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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
Aliens, Drywall, and a Unicycle by Kevin St Jarre is almost a coming of age story, but with a twist. When Tom Tibbets takes a job at a weekly newspaper in a small town in New Hampshire, he has no idea he will become more fascinated with his neighbors living in the same building than his actual job. From alien believers to brothers who just love to blow up things, Tom has an interesting cast of neighbors. He shares this with his boss and gets permission to interview them. However, the more time he spends with them, the more he comes to realize how different he is. Is it them or is Tom the odd one out?
You may think Aliens, Drywall, and a Unicycle by Kevin St Jarre is science fiction, but no, it is the most wholesome and incredibly rich story that focuses on how different we are, yet it is the differences between us that make us all perfect. The narrative is charming, it is endearing at times and I love how the pace slows down when Tom reflects on his beliefs. I can feel the love and care in each sentence of this story. Each character has a flaw that makes them real yet approachable. Ben is my favorite character; he claims to be an autodidact (I had no idea what it was until I looked it up) and he is eccentric at best. Tom is no different, to be honest. This forty-something man gets a new job looking for a break, but he ends up learning more about himself. This is the most refreshing and endearing novel I have ever read. Lighthearted fun!