The title immediately draws anyone’s attention – first a millennial acronym and the subject of extra-terrestrial life. “My BFF is an Alien” is a #singlit novel for upper primary schoolers or lower secondary schoolers.
The book is based on a friendship of two girls, one of them from planet Viridis. As one who has gone through an all-girls school for a period of time, this book reminds me of the friendships made then. The heartwarming read is relatable to all, especially those who have had to face bullying and trouble fitting in.
Overview of My BFF is an Alien
This fictional tale is an easy read. Octavia and Abriana are thirteen year olds assigned to sit together in school. They got acquainted pretty quickly as they became neighbours not just in school, but in their estate. Was this a mere coincidence? The friendship grew as Octavia found out the truth about Abriana’s origin and wanted to help her retrieve the anteris which would help them return to their home planet.
The two girls’ loyalty to each other and their mission is noteworthy. They had to counter bullies, their own self-esteem, parents’ views and teachers’ expectations in their quest of locating the anteris. Will they succeed? Read to find out!
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Themes: Tween Years, Growing up and Friendship in My BFF is an Alien
Quite evidently, friendship is the main theme of the book. It also makes us think define what true friendship really is. The inaugural novel by Vivian Teo covers the relationships between the tween/teen girls in several layers. While Octavia clearly cares for her BFF, she also struggles with fitting into the popular clique her former best friend is part of. We also see how members of cliques face conflicts within themselves when searching for a sense of belonging. Isn’t this part of growing up?
I like it that the story is based quite closely to life in Secondary school, the girls even go through outdoor activities and the familiar tower that everyone either loved or hated. Readers will get an inkling of what life in Secondary one is like, and learn some of the expectations of the teachers.
Local spots such as Bukit Timah Market, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Botanic Gardens are also significant places in the book. The great thing about #singlit is always the familiarity of places and localised subjects.
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I enjoyed the read reminiscing my own secondary school days with my gal pals, and definitely missing Outward Bound School. While the plot is predictable, the book keeps readers going with constant action and adventures.
If you have the book on your shelf, you could even ask the question – are aliens really that different? And is being different a bad thing? There are plenty of though-provoking questions you could ask your own tween. You would be pleased to know that there is a sequel to the book which I’d love to read. Who wouldn’t want to have a BFF who’s from a different planet?