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Mothership (Anglais) Broché – 12 novembre 2013

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Chapter One

In Which Our Heroine Falls on Her Ass, Like, a Lot


As far as scientists have been able to determine, the primary function of the human coccyx, or tailbone, is to remind us that once upon a time we were all monkeys or something. But I happen to know that it can still serve a useful purpose. Say, for example, that a pregnant teenager three weeks from her due date, who weighs, oh, approximately 145 pounds (lay off, all right? The baby loves ice cream), were shoved down forcefully on a Treadtrack in gym class by a bitchy cheerleader. This so-called vestigial growth would most definitely act as a shock absorber, preventing serious damage to the rest of said pregnant chick’s body.

Basically what I’m trying to say is that evolution saved my ass. Well, evolution and the fact that when you’re orbiting the planet this high up, the artificial gravity is bound to be a little more forgiving. But that’s not nearly as poetic.

I guess I should be thanking my lucky stars, seeing as I’m still in one piece, but instead I’m furiously scrambling to yank my pregnant keister off the Treadtrack and away from Britta McVicker.

“Need some help?” she sneers in a tone that I’m sure is supposed to sound sincere. Britta is the aforementioned bitchy cheerleader. We go way back, Britta and I—too far, if you ask me. She doesn’t remember, but I’ve known the girl since she first mocked my Hercules lunch box in second grade. We are the only two students at the Hanover School who knew each other before the school year began. Because apparently the universe is not through punishing me just yet.

I scramble to my feet quickly so that I don’t roll with the Treadtrack all the way into the wall. Balance is not my strongest trait at this point in my pregnancy, but I still have the maturity and poise to flip Britta the bird without stumbling again.

Britta snorts. “Jeez, tubbo,” she says, beginning what I am already positive is going to be one of her classic McVicker slams, “how’d you ever trick anyone into pity screwing you?”

That’s when one of Britta’s innies comes over to take in the scene. She’s this girl who glommed on to Britta the second we launched into orbit and who spends so much time stroking Britta’s ego that in my head I only ever think to call her Other Cheerleader.

“Pity screw or not,” Other Cheerleader says, jerking her head in my direction, “the guy must’ve been blind and deaf.” And I have to admit, that one stings a little, until she decides to take it a step further. “And had, like, no sense of smell,” she adds. “And he also didn’t have—what’s the other one? Touch. Yeah, he was touchless.”

I bite the inside of my cheek as I yank my sweat shorts down at the hem. I avoid making eye contact with Britta. Would she be so smug if she knew that . . . No, I decide, staring at my shoes. I’m not going to go there. Britta McVicker is not nearly worth it.

But I guess I should’ve gone somewhere, because before I even notice what’s happening, Other Cheerleader has punched the Treadtrack control, jacking up the speed to max. I topple over again as the exercise track flies under my feet, and I crash into a girl running behind me. She falls on top of me, and together we slam into the wall, the track still running underneath us. The thing damn near burns a hole right through my ugly running shorts.

“Turn off the track!” comes a cry from the far side of the gym. It’s Dr. Marsden, Hanover’s school physician, rushing over to us past the station of Japanese fit-bots, with our PE teacher, Mr. Zaino. Other Cheerleader shuts the track down and tries to put a concerned look on her face. Although, if you ask me, it just looks like she’s eaten too many beans and is holding in a nasty moon rocket. When Dr. Marsden reaches us, he looks down at me with concern. “That was quite a spill, Elvie,” he says kindly, helping me to my feet. “You all right?”

Even though he’s my school doctor and all, I blush a little bit when he takes my hand. I am not into the whole May–December-romance thing, but you’d have to be from another planet not to think Dr. Marsden is one damn fine specimen of a man, standing nearly two meters tall with broad shoulders and just enough stubble to let you know that he’s sophisticated but still a little dangerous. But I try to play it off cool. “It’s not the last time I’ll fall on my butt,” I say with a shrug.

Zaino is more accusatory than inquisitive. “What happened?” he asks. Zaino’s a pretty good-looking guy himself, although he’s a little too rah-rah about dodgeball to seriously crush on.

Britta gives me this look like, You better not rat me out, and while nothing would give me more satisfaction than watching her and her doppelganger lackey run laps for the next hour, I know I won’t say anything.

“I just misjudged the speed,” I lie, dusting myself off. I turn to the girl who toppled over behind me on the Treadtrack. It’s this chick from my trig class who is, like, always chewing on her hair. She’s currently looking at me like I’m the world’s biggest doof—although, hello, she’s the one with an entire braid crammed into her mouth. “Sorry,” I tell her.

She mumbles something in reply, although who can tell what through all that hair?

“Are you sure you’re not hurt?” Dr. Marsden asks again. I look at Britta and smirk a little.

