Audiobook Review: Smek for President!

Bahni Turpin is a delight. She’s the narrator for this book, and I love the way she did Tip’s voice. Tip sounds exactly the way I expect a 13-year-old who has saved the world with the help of her alien best friend to sound: a little world-weary but still uncertain. Also, the Boovs were awesome. I loooooved the way she voiced them.

This book was a lot of fun. I listened to it on the way to and from work on the bus, and I was often smiling or laughing along. The characters are great. Tip and J.Lo are, of course, the best, but the other characters they encounter on the way are all memorable and well-drawn. Including Dan Landry, that jerk.

This book deals with some heavy topics (loss, grief, rebellion, politics, displacement) with humor and grace. I absolutely LOVED the political commentary in the book. The New Boovworld presidential election looks a lot like what’s happening in the Republican party right now. So, basically, everything is a mess, and it’d be funny if it weren’t so serious. (Except it’s funny in the book because it’s fiction! And ridiculous!)

Tip is a bit of an arrogant American traveler, and there’s this great bit where J.Lo goes off on her because she didn’t bother to learn the flash cards with common Boov sayings on them that he had given her, which lands them in a jam. “Goes off” is a bit harsh, probably. He does fuss at her, though, and it’s hilarious. So there are lots of little moments like that in the book.

Though J.Lo and Tip are on an intergalactic adventure, the heart of the story is still their friendship and the meaning of family.

All in all, a really fun read and great way to spend my commute. And now I really want to see Home, which is based on the first book.

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