Henry is trying to be the good kid. His good-for-nothing older brother just dropped out of school, his grandmother is slowly losing her memories, and his mom really needs him to keep it together. So when his boyfriend commits suicide, seemingly without warning, and then aliens abduct Henry and offer him the chance to save the world or allow it to be destroyed, he doesn't tell his mom. When he is tormented at school by bullies, he lets his mom berate him all the way home, because Henry is supposed to be the good kid, and he's thinking about letting the aliens blow up the world. Maybe it's not worth saving.
I started reading this book and though I wouldn't finish it, but Henry's story grew on me. Some of the characters irritated the fire out of me, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. This story is honest and raw and real, and I hurt for Henry as I was reading. This would be an easy book to book-talk to kids who enjoy sad stories or stories where the character has a lot to deal with. It will be on my library's shelves, and I will be book talking it when I have opportunity.
Recommended for: teens
Red Flags: underage drinking and drug use, suicide of Henry's boyfriend, homophobic slurs, bullying of Henry, violence toward various characters, Henry is nearly raped, language
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars
Read-Alikes: The Five Stages of Andrew BrawleyI'll Give You the Sun, Every Ugly Word, The Art of Being Normal