What worked: This is a hilarious romp where Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe meets one love struck teen and the lengths he'll go to in order to win the girl. The dialogue is very authentic and move this story along. Derek can't believe his luck when hot Jennifer Novak wants to hook up with him. The author gives readers a multi-layered protagonist, complete with flaws. What's enduring about Derek is he's a teen that falls in love hard and will do just about anything to get her back. Readers will relate with his struggles and conflicts which include his divorced parents and friends. Derek arcs at the end of the novel by realizing a truth that isn't sugar-coated. One huge thing I loved about this novel is the author wasn't afraid to hold anything back.
The alien backstory is intriguing too. I admit, at first I wondered if the alien encounter might have been a result of some really bad marijuana. The world building of the alien planet is unique and not filled with trite cliches. I only wanted to see more of them and their encounters with Derek.
Mostly though, this is Derek's coming of age story. Sure, there is that 'end of the world' feeling going on throughout the story but readers sees through Derek's eyes his first times and the lengths he'll go to in order to keep his dream relationship alive.
The dialogue is real and hilarious. I know readers will quickly relate with Derek and follow his journey. An engaging tale with punchy dialogue and a protagonist that you can't help but want to see succeed.