What worked: I really enjoyed this tale that has a surprising twist on the whole alien premise. I didn't know whether or not Priya, the beautiful, mysterious girl, was in fact an alien. I was waiting for the spaceship to land and take Priya and Matty away. I liked that the author showed us the interactions of Matty and Priya and his own disbelief and cynicism. In the background, his father, an UFO conspiracist, has left his family. Matty has a very good reason to be cynical especially as he's witnessed first hand how his father has neglected him and his mother.
The bubbling romance between Matty and Priya starts off slowly. Matty fears that Priya is delusional or worse. Once he gets over his own concerns, he opens up to her. These scenes are poignant and bittersweet. Readers will hope that Priya's appearance will unlock Matty's fear of turning out like his father.
This is really a contemporary coming of age story where a teen comes face to face with his biggest obstacle (the anger he has on his father neglecting him). Only then can he make peace with his father and move on.
The final reveal isn't surprising but does help Matty face a pain he's been holding on to and finally letting it go. Bittersweet magical tale of loss and forgiveness mixed with humor.