“Well, I am kinda sore, but I’ll survive,” I say with as much earnest reluctance as I can fake. “I’m mostly just worried about the baby.” I place my hands under my swollen belly and put on my most concerned frown.

The doc nods. “Why don’t you go back to your quarters and lie down for a bit? I’ll give you a pass to skip yoga next period, and we’ll see how you’re feeling at your checkup this afternoon.”

Game and match. I’m pretty sure there’s not one girl on this ship who wouldn’t give her right arm to get out of one day of underwater prenatal yoga.

Chewie spits the braid out of her mouth. “Uh, maybe I should lie down too,” she says.

“Just run it off, Sanderson,” Mr. Zaino replies.

On my way out of the gym, I offer Britta and her friend my smuggest grin.

“Enjoy yoga, ladies,” I tell them.

“I can see your fat ass through the hole in your pants,” Britta shoots back.

I want to ask her if when her baby’s born she’s going to cut the horns off right away, or wait until the kid is older. But I’m a civil sort of gal, and civil sorts of gals don’t say things like that.

Did I not mention earlier that Britta McVicker—former cheerleading captain and most popular girl at Lower Merion—is now simply another knocked-up teenager at the Hanover School for Expecting Teen Mothers, just like me? Due to pop any day now too.

Okay, so it’s not like I actually wanted to end up preggers in outer space or anything. If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be here on this ship, and with Britta McFreakingVicker to boot, I’d’ve told you to check the dosage on your Phezalin prescription. But, you know, shit happens.

I guess, if you want to be specific about it, the first shitty thing that happened was that I got the hots for Cole Archer, which was the perfect example of what my dad would call “one’s loins speaking more loudly than one’s brain.” My dad finally stopped using that expression when I told him that saying the word “loins” was the most psychologically damaging thing a parent could do to a child. But maybe I should have let him stick with it, because when it came to Cole Archer, my brain didn’t stand much of a chance. His eyes were this unearthly blue-green-blue-again that could, like, make you melt or something. And that part wouldn’t have been so bad—the getting the hots and melting, I mean. But somehow that single, solitary time we got steamy, I—hello, biology class!—got knocked up. And then Cole totally bailed, leaving me with one bun and no baker. Which, you know, sucks and stuff.

The second shitty thing that happened was that I was forcibly enrolled at the Hanover School for Expecting Teen Mothers. Since I’m a member of Hanover’s inaugural class, they don’t have a motto yet, but if they ever decide to get one, my vote will be for “Catapulting Troubled Young Ladies into Outer Space Since 2074.” Well, technically we’re in low Earth orbit, but that’s not as catchy. I’ve been here for three full months now, and even though my baby is due to pop fairly soon—the week before Christmas, like someone’s idea of a gag gift—I’ll be spending the rest of my junior year here with all the other Hanover girls. I mean, it’s not like they can just land the whole ship for winter break or anything. I can’t decide if life on board the Echidna will be better or worse after the baby is born. As meticulously scheduled as my every second is now, I get the feeling that once the Goober arrives and I hand it off to the adoptive services coordinator, I’m going to have a redonk amount of free periods. Which, given the bafflingly terrible connection speeds and limited flat pic library up here, could actually be more of a curse than a blessing.

As I travel the ten levels on the lift from the health and wellness deck up to the living quarters, I decide that a bruised coccyx is a steep but acceptable ...

Revue de presse

Juno meets aliens, sort of, in this wacky debut novel. Sixteen-year-old Elvie Nara’s wisecracking voice is the perfect vehicle for her description of encounters with threatening aliens. An extremely clever premise that is skillfully carried off by the authors. Lots of humor, snarky teen comments, and earthy language abound. This reviewer cannot wait to see the next installment of Elvie’s alien encounters. Teens who like irreverent humor, as well as fans of science fiction, are going to enjoy spending time with Elvie and her friends.”

“This science-fiction–comic romp set in a space-based school for pregnant teens hits the funny bone and adds in an alien conflict for good measure. Elvie narrates the adventure, wisecracking the whole time. Leicht and Neal keep the focus mostly on wacky comedy, but it's a creditable adventure as well. Fans of science fiction and zany comedy should both be satisfied. Pure fun.”


“The fast-paced action, laugh-out-loud moments, and memorable characters [are a] a whole lot of fun.”

--Publishers Weekly

“This action-packed first volume in the Ever-Expanding Universe series drips with sci-fi kitsch, including ray-gun-toting aliens and 1980s John Hughes nostalgia. There’s something refreshing about these witty, cursing, sarcastic teen mothers in space, led by a sharp, knowledgeable, and vulnerable young heroine.”


