Monday, July 24, 2017

Welcome to the FFBC: OF JENNY AND THE ALIENS by Ryan Gebhart

Of Jenny and the Aliens

by Ryan Gebhart
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Sci-Fi
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When boy meets girl meets alien, the angst of first love gets an extraterrestrial intervention in a tale both outrageously funny and full of heart.

Ten years after Earth sent messages out into deep space, there has been an answer. Music from a distant planet has reached the world’s radios. Are aliens about to invade? No one knows, and almost-eighteen-year-old Derek doesn’t really care, because at a wild end-of-the-world party, Jennifer Novak invited him to play beer pong, and things, well, progressed from there. Derek is in love. Deeply, hopelessly in love. He wants it all — marriage, kids, growing old on a beach in Costa Rica. For him, Jenny is the One. But Jenny has other plans, which may or may not include Derek. So Derek will try anything to win her — even soliciting advice from an alien who shows up in his hometown. This alien may just be the answer to Derek’s problem, but is Derek prepared to risk starting an interstellar war to get his girl? Just how far is he willing to travel to discover the mysteries of the universe — and the enigma of love?

Hi Ryan!!  We're super excited to welcome OF JENNY AND THE ALIENS into the FFBC-- Welcome to the Club!


Favorite Book?

Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton

Favorite TV Show?

Bob's Burgers

Favorite movie?

The Dark Knight and Wet Hot American Summer

Your Favorite Song?

Currently it's “The Stable Song” by Gregory Alan Isakov and “The Mute” by Radical Face

Favorite Food?

Pizza when I'm broke, sushi when I have money (or when someone else is paying)

What were your favorite books growing up?

Anything by Stephen King or Michael Crichton. And the Goosebumps series.

Favorite quote?

This quote from “You Are What You Love,” a song by Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins, has always stuck with me: “You are what you love, and not what loves you back.”

What are your fandoms?

Game of Thrones and also moar Game of Thrones.

Name a recent book that you read that you would recommend to our book lovers?

It's super weird, but I recently read the hell out of Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith.


Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about OF JENNY AND THE ALIENS?

It's about an almost eighteen-year-old boy falling in love for the first time and humanity's first contact with another intelligent species. It's about all the awkwardness, confusion, and misinterpretations that comes along with these events. It's got crass humor, pansexual aliens, typical human paranoia, family trees that better resemble tangled shrubs, Mario Kart, and a little love for the Cleveland Browns. Because Lord, do they need it.

How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing?

I saw a UFO and I fell in love. Not in that order though.

Tell us your favorite quote from OF JENNY AND THE ALIENS.

“Love is not a shape. There is no love triangle, no love square. Love is a network. It's a form of communication.”

What is your favorite movie, book, or TV show that features aliens?

E.T. is my favorite alien movie. The Tommyknockers is my favorite alien book. And American Dad is my favorite alien TV show. 

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for OF JENNY AND THE ALIENS – Which one would you pick?

“Love is Greed” by Passion Pit

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book?

#HoustonRedRockets #NoPants and #GoBrowns 

Is there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read OF JENNY AND THE ALIENS?

I'm not exactly sure, but I would definitely recommend to read the last third of the book on an empty stomach.

What's next for you?

It's still rough, but I'm currently working on a YA fantasy that's got angels and dragons and humans and sloths. I'm being vague right now because the idea is still amorphous and it's been exceptionally difficult to write, but this tweet from @raecarson basically explains where I'm at right now: “Think 1: My ambition for this novel I'm writing way exceeds my skill level. Think 2: That's how it should always be and I LOVE MY JOB.”

Thanks so much for answering our questions Ryan!!  I was totally with you until you said "love for the Cleveland Browns".  HAHA!!  Just kidding, but this Steeler fan kind of enjoys the Browns woes :)

Ryan Gebhart was born and raised in Maumee Ohio and graduated from Ohio University with a master's degree in Spanish (he can hablar some espaƱol like a boss). His debut middle grade There Will Be Bears, about getting older, best friends, and a bear, is a selected title for seven state reading lists.

His debut young adult Of Jenny and the Aliens, about first love and discovering that we're not alone in the universe, will be released Spring 2017 with Candlewick Press.

  • Win 1 of 3 copies of OF JENNY AND THE ALIENS by Ryan Gebhart
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  1. "What are your thoughts about OF JENNY AND THE ALIENS? Will you be adding it to your TBR?" I think it sounds fun! And I have added it to my TBR!

  2. This sounds like a fun book to read and I'm curious about how the characters interact with the alien. I have it on my TBR.