The Mountain Between US…Book & Movie Review

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Title: The Mountain Between Us

Author: Charles Martin

Publisher: Broadway Books

Date of Publication: August 2017 (first published June 2010)

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Adventure (Survival)

Page Count: 336

 

 

 

Goodreads Synopsis click here

The Mountain Between Us is a romantic survival story about hope that takes place in the mountains near Salt Lake City. This is a unique survival story because the stranded people are complete strangers, a journalist named Ashley (in the movie she’s called Alex), and a doctor named Ben.

The crash enables our two main characters, Ashley and Ben, to see their life from a new perspective, enabling them to learn more about themselves. In the book, the Grover’s Charter pilot, Grover, married for almost fifty years, has advice to give Ben, married for fifteen years, and Ashley, engaged. In the movie the pilot is NOT married! This was incredibly annoying because the difference in their marriage experience offered Grover the opportunity to give Ben and Ashley advice.

 “When I wake up in the morning, she’s holding my hand. I make the coffee, and then she sits with her knees touching mine while we drink it.”

In the book Ben comes up with the idea to take the charter plane, while in the movie it was Ashley’s (Alex) idea. Another big difference between the book and movie is Ashley’s injury. In the book her broken femur leaves her immobile, forcing Ben to create a makeshift sled and pull her for the entire journey, while in the movie her injury isn’t as bad and she is able to walk.

There is a big emphasis on Ben’s running career and climbing experience in the book which helps to explain how he could have the stamina and experience to get them off the mountain. He also had his climbing bag with him, which contained many essential items that helped their survival. This is one of the conveniences that makes the book feel inauthentic. The movie leaves out the running, climbing experience, and the backpack – leaving Ben and Ashley (Alex) to “wing it”. It makes the story feel more authentic, however, it does make me wonder how in the world could they have survived without any kind of gear.

There are many flashbacks in the novel written in italics which makes it easy to follow. The writing style has a good description of the environment, and a great sense of humour. The banter between Ben and Ashley is hilarious and I found myself laughing more than once, which I wasn’t expecting from a survival story.

Ashley was grinding her teeth when I shook her. “You ready?”

She nodded, sat up. “Any coffee?”

I handed her a mug of fluid that looked more like weak tea. “Go easy. That’s the last of it.”

“It’s already a bad day, and we haven’t even started yet.”

“Think of it this way… every step away from this place is one step closer to a cappuccino at Starbucks.”

She licked her lips. “I love it when you talk dirty to me.”

In the book we get to see Ben making messages to his wife on his recorder, where in the movie this isn’t really shown. Being able to know his thoughts to his wife enables the reader to really get to know Ben and learn more about his marriage. Throughout the novel the reader is trying to figure out why Ben and his wife separated, and the reveal at the end BLEW ME AWAY. I didn’t see that coming at all, and it made me bawl my eyes out. This big reveal doesn’t exist in the movie.

In the book Ben and Ashley can’t remember Grover’s dog’s name so they just call him Tank. Whereas in the movie he remains unnamed. In the book Tank is a fierce warrior and a key player in their survival, however in the movie he’s often absent and it doesn’t really show the impact of trudging through human knee-deep snow for many days.

The plane crash happens very early on in both the book and movie, which amps up the excitement quickly and jumps right into Ben and Ashley being forced to get to know each other while fighting for their life.

I cried a few times while reading, and I don’t cry while reading very often. However, the movie didn’t have the scenes that made me cry, which was disappointing.

One thing the movie did better than the book is the portrayal of women. The are many sexist remarks and ideas in the book that aren’t present in the movie. In fact, Ashley’s (Alex) change in injury alone made her an active participant in their struggle.

I recommend the book and movie for anyone looking for an exciting, emotional, survival story.

 

About the author

http://charlesmartinbooks.com/

Charles Martin (born November 3, 1969) is an author from the Southern United States.[1][2]

Martin earned his B.A. in English from Florida State University and went on to receive an M.A. in Journalism and a Ph.D. in Communication from Regent University. He currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida.[3]

He is the author of thirteen novels: Send Down the Rain (2018), Long Way Gone (2017), Water from My Heart (2015), A Life Intercepted (2014), Unwritten (2013),[1] Thunder and Rain (2012),[2] The Mountain Between Us (2010), Where the River Ends (2008), Chasing Fireflies: A Novel of Discovery (2007), Maggie: The Sequel to The Dead Don’t Dance (Awakening Book 2) (2006), When Crickets Cry (2006), Wrapped in Rain (2005) and The Dead Don’t Dance (Awakening Book 1) (2004).