“Authors Martin Leicht and Isla Neal balance Elvie’s significant decisions about the future of herself and her baby with plenty of action, humor and interesting characters. This futuristic romp will delight readers and leave them anxiously awaiting the next book in what promises to be a fun, thoughtful trilogy.”

--BookPage (Tipsheet)

“Elvie is such a strong female lead. She’s has a personality and isn’t a wimp, unlike some other female leads in big books. She really stood up for herself when she needed to, and I really like that. Overall, Mothership was a very interesting book to read, unlike any book I’ve ever read before. It was really funny with sad parts too- and I learned a new word or two!” (

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 50 commentaires
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
for serious, this is a good read! 23 juillet 2012
Par Emily Cooney - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I wasn't sure what to expect from a YA book about a pregnant teenager grappling with an alien crisis but figured what the heck?! The book is fantastic. It is fast-paced, creative, and smart. The authors did a wonderful job in creating the heroine, and providing a framework (albeit unusual) for working through difficult life issues and choices. I loved Elvie, and really appreciated the fine balance of her being a "silly teenage girl" and a "smart young woman" at the same time. There are a couple of points where I did go "c'mon!" when a part of the story didn't totally work for me, but acknowledge that in the overall scheme it made sense. Anyone from the Philly area will definitely enjoy many of the references! Overall a great read, and worth sharing with your friends - especially Dads who have little girls!
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Wacky and engaging 20 juillet 2012
Par The Compulsive Reader - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Elvie had a plan: get good grades and get a great job after school that allows her to travel the universe. But that plan got derailed by Cole, and now she's pregnant and attending the Hanover School for for Expecting Teen Mothers on a space ship orbitting Earth. Things are going as well as can be expected considering Elvie is pregnant and her arch-nemesis is a fellow student at the school...and pregnant with Cole's baby as well. But when a bunch of hot pirates board the ship just a few weeks short of Elvie's due date and tell the girls that they're not safe, things get interesting. And when it turns out that Cole is one of her so-called rescuers...well, then things get complicated.

Mothership is a wacky and hilarious novel reminiscent of Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicolson books...if Rennison had written about teen pregnancy and aliens. Everything about this book, from the characters to the plot, is very quirky, but engagingly so. The humor is intelligent and quick to grab your attention, but not so out there as to lose your attention. Elvie is an excellent narrator; she's plucky, smart, and a little guy crazy, but that doesn't dimish her intelligence. On the surface she may appear to be silly and superficial, but she really is a mature, resourceful character who has a lot of dreams and is struggling to make the best decisions for her baby and herself, and with feeling betrayed by Cole. She definitely doesn't sit around and wait for anyone to save her, and even eight months pregnant, she is kicking butt. The secondary characters are well-developed as well; Elvie's dad is pretty cool, even if he has trouble communicating with her and her best friend Duckie is fun and supportive in the best of ways. Though Cole does come off as dumb and rather unattractive at first, he does grow on the reader as the book moves along. There is plenty of good action, great laughs, and nice twist at the end of the book to guarantee that readers will be coming back for book two in the Ever Expanding Universe trilogy.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Crazy, fun new series bringing Juno to Space 3 novembre 2012
Par Aliza M. Beer - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
I picked up this book on a whim after seeing it listed on Amazon Vine. It sounded so preposterous and the cover art was so out-there that it seemed more reasonable to get the book for free than to pay for it. I really had no idea what to expect and my expectations were really low.

Elvie is a heroine in the vein of the award-winning film, Juno. She's sarcastic. She's witty. She's a smart aleck. She's too mature for her age and wise beyond her years...but she's also a pregnant teenager in 2074, when leaps in medicine seem to prevent most teenage pregnancy as well as most diseases and the Space Program is so advanced that you can go to school in space! Circa 2012, Elvie would be that clever outsider in "Glee" club and "nerdy" space club material while still remaining too-cool-for-school.

With the support of a cool, but totally platonic best friend and a wonderful Dad, Elvie decides to spend junior year in space at the Hanover School for Expecting Teen Mothers. She figures that she can use her time in space to try figuring out if she can balance her dreams for her future and being a mother. But at Hanover, where Elvie expects to get her life back on track and avoid general high school drama including any drama surrounding her Baby Daddy, Cole, a dumb, gorgeous classmate, Elvie must face her archnemesis, a typical mean girl type who Cole has also impregnated. That impending catfight alone would make things interesting but Elvie is destined for greater things than she ever imagined.

Because getting her life on track (Elvie dreams of a career working on an innovative Mars project) becomes real complicated for Elvie when her Baby Daddy shows up at the Hanover School along with a bunch of hot commandos who are hijacking the ship. Elvie has no idea who to trust when Cole arrives, the first time she's seen him since she told him she was pregnant, to announce that her teachers are aliens who want to use all the unborn children on-board to repopulate an alien species.

