Published by The Studio on November 10th 2015
Buy on Amazon
In this heartwarming debut by HelloGiggles blogger Kerry Winfrey, a young agoraphobe begins a journey of first love that leads her to the true meaning of home—just by taking one small step outside of her house.
My name is Mallory Sullivan.
My therapist says I have an anxiety disorder.
My brother says I’m an “optimistic recluse.”
Everybody else says I'm a freak.
And they kind of have a point, because I haven't left the house in 67 days and only attend class via the webcam on my laptop. The person I talk to the most other than my mom and brother is the completely obnoxious BeamMeUp, and all we do is argue on New Mexico’s premiere alien message board.
But after yesterday, I have something: a chance. If I can win the homecoming crown by convincing resident hot popular guy and Friday Night Lights spawn Brad Kirkpatrick to go as my date, then maybe #stayathome will never appear next to the name @Mallory_Sullivan ever again.
First, I have to leave my room.
Kerry Winfrey’s debut novel tackles the mental illness of agoraphobia with fun, flair, and facts. Love and Other Alien Experiences is a strong debut that took me by surprise. I can’t say what I expected but I think it would have exceeded those expectations that I might have had.
I don’t know what it is lately but this is the third book I’ve read recently about a girl who couldn’t or wouldn’t leave her house. Agoraphobia is not something I’m familiar with but it is something that fascinates me and that was a big part of my draw to Love and Other Alien Experiences. Kerry Winfrey chose a more lighthearted way to showcase this illness and I really enjoyed that take on it. Mallory knows that there is something wrong with her and she knows she should do something about it. She finally sees that chance to do something about it when she is nominated for homecoming court. She could win some serious prize money if she actually won and that would be the perfect chance for her to set out to find her father.
Mallory’s life consists of classes taken via webcam and interactions on message boards about aliens. Hence the title. She has these crazy interactions with someone online named BeamMeUp and that’s pretty much her only socialization. Her mom and brother play a key role in her life but they can’t possibly provide all the social interaction that a person needs. That’s where Mallory’s love interest comes in. It’s a bit of a reveal so I won’t say anything about who it is but I will say that they work perfectly with Mallory. Mallory’s illness is something she’s always been made to feel bad about and that’s not what he does to her. Mallory herself is a great character with a wonderful personality. She’s sarcastic and open about her illness. I kinda loved her.
Overall, Love and Other Alien Experiences has me eager to see what Kerry Winfrey writes next. If you’re looking for a quick, fun read that doesn’t gloss over the details of having a mental illness, this one is for you.
What others are saying about Love and Other Alien Experiences:
Sleepsontables’ review: “If you were a fan of Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone or Made You Up by Francesca Zappia I recommend Love and Other Alien Experiences.”
Welcome to Ladyville’s review: “Love and Other Alien Experiences is a cheeky little tale about a teenage agoraphobe, who by a surprise to everyone gets nominated for prom queen, and decides to win.”