Welcome to Refracted Light’s stop on the
American Girl on Saturn instantly appealed to me because it’s basically every girl’s celebrity crush day dream come true. Or perhaps I should say, it’s my teenage celebrity crush day dream realized… on the page. Devon Sawa? Jonathan Taylor Thomas? Joey & Matt Lawrence? The one brother from Hanson, you tried to pretend you didn’t have a crush on, but totally did? Yeah, I definitely spent time daydreaming back in the day about those guys…
Oh. <ahem> Sorry.
(BTDubs, whatever happened to Devon Sawa?)
Anyway, so the premise of this novel is possibly (and by that I mean most definitely) a bit of a stretch: Having been shot at during their most recent concert, Spaceships Around Saturn is whisked away to the safety and seclusion of an FBI agent’s home (which also just so happens to house his three daughters) where this wildly popular boyband must stay until the shooter is found and caught. However, it’s just so fun that who cares about the plausibility of it all?! Not me! And Nikki Godwin takes this fanciful idea and successfully turns it into a cute and heartwarming story of how these girls and boys from different “planets” share the same orbit for a brief time, and all the hilarity and drama that ensues in this forced little microcosm (a.k.a – The Branson household).
The Branson sisters.
Chloe. Just having graduated highschool and coming back from a breakup from the biggest douche-canoe on the planet, Chloe’s main goal of the summer is to swear off all boys. A little difficult to do, when you have five of the world’s hottest musicians living under your roof. She’s responsible, a little quieter and more mellow than the rest of her sisters. She’s a little artsy and a bit of a dreamer… and is most definitely not a Saturnite.
Chloe’s role in the story is that of narrator, and I liked her voice — her whole perspective on the situation, her determination not to get caught up in SAS’s gravitational pull, her seemingly inability to do just that, and . She was just authentically teen, with a believable maturity level.
Aralie. A little bit punk, a little bit rock ‘n roll, a little bit force of nature, Aralie is outspoken, brash, self-confident, wears her heart on her sleeve… and is thoroughly unimpressed with Spaceships Around Saturn, because you know, they’re not a real band. Honestly, I kind of wish the story had been told from her perspective as well as Chloe’s, though I understand why it wasn’t. But Aralie was great character that I wish had gotten a little more page time.
Emery. Five-year-old Emery is unapologetically a Saturnite. Their #1 Fan, in fact. And her enthusiasm over sharing her house with “her” boys ranges from hilariously funny to the slightly creepy and disturbing. She’s a cute kid though with boundless energy and a flair for the dramatic… as her idol, Benji “Bikini” (a.k.a. – Emery’s brand new BFF) quickly learns firsthand.
The Boys of Spaceships Around Saturn
Even with the house arrest, Nikki has a rather large cast of characters to deal with who are pretty much always… there in some capacity, and she does a pretty good job of differentiating and developing Benji, Milo, Noah, Tate and Jules. Particularly as they could’ve easily all ended up being something like this:
Mabel’s favorite boy band, Sev’ral Timez who just so happen to be a group of clones on Gravity Falls
Some guys in the band obviously get more attention than others, but they all get a decent amount of individual development. I particularly loved Noah… and Benji. was also great. I would love for those two to get their own books someday… <cough cough, hint hint>
Romance. Cute, and compelling, and — in some cases — full of mystery without being overly intense. I do wish there had been slightly more conversation of the talking variety though.
The Bromances. Also totes adorbs. Especially Tatefrey. Tafrey? Tatfrey? Yeah. I’ll work on it.
Story. Trapped in a house, not super happy about it, and under protection with a possible killer on the loose? There were several cliched plot devices that I would’ve expected–was expecting, actually– from this novel, but the story never went those directions that I thought it might. And that was unexpectedly… refreshing. It’s a story of people, of various kinds of relationships, and of what happens when Saturn and Earth collide for just a brief time. So it’s not explosive or action-packed or harrowing, unless you’re referring to the personal dramas of seven teenagers (and one almost six-year-old) all living under the same roof? Which, actually, IS a rather explosive, harrowing thought to some, eh?
Overall. @TheBransonsFridge #SoCUTE #SoSweet Thanks for letting this Earth Girl orbit Saturn for a bit! #BestSummerEverrrrrr #DaydreamsAreMadeOfThis