Mothership came highly recommended from a number of highly trustworthy sources, but, I have to admit, I had a healthy dose of skepticism about me ever being able to appreciate it. I mean, it's a book about pregnant teens. I'm not a big fan of anything about pregnancy, let alone with a focus on teenagers. However, Leicht and Neal manage to craft a hilarious, albeit occasionally really gross, story out of the premise of pregnant teens in space.
Though I try not to go too crazy comparing books to other books, since it doesn't tend to reflect well on either of them, I ust have to here. Mothership reminds me heavily of Libba Bray's Beauty Queens in the style of the humor, only, instead of beauty queens stuck on an island, we have pregnant teens on a spaceship. I didn't like this one quite so well, but I think that if you liked Beauty Queens, you will definitely appreciate this and vice versa.
The best part of the book is definitely the humor, which Leicht and Neal keep up throughout. Elvie, the MC, has plenty of sarcasm and makes lots of hilarious observations. On top of that, the whole situation, and Elvie herself, are patently ridiculous, adding additional layers of laughs. There will definitely be a few moments that will make all but the most determinedly grim chuckle out loud. There's a wide variety of comedic styles, varying from potty humor to nerd jokes to irony, so Mothership is pretty much bound to tickle your funny bone one way or another.
The whole pregnancy angle is handled quite well, I think. Though it's obviously a main theme and they do not gloss over it, there isn't so much focus on pregnancy that I couldn't handle it. I mean, there's discussion of birthing and the consideration of the baby bump, but the humor and Elvie's wandering mind keeps things from getting to bogged down in baby drama. Also, just because the girls are pregnant doesn't mean they're completely useless, which was nice.
What Left Me Wanting More:
The reason I didn't like this book more than I did is the characters. They're funny and highly entertaining, sure, but I really don't like any of them. Elvie's probably the best of the lot, in that she's the only one to really have any depth of character, in that, despite the fact that she talks and acts like an airhead most of the time, she's really quite bright. Ducky and Ramona were my favorites, but they, like everyone else, really don't ever emerge from stereotype status. Britta was the worst by far, always remaining the classic mean girl airhead, and never showing the slightest glimmer of uniqueness. Cole, too, is completely unlikable to me, but he's not treated as such by the author, which is frustrating. This doesn't detract from the entertainment of the novel, but kept me from loving it.
The ending sets up the next book nicely, but I do think it was a bit ridiculous, even within the context of this universe. While I cannot explain in detail because of spoilers, I think one of the twists at the end, regarding Elvie's baby, does not make any sense plotwise. There is absolutely no reason for things to have gone down the way they did, except to make things happier.
The Final Verdict:
If you're looking for a book to make you laugh, a nice break from dark contemporaries and dystopian drama, then Mothership is a perfect choice. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series, because you can always use more laughter in your life.