The Mountain Between Us was made into a major motion picture by 20th Century Fox. Starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba, it was released on October 6, 2017.” (Wikipedia)

 

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Lumberjanes: Beware The Kitten Holy #Bookreview

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Title: Lumberjanes Vol. 1: Beware The Kitten Holy

Written by: Noelle Stevenson & Grace Ellis

Illustrated by: Brooke Allen

Publisher: Boom! Box

Genre: YA Fantasy Sequential Graphic Novel

Date of Publication: April 2015

Page Count: 128

ISBN: 9781608866878

synopsis

FRIENDSHIP TO THE MAX!

At Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for hard-core lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together… And they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here.

Collects Lumberjanes No. 1-4.”

My Review

Written in the form of a handbook with beautiful comic art, Beware The Kitten Holy is a funny adventure with diversity and a great message of female empowerment.

“The Lumberjanes Pledge

I solemly swear to do my best
Every day, and in all that I do,
To be brave and strong,
To be truthful and compassionate,
To be interesting and interested,
To pay attention and question
The world around me,
To think of others first,
To always help and protect my friends,
And to make the world a better place
For Lumberjane scouts
And for everyone else.”

BOOM! STUDIOS HEADED TO CALGARY EXPO AND C2E2 TO MEET WITH ...

Issue One Calgary Expo Exclusive By Megan Hutchison

Mal, Molly, April, Ripley, and Jo are given a cryptic message about the Kitten Holy after being attacked by a pack of three-eyed foxes while attempting to get their Up All Night Badge.

“A Lumberjane knows about the experience and possible truths that can be found when the rest of the world is asleep.”

Rosie, the Camp Director, is a super strong, confident, and chill. “Now, I’m not gonna lie to you girls, you’re gonna see some stuff this summer. Stuff you might not understand. It’ll be hard. But you’re scouts, and you’re made of tougher stuff. So remember that pledge you took, and stick together no matter what.”

Their Cabin Leader Jenny is high-strung, frantically trying to keep the girls out of trouble and follow the rules. The chemistry between Molly and Mal is palpable, and Ripley’s impulsiveness is great comic relief.

I didn’t see the Scouting Lads twist coming! It left me wanting to read the next volume, Lumberjanes Vol. 2: Friendship to the Max.

The Telling by Alexandra Sirowy #bookreview

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Title: The Telling

Author: Alexandra Sirowy

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Date of Publication: August 2016

Genre: YA Contemporary, Horror/Thriller/Mystery

Page Count: 389

ISBN: 9781481418898 (hardback)

 

 

 

synopsis

Lana used to know what was real.

That was before, when her life was small and quiet.

Her golden stepbrother, Ben, was alive.

She could only dream about bonfiring with the populars.

Their wooded island home was idyllic, she could tell the truth from lies, and Ben’s childhood stories were firmly in her imagination.

Then came after.

After has Lana boldly kissing her crush, jumping into the water from too high up, living with nerve and mischief.

But after also has horrors, deaths that only make sense in fairy tales, and terrors from a past Lana thought long forgotten: Love, blood, and murder.”

My Review

I picked this book as my Five Star Prediction read for Contemporaryathon. Sadly, I was greatly disappointed.

“For the girls who are sharks, and those who are kittens, and those who are heroes, and those who are villains.”

The Telling is about a teen named Lana becoming a different person after she witnesses her stepbrother’s murder. Before his murder she was a quiet “kitten”, worried about what other’s thought of her, spending most of her time with her close friend Willa. After his murder she’s becoming a more confident “shark”, hanging out with the popular group of friends known as “the core”: Josh, Carolyn, Rusty, Duncan, and Becca.

My favourite characters are Lana’s stepbrother Ben, a good guy who couldn’t stand living on rich Gant Island after volunteering in Guatemala, and Lana’s best friend Willa, studious, cool-minded, and not impressed by “the core”.

I liked the paranormal aspect of Ben’s stories coming to life. It was a page-turner, but only because I guessed who the killer was really early on, and wanted to find out if I was right (hoping that I was wrong so I could be surprised).

