart. The authors did a wonderful job in creating the heroine, and providing a framework (albeit unusual) for working through difficult life issues and choices. I loved Elvie, and really appreciated the fine balance of her being a "silly teenage girl" and a "smart young woman" at the same time. There are a couple of points where I did go "c'mon!" when a part of the story didn't totally work for me, but acknowledge that in the overall scheme it made sense. Anyone from the Philly area will definitely enjoy many of the references! Overall a great read, and worth sharing with your friends - especially Dads who have little girls!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Aliza Hausman VINE VOICE on November 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I picked up this book on a whim after seeing it listed on Amazon Vine. It sounded so preposterous and the cover art was so out-there that it seemed more reasonable to get the book for free than to pay for it. I really had no idea what to expect and my expectations were really low.

Elvie is a heroine in the vein of the award-winning film, Juno. She's sarcastic. She's witty. She's a smart aleck. She's too mature for her age and wise beyond her years...but she's also a pregnant teenager in 2074, when leaps in medicine seem to prevent most teenage pregnancy as well as most diseases and the Space Program is so advanced that you can go to school in space! Circa 2012, Elvie would be that clever outsider in "Glee" club and "nerdy" space club material while still remaining too-cool-for-school.

With the support of a cool, but totally platonic best friend and a wonderful Dad, Elvie decides to spend junior year in space at the Hanover School for Expecting Teen Mothers. She figures that she can use her time in space to try figuring out if she can balance her dreams for her future and being a mother. But at Hanover, where Elvie expects to get her life back on track and avoid general high school drama including any drama surrounding her Baby Daddy, Cole, a dumb, gorgeous classmate, Elvie must face her archnemesis, a typical mean girl type who Cole has also impregnated. That impending catfight alone would make things interesting but Elvie is destined for greater things than she ever imagined.

Because getting her life on track (Elvie dreams of a career working on an innovative Mars project) becomes real complicated for Elvie when her Baby Daddy shows up at the Hanover School along with a bunch of hot commandos who are hijacking the ship.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DelusionalAngel VINE VOICE on July 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Okay first of all this is considered a YA book. Whenever I read a book that parents might still be buying for kids I like to post warnings if I feel sensitive readers will be ticked off to not learn of before buying a book. Well this is one of those books that needs those warnings. A quick reading of the summary and you'll see that this is a book about pregnant teens, so there should be no surprises there. While we're dealing with a school full of pregnant teens there is actually very little talk of sex (there's really only one sex "scene" and it's not graphic). There is cursing, which will send some people ranting and raving and possibly silently using some 4 letters words themselves, I don't find that offensive, but some people don't even want such words in adult books so, yeah fair warning. There are some brief mentions / discussions of whether or not to terminate pregnancies though as this book is set in the future the laws have changed (I won't spoil it), it's not done in an offensive way especially given the circumstances, but yeah there's that. The strongest warning this book should come with is actually re: the violence. The violent scenes while not overly detailed are still quite graphic and are primarily against the pregnant teens. In other words? Very sensitive readers should just stay away.

That said, I debated between 4 and 5 stars on this one. There were a few things that bugged me here and there. Slightly overused slang (not to the point of abuse, but very very close). Unrealistic scenes even for this story. Still, I ended up going with 5 because, well, it was a fast fun read. I don't mind that this book will be a series and I've been so over picking up new series books, so that's good. I loved Elvie.
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