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Of Jenny and the Aliens

2.76  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Ten years after Earth sent messages out into deep space, there has been an answer. Music from a distant planet has reached the our radios. Are aliens about to invade? No one knows, and almost-eighteen-year-old Derek doesn’t really care, because at a wild end-of-the-world party, Jennifer Novak invites him to play beer pong. And things…progress from there. Derek is in love. ...more
Hardcover, 345 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Candlewick Press
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Average rating 2.76  · 
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 ·  111 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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catherine ♡
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
My problem with this wasn't the crude humor or the mentions of sex - it was more the fact that I just didn't really know what was going on. Of Jenny and the Aliens has a really fun and quirky writing style, which made the book fly by super quickly, but overall I could have done without the narrator's odd obsession over a girl he had only known for a few days. I really liked the alien aspect of this book actually - but all the side characters, especially the best friend and Jenny herself - made m ...more
Jun 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
I was here for this premise because, well, aliens. Unfortunately, very early on I realized I was going to be disappointed. It had an extremely crude type of humor that I've never been a fan of. On a side note, I'm not sure I'd personally classify this as YA due to that crude humor.
I received an ecopy of this book through Netgalley; however, my opinions are my own.
Ryan Gebhart
May 30, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: i-wrote-this
I wrote this book. It's about first love and discovering that we're not alone in the universe. It's pretty incredible, ngl. ...more
❤ Aly ❤
Feb 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
The only reason that I am giving this book a 1 is because I personally know the setting. I also didn't mind the writing style.

(view spoiler)
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Derek is a toxic person and Jenny isn't all roses either. We don't even get to find what her deal and why she is so emotionally stunned.

The only redeemable characters in this book are the alien family and Avery.

I did enjoy this book in the same way I enjoy low budgeted, terrible films to only make jokes throughout.

(view spoiler)
Paige Hettinger
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs
I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Full Review:

I wanted to like this book. I really did. But it was juvenile, underdeveloped, and impossible for me to be more annoyed with. I'm simply not interested in seeing the perpetuation of "nerd culture" and unrealistic representations of women. I think there are readers out there who will enjoy this book, maybe find it endearing or relatable, not "fake
Feb 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
After ten years with no reply from messages sent out into space, there is an answer, and it is music, alien music. At first, Derek doesn’t really care about the whole aliens making contact thing because he is more focused on something else, more like someone else, Jenny Novak. Derek is in love with Jenny and willing to do anything to make her love him back. Anything. This is a story about what happens when you love a girl more than anything else in the world, including the whole world.

The cover
Emily Fitzgerald
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 25, 2017 added it
Okay, it's not secret if you follow my blog, I love me some supernatural creatures - especially the mythological kind that people love to hunt for on stupid reality shows. You've got Finding Bigfoot and ridiculous ghost shows and...aliens. ALIENS ARE SO COOL TOO, and they have the best encounter stories. So, of course, I was looking forward to another alien book (especially after my other YA one didn't go so well earlier this summer), and I'm so glad tot ell you that that it ended up working out ...more
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Wow, where to begin....

Derek’s toxic nature makes you cringe throughout the book. In fact, most people in this book will make you cringe. The only people that were interesting at all were the aliens.

I picked up this book while weeding my library’s collection, and the description sounded so bizarre and terrible I just had to read it. This story would’ve been sooooo much better if it didn’t include so much sex. There is such a good story in there that they could’ve focused on instead, but the mai
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Mandy C.
Cover Story: Emoji Rebus
BFF Charm: Nay
Swoonworthy Scale: 2
Talky Talk: Boy Brain
Bonus Factor: Aliens
Relationship Status: Look Me Up in a Decade or Two

Read the full book report here.
Sarah Bohl
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
American Pie + Aliens + Love

I have to admit that this book was not right for me. BUT, before you write it off, let me tell you about it.

Derek--red-blooded teen, product of a broken home, and sometimes stoner--is in love with Jenny--a beautiful (and out of Derek's league) teen who loves to make hilarious t-shirts (her NBA design can't be beat), write screenplays, and even has a snow cone maker in her basement. And, well, with life on another planet discovered and contact recently established, w
Steve Tetreault
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
What it's about: 18-year-old Derek lives in a world where aliens have just contacted Earth. During a drunken "Is this the end of the world?" party, he runs into Jenny, a girl he's had a crush on since moving to Cleveland five years ago. They hook up, and Derek is head-over-heels in love. But when Jenny doesn't requite his feelings, Derek is left to figure out what he's supposed to do about it. He seeks assistance from an alien, who happens to make first contact with Derek. The alien is pretty ch ...more
Zachary Houle
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Alright, class, may I have your attention? Professor Zach is in the house, and today we’re looking at a young adult novel from Ryan Gebhart called Of Jenny and the Aliens. Sometimes, I like to read YA books because, if they don’t make me feel younger, they are easy to read and that’s all you’re looking for on a hot summer’s day. (Cold winter days, too.) Well, I did feel some pangs of nostalgic first love when I read the book. It’s about a kid named Derek, who’s a bit of a geek, who falls in love ...more
May 31, 2018 rated it did not like it
DNF page 117

What even is this? I'm over 100 pages in and I have no idea what's going on or if there's even a plot to follow.