When Elvie does make her stand (deciding who's the Big Bad and who she should trust), it's epic! Saving herself and a bunch of other pregnant girls while ready to pop is a death-defying feat that may or may not get all of them back to Earth in one piece.

Truly, this is one of those books where you have to suspend disbelief and just go with it because if you do, you'll bust a gut laughing over the fast-paced hi-jinks to a reward and shocking finish. It all hinges on the great characters, in particular, Elvie and amazing dialogue and a crazy back-story that only begins to expand the "Ever-Expanding Universe." The authors give you little tastes of life in 2074 but only enough to keep you wanting more. And the last minute bomb the authors drop on the reader is welcome and leaves you craving more as far as a series though "Mothership" is a great stand-alone novel.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Darn that targeted advertising... 28 juillet 2012
Par DelusionalAngel - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
Okay first of all this is considered a YA book. Whenever I read a book that parents might still be buying for kids I like to post warnings if I feel sensitive readers will be ticked off to not learn of before buying a book. Well this is one of those books that needs those warnings. A quick reading of the summary and you'll see that this is a book about pregnant teens, so there should be no surprises there. While we're dealing with a school full of pregnant teens there is actually very little talk of sex (there's really only one sex "scene" and it's not graphic). There is cursing, which will send some people ranting and raving and possibly silently using some 4 letters words themselves, I don't find that offensive, but some people don't even want such words in adult books so, yeah fair warning. There are some brief mentions / discussions of whether or not to terminate pregnancies though as this book is set in the future the laws have changed (I won't spoil it), it's not done in an offensive way especially given the circumstances, but yeah there's that. The strongest warning this book should come with is actually re: the violence. The violent scenes while not overly detailed are still quite graphic and are primarily against the pregnant teens. In other words? Very sensitive readers should just stay away.

That said, I debated between 4 and 5 stars on this one. There were a few things that bugged me here and there. Slightly overused slang (not to the point of abuse, but very very close). Unrealistic scenes even for this story. Still, I ended up going with 5 because, well, it was a fast fun read. I don't mind that this book will be a series and I've been so over picking up new series books, so that's good. I loved Elvie. I loved her bff Ducky (more of him the future books please). I loved to hate the cheerleaders. My fave actor of all time appears as an alien leader! Decommissioned cruise not quite space ships find new homes as things like schools for pregnant girls. There's not much I can say without spoiling the book. If the book description at all appeals to you and warnings don't offend you then you'll probably at least like it, if not love it.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Campy, Fun, Hilarious 8 février 2013
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Relié
You guys. There are soooo many things I want to say about this book. I had never heard of this one before I was contacted to review it. I am so grateful for this chance. I just wonder how many other fabulous, amazing, awesomesauce books are out there that I haven't even heard of! MOTHERSHIP was hilarious and moving with a heroine who kicks some major ass, a stellar setting, and a crazy cast of characters. This was one of the few 5-star reads for me this year.

Elvie is seriously one of my favorite YA heroines. She has made mistakes in her past, but she isn't afraid to face them and to admit she was wrong. Yes, she is a pregnant teenager, but that doesn't mean she isn't smart. Her biggest dream is to make it to Mars, studying intense physics for the past few years, ever since she found out going to space was even an option. She has dedicated her whole life to her dream. Elvie's father taught her all about mechanics, and she can basically fix anything: old classic cars, broken toasters, and she can even rig a vending machine to give up the goods.I love her take-charge attitude. When everyone was scrambling around, Elvie was quietly forming a plan. And when she had to, she grabbed the reigns on her own destiny. Sure, she may have had some choices taken away from her, but she wasn't going down without a fight, determined to take her life back. The best part about her: her huge heart. She loved her friends dearly, and even had room in her heart for the girl who picked on her relentlessly.

But beyond the kick-ass-ness of Elvie, she was also unrelentingly hilarious. She made the best of every situation, always finding the humor in any given moment. Sure, she had a foul mouth, but it fit her character perfectly. I can not tell you how many times I woke my husband up last night cracking up because of this book. Think Juno in space, hilarious.

The action never stopped in this book. From the opening pages Elvie was fighting for hers and her classmates' lives. Crazy commando attackers, teachers turned bad guys, and of course, the resident mean girl. I was on the edge of my seat wondering how these pregnant teenage girls are going to get out of this mess.

I highly recommend MOTHERSHIP by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal. There is a strong message of female empowerment, and Elvie, our heroine, is a wonderful role model for girls -- yes, even if she is a pregnant teenager. She takes charge of her life, learns how to make the right decisions, grows as a character, and wields a ray gun. What more could you ask for? MOTHERSHIP is hilarious, action-packed, and one of the my favorite reads this year, possibly ever.
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