I didn’t feel connected to any of the characters, and wasn’t upset when any of them were in danger. Detective Sweeny and Wood are flat, uninteresting, one-dimensional, typical good cop/bad cop.

It’s disappointing that we never get to meet “Skitzy-Fitzy“, even though he’s mentioned multiple times.

I was really confused when the parents let Detective Sweeny and Wood interview Lana, Willa, and “the core” without a parent or lawyer in the room. The detectives told Lana details about Maggie’s death during the interview which I think should have been kept private. It felt extremely unbelievable that a detective would be giving a suspect that much information about a possible homicide.

The Telling felt like a cheesy horror novel with stereotypical characters that lack real emotion. Pardon the pun, but The Telling did just that – too much “telling”, not enough “showing”.

Even though I didn’t like it, a lot of my friends on Goodreads did. So don’t take my word for it! I recommend The Telling to readers who are into YA horror/mystery stories.

About the author

“I WRITE ABOUT GIRLS WHO RESCUE THEMSELVES, TRUE LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP, SECRETS AND LIES, AND MONSTERS AND HEROES THAT LOOK LIKE ME AND YOU.”

http://www.alexandrasirowy.com/about.html

The Humans by Matt Haig #bookreview

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Title: The Humans

Author: Matt Haig

Publisher: HarperCollins Canada

Date of Publication: July 2013 (first published May 2013)

Page Count: 304

ISBN: 9781443423656

Synopsis on Goodreads click here

The Humans is a funny Science Fiction novel about an alien who comes to Earth to destroy evidence of a mathematical equation which Professor Andrew Martin has solved, and in the process the alien discovers what it means to be human.

“This book, this actual book, is set right here, on Earth. It is about the meaning of life and nothing at all. It is about what it takes to kill somebody, and save them. It is about love and dead poets and wholenut peanut butter. It’s about matter and anti-matter, everything and nothing, hope and hate. It’s about a forty-one-year-old female historian called Isobel and her fifteen-year-old son called Gulliver and the cleverest mathematician in the world. It is, in short, about how to become a human.”

I’ve never read a book like this before. A funny story with an alien coming to Earth to kill a few people to halt human technological progress somehow turned into a very touching narrative about family, love, sacrifice, and forgiveness. The lessons that the alien learn are lessons that we can all appreciate.

The first half of the book was slow for me, and it didn’t keep my attention. Thankfully the last quarter of the book made up for that. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters, and I really didn’t enjoy the choppy chapters. Many chapters were only one page.

My favourite part of The Humans is the 97 points of “Advice for a human”.

” 1. Shame is a shackle. Free yourself.

64. Be alive. That is your supreme duty to the world.

81. You can’t find happiness looking for the meaning of life. Meaning is only the third most important thing. It comes after loving and being.”

I recommend The Humans to adult Sci-Fi fans who can appreciate corny humour.

 

 

 

#ContemporaryAThon TBR

Contemporary-a-thon is a readathon taking place from September 17 – September 23. Check out the Twitter hashtag to follow along 😉

Hosts:

Chelsea from Chelseadolling Reads

Natasha from myreadingisodd

Julie from Pages and Pens

CHALLENGES:
1. Read a contemporary with orange on the cover
2. Read a dark/spooky contemporary
3. Read a diverse contemporary
4. Read a contemporary in a non-traditional format (graphic novel, poem, audio)
5. Read a contemporary that has your initials somewhere on the cover
6. Read a contemporary from a new to you author
7. Read a contemporary that is a 5 star prediction

 

22554204Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy

– Orange on the cover
– Diverse
– Non-Traditional format
– Initials on the cover (AH)
– New to me author

Synopsis: “At Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for hard-core lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together… And they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here.”

25522033The Telling

By Alexandra Sirowy

  • – Dark/Spooky Contemporary
    – 5 Star Prediction
    – New to me

Published August 2016 by Simon & Schuster

389 pages (hardcover)

YA Contemporary, Mystery/Thriller/Horror

Synopsis: “Lana used to know what was real.

That was before, when her life was small and quiet.

Her golden stepbrother, Ben, was alive.

She could only dream about bonfiring with the populars.

Their wooded island home was idyllic, she could tell the truth from lies, and Ben’s childhood stories were firmly in her imagination.