--The interesting: Aliens have contacted Earth!
--Not so interesting: It's just a random kid alien who smokes space weed with the main character because sometimes he likes to hang out in Ohio. Because that makes a lot of sense.
--Even less interesting than that: Starship Troopers-style war propaganda with another country and the occasional "war is hell" from jaded teens
Ms. Yingling
Apr 30, 2017 rated it liked it
I adore this author's There Will Be Bears, but this book is definitely more for high school or even college students. Stylistically, it's engaging and funny, and there's fantastic character development. Unfortunately (for me), there's also drinking, drugs, nudity, sex, and a lot of other vulgarity. Like Geoff Herbach, Gebhart groks his demographic, but I could not even bring myself to hand this to a 19-year-old I know. Maybe the next book will be middle grade! ...more
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Goodreads Synopsis:
Ten years after Earth sent messages out into deep space, there has been an answer. Music from a distant planet has reached the our radios. Are aliens about to invade? No one knows, and almost-eighteen-year-old Derek doesn’t really care, because at a wild end-of-the-world party, Jennifer Novak invites him to play beer pong. And things…progress from there. Derek is in love. Deeply, hopelessly in love. He wants it all—marriage, kids, growing old on a beach in Costa Rica. Jenny is
Imogen K. Kahn
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Candlewick Press and LibraryThing for this opportunity.

When I started reading this book, I immediately hated it. The characters are all jerks. I think if I met a single one of them in real life, the kindest reaction I would have would be a serious eye roll and getting as far away as possible.

Yeah, I know, I'm pretty judgmental.

But I kept reading the story. Just because I don't like the characters as people, doesn'
Jul 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
I read this book in June of 2017 and it has taken me this long to write the review because I thought I’d DNF and try again, but after a second foray into this story…I just can’t. I made it a full 25% before I had to back away or risk throwing my Kindle.

Of Jenny and the Aliens is the worst parts of The Catcher in the Rye meets Bright Lights Big City. It’s full of crude and sometimes downright repulsive and exploitative depictions of women from the mind of a sexually frustrated teenage boy. Maybe
Aug 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Of Jenny and the Aliens was a cute story about Derek and Jenny who get together at an "End of the World" party on the day that aliens contact earth from Pud 5. Jenny and Derek were never really meant to be, but Derek falls helplessly in love with the girl who only wants a fun, open relationship. Derek makes friends with Karo, an alien from Pud 5, and uses him to help solve his love problems with Jenny.

Overall, this book kept my interest throughout. However, it was not my favorite read of the sum
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: not-graphic, life, sci-fi, ya
An authentic exploration of first love, the type of confusing, all-consuming obsession that can't be brought into perspective by anything on earth. So Derek is lucky to have the advice of a friendly alien. Of course, that doesn't mean everything is easy. He is still on a roller coaster ride of emotional extremes as he tries to figure things out, with regular dives into alcohol, drugs, and extraterrestrial encounters adding a hallucinatory quality to the experience. He doesn't have time to join e ...more
G Su
Jul 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Not too bad. Felt pretty chaotic at times, but overall the plot was driven along well through development and revelations of character and backstory. One complain I have is of the reactions to the aliens themselves. I don't think people, especially Derek's family, would actually react that way to Derek's escapades... Also, Jenny's motivation confused me. (view spoiler) ...more
Jul 04, 2017 added it
Shelves: dnf
I have never given a book an one star rating. I was given this ARC through NetGalley so thanks to them. I wanted the copy because it looked like a cute book, I was wrong. This book is science fiction which I don't mind but can the author at least write it right? Like yeah aliens cool but have fun with it! Also, the "couple" had sex and it will casually mention it like teenagers are having sex daily (which again is scary to me but hey you do you) and I was disgusted. Please do not read this if yo ...more
Samantha Myers
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
I received an advance copy of this via Netgalley and Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to like this. The cover seemed fun and I've always been interested in "alien" portrayals in fiction going back to when I was a teen but unfortunately I just couldn't get into this one. I don't know if it was Derek or Jenny or the both of them or maybe I missed something but this book just didn't work for me.
Mandi Schneck
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Netgalley and Candlewick Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This book was SO different than what's out there right now. Yes it was boy meets girl, but it was so much more than that. It was a quick read, but one that sticks with you. What Derek did for Jenny I think will hit home with a lot of people, not just in the sense of how much you love someone, but the existentialism of how much is really out there, the meaning of life, all that jazz. I think this book had a lot o
Did not love the MC—at all—but the book could have been entertaining were it not for him.

Check out my full review at Forever Young Adult.
Sep 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen-older, scifi
Definitely a very weir ride with a very unsatisfying romance. It seemed like a smash up of a romance and lighthearted sci-fi. It seemed to work at times but at others left one feeling annoying. The visit to the alien world was extraordinary and would almost give it another star for that.
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fiction, sci-fi
I got a couple of laughs from this book, but I think I might be too old to fully appreciate this tale of heart-wrenching first love and first heartbreak. Ryan Gebhart's writing reminds me of Jesse Andrews (Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl; Haters) and Andrew Smith's Grasshopper Jungle. ...more
Jennifer Wrage
Jan 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
Started and stopped. Maybe it is because I am "old" and a "teacher," but I can't dedicate myself to the time it will take to finish this. If you like racy, trashy teenage escapades, this is for you. It's just not for me. ...more
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Ryan Gebhart was born and raised in Maumee Ohio and graduated from Ohio University with a master's degree in Spanish (he can hablar some español like a boss). His debut middle grade There Will Be Bears, about getting older, best friends, and a bear, is a selected title for seven state reading lists. His debut young adult Of Jenny and the Aliens, about first love and discovering that we're not alon ...more

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