display | more...

Smek for President!
by Adam Rex
Hyperion Books, 2015

This is the sequel to The True Meaning of Smekday. If you have not read that, you should go read it now (having seen the movie does not count). If you have already read it, you should now read Smek for President! Really, that's all you need to know. But just to pad things out a little...

Sometimes, after betraying your people, saving your people, banishing your people to a moon of Saturn, and destroying the local community center, you feel some small dissatisfaction. This is indeed how J.Lo feels likenow. Also, the human police are unreasonably upset over a silly misunderstanding in which he may have accidently assaulted a woman's footwear. All-in-all, this feels like a good time for to take a brief break from planet Earth. Fortunately, his best friend Gratuity (call her Tip) is willing to take a small road trip halfway across the solar system to let J.Lo speak to president Smek in person, so this is what they do.

Unfortunately, J.Lo's redemption is put on hold due to unprecedented political upheaval, with not one, not two, maybe three? Four, if you count the parrot. Yes, four people beings calling for a free and open election. This is a problem, because if people voted in the wrong way it might be theoretically possible for Smek to lose his seat as High Boov. Noboov is certain what to do about this, but a consensus emerges that probably everything is J.Lo's fault (again), and arresting and/or killing him is a good next step. So this is what they do.

This is an exciting and confusing time to be a boov, but it's even worse if you're a thirteen-year-old human. Especially a human who did not technically have parental permission to travel to another planet, and who is not 100% confident that she can drive the spaceship back on her own. Once again Tip will have to save J.Lo from himself and also everyone else, but this time she will have to do it with a faulty translator chip and no cats.

Smek for President! is perhaps even more chaotic than The True Meaning of Smekday, if only because Titan New Boovworld is entirely populated by aliens and their wacky alien technology, resulting in a higher slapstick-to-satire ratio. While Smekday read like a young adult novel, Smek for President moves down a notch into children's literature, with more wild low-gravity chases and fewer nudists. This doesn't actually hurt the story much; the driver in both books are Tip's personality and the silliness of the Boovs, and those remain in full force.