It’s nice to read a young adult book these days that doesn’t involve zombies, angels or werewolves. Instead, Mr. Stefani has brought aliens back into fashion and he does it quite well in The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman.
Courtney is a teenager who has always been plagued by memories of her grandfather’s obsession with aliens and of the night he held her under the water in the bath tub. Unsurprisingly, she rarely sees him these days but she believes that he isn’t totally crazy, even if her mother forbids any mention of him. Strange things start to happen and Courtney’s life begins to spiral out of control. Is it all in her mind or are there really aliens visiting Earth? That is the question that the reader will ask themselves throughout the book and, to be honest, I'm still not sure what the truth is, even after I’ve read the whole thing. If it is all in Courtney’s mind, then this book is an amazingly well done look at what happens to the human mind when you believe something that others don’t. All aspects are explored here including Courtney’s observations about what she sees as her reality as well as the frustration her mother feels as she tries to deal with Courtney’s perceived illness.
The writing is great and the character of Courtney is very well written and multi-dimensional. The author does a good job of keeping the reader guessing as to whether everything is in Courtney’s mind or is Earth really in trouble from “visitors”. After reading the book, I looked back to see if there were any clues as to what is really going on but I couldn’t find any. The only thing I found issue with was that it seemed like the ending was rushed too much albeit, from the way it ended, there could be a sequel. I read this on my ereader and it formatted well and the editing was perfect. The cover is also interesting as is the title.
This is a great book, whether you’re into aliens or wanting to learn about mental illness.