Then came after.

After has Lana boldly kissing her crush, jumping into the water from too high up, living with nerve and mischief.

But after also has horrors, deaths that only make sense in fairy tales, and terrors from a past Lana thought long forgotten: Love, blood, and murder.”

34413706If I somehow finish both of those before the week is done then I’ll read The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin.

Contemporary, Romance, Adventure, Survival

Synopsis: “When a blizzard strands them in Salt Lake City, two strangers agree to charter a plane together, hoping to return home; Ben Payne is a gifted surgeon returning from a conference, and Ashley Knox, a magazine writer, is en route to her wedding. But when unthinkable tragedy strikes, the pair find themselves stranded in Utah’s most remote wilderness in the dead of winter, badly injured and miles from civilization. Without food or shelter, and only Ben’s mountain climbing gear to protect themselves, Ashley and Ben’s chances for survival look bleak, but their reliance on each other sparks an immediate connection, which soon evolves into something more.

Days in the mountains become weeks, as their hope for rescue dwindles. How will they make it out of the wilderness and if they do, how will this experience change them forever? Heart-wrenching and unputdownable, The Mountain Between Us will reaffirm your belief in the power of love to sustain us.”

 

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle #review #netgalley

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Title: The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (originally published as The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle)

Author: Stuart Turton

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Date of Publication: September 18, 2018 (first published February 2018)

Page Count: 432 (e-book)

 

 

 

 

synopsis

Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others…

My Review

I’m going to try to write a review worthy of this amazing début novel by Stuart Turton. The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a mind-twisting story with characters that leap off the page. This multi-perspective mystery has murder, manipulation, and a feeling of desperation, but in the end delivers a message of kindness, forgiveness, and self-acceptance. The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is one of the BEST BOOKS I have EVER read.  I’ll try to keep this post at a reasonable length because I could ramble for pages about the writing quality, descriptions, and symbolism.

I have NEVER read a book with so many moving parts. Turton must have lost his mind trying to keep track of who was doing what, and when. Mentioned a few times in the novel, chess is a symbol of the theme of dark and light throughout the story with Aiden moving each host towards checkmate. Trying to figure out who killed Evelyn is like putting together the most complicated puzzle you’ve ever seen.

As Aiden embodies the eight hosts he initially complains about their limitations, but learns to focus on their unique talents. The plot is very twisty, at times confusing, and I loved every second. The ending clearly explained all the confusing parts and I felt extremely satisfied.

The characters are FANTASTIC. I could picture each unique person clearly in my mind. The mansion, Blackheath, is one of my favourite characters. “Blackheath shrinks around me, shriveling like a spider touched to the flame.” The Plague Doctor is a mysterious character who keeps you wondering if he’s good or bad. Anna is “fierce and fearless”. I love to see authors write about strong, smart, women.

Hooked from beginning to end, I recommend The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle to fans of mystery/thriller who like a dash of magical realism (time travel).

Thank you to Netgalley and publisher for the complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.

 

Currently Reading…The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

I’m at the 45% mark and thoroughly enjoying every page of this debut novel. Thanks to Netgalley for the complimentary digital copy.

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

By Stuart Turton

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Expected Publication: September 18, 2018

432 pages (e-book)

Synopsis: ”

The Rules of Blackheath
Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m.
There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit.
We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer.
Understood? Then let’s begin…

***

Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others…

The most inventive debut of the year twists together a mystery of such unexpected creativity it will leave readers guessing until the very last page.”

 

 

Toil & Trouble #bookreview #anthology #emojiathon 🎵 ✊ 🏳️‍🌈 🧙‍♀️ #toiltrouble #netgalley

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Title: Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft

Edited By: Jessica Spotswood & Tess Sharpe

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre: YA Anthology, Fantasy

Date of Publication: August 28, 2018

Page Count: 432 (e-book)

ISBN: 1489267425

Cost: $8.84 (ebooks.com) $18.99 (Hardcover)

Synopsis on Goodreads

Contributors:
Tehlor Kay Mejia “Starsong
Andrea Cremer “Afterbirth”
Tess Sharpe “The Heart In Her Hands”
Lindsay Smith “Death in the Sawtooths
Brandy Colbert “The Truth About Queenie”
Shveta Thakrar “The Moonapple Menagerie”
Robin Talley “The Legend of Stone Mary”
Nova Ren Suma “The One Who Stayed”
Zoraida Córdova “Divine are the Stars”
Brenna Yovanoff “Daughters of Baba Yaga
Kate Hart “The Well Witch”
Jessica Spotswood “Beware of Girls With Crooked Mouths”
Anna-Marie McLemore “Love Spell”
Emery Lord “The Gherin Girls”
Elizabeth May “Why They Watch us Burn”

Toil & Trouble is a unique short story collection of imaginative tales about witches learning to believe in themselves and face their fears. Some of the stories are light, while others are more serious and moving. Nothing can stand in the way of a woman who believes in herself. The real history of witches inspire a modern conversation about past mistakes as an opportunity for change. With a cast of diverse characters, many tales had me hooked from the first paragraph to the end.

Toil & Trouble is a commendable compilation for fantasy fans, especially for those interested in witches, but is also a significant piece of today’s conversation about feminism and diversity.

Some of my Favs:
“Afterbirth” by Andrea Cremer
“The Heart in Her Hands” by Tess Sharpe
“Death in The Sawtooths” by Lindsay Smith
“Love Spell” by Anna-Marie McLemore
“The Gherin Girls” by Emery Lord

My favourite: “Why They Watch Us Burn” by Elizabeth May

All of the stories are at least ⭐⭐⭐ for me, my only complaint being that I found some of the endings abrupt/incomplete.

Thank you to Netgalley and publisher for the complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.

TBR…September 2018

Monthly TBR: July… | Echoing Books

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Title: Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft

Edited By: Jessica Spotswood and Tess Sharpe

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Date Published: August 28, 2018

Genre: YA Anthology, Paranormal (witches)

Page Count: 416

Synopsis: “A young adult fiction anthology of 15 stories featuring contemporary, historical, and futuristic stories featuring witchy heroines who are diverse in race, class, sexuality, religion, geography, and era.

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Title: Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties

Author: Dav Pilkey

Publisher: Graphix

Date Published: August 2017

Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Comedy

Page Count: 256

Synopsis: “He was the best of dogs… He was the worst of dogs… It was the age of invention… It was the season of surprise… It was the eve of supa sadness… It was the dawn of hope… Dog Man, the newest hero from the creator of Captain Underpants, hasn’t always been a paws-itive addition to the police force. While he can muzzle miscreants, he tends to leave a slick of slobber in his wake! This time, Petey the cat’s dragged in a tiny bit of trouble — a double in the form of a super-cute kitten. Dog Man will have to work twice as hard to bust these furballs and remain top dog!

the 7.5 deaths of evelyn hardcastle.jpg

 

Title: The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Author: Stuart Turton

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Expected Publication: Sept 18, 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Page Count: 512

Synopsis: “How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?
At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed—again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend—but nothing and no one is quite what they seem.

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Title: The Good Daughter

Author: Karin Slaughter

Publisher: William Morrow

Date Published: August 2017 (first published June 2017)

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Crime

Page Count: 528

Synopsis: “Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind.

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father—Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney—devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, Charlotte has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself—the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again, and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized, Charlotte is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress–because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever. Packed with twists and turns, brimming with emotion and heart, The Good Daughter is fiction at its most thrilling.”

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Title: The Humans

Author: Matt Haig

Publisher: Harper Collins Canada

Date Published: July 2013 (first published May 2013)

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Humour

Page Count: 304

Synopsis: “Body-snatching has never been so heartwarming . . .

The Humans is a funny, compulsively readable novel about alien abduction, mathematics, and that most interesting subject of all: ourselves. Combine Douglas Adams’s irreverent take on life, the universe, and everything with a genuinely moving love story, and you have some idea of the humor, originality, and poignancy of Matt Haig’s latest novel.

Our hero, Professor Andrew Martin, is dead before the book even begins. As it turns out, though, he wasn’t a very nice man–as the alien imposter who now occupies his body discovers. Sent to Earth to destroy evidence that Andrew had solved a major mathematical problem, the alien soon finds himself learning more about the professor, his family, and “the humans” than he ever expected. When he begins to fall for his own wife and son–who have no idea he’s not the real Andrew–the alien must choose between completing his mission and returning home or finding a new home right here on Earth.“