The True Meaning of Smekday – Adam Rex

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Last week I was watching the new Dreamworks animation movie “Home” with Jim Parsons and Rihanna voicing the main roles. I really liked it, and would recommend it by the way. Though I must point out that I am a little prejudiced because I really like animation movies. I’ve got both How to Train Your Dragon movies on my shelf for example and also watch the spin-off animation TV series. And I just bought my DVD of Big Hero 6, which is another one I really loved (in fact, the Baymax fist bump sound is my text message alert). Anyway, back to Home! So I was watching it last week, when I started arguing with one of my roommates about one of the voice-actors. So, I decided to look the movie up on IMDB to find out if I was right or not.

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And that is how I discovered that this movie was based on a book! Namely, the children’s book The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex, a first-time author. I read a few lines further and found out that the main character Oh, was actually called J. Lo in the book, and that it was surprising that the actual Jennifer Lopez appeared in the film. So I immediately ordered the book of course. And I’ve just finished it.

It’s a great book! What happens in the story is basically the same as in the movie but it’s looked at from a completely different angle. Basically, the main character, Tip, is an eleven year old girl who is asked to write a story about, the title says it already, “The True Meaning of Smekday”. So Smekday is the day that the aliens, the Boov, came to earth. The essay will be submitted to a committee that will choose the best one to go into a National Time Capsule, to be opened 100 years into the future. The rest of the book is made up of three of her essays. It is a very original way to let Tip tell her own story in her own words. It only very rarely felt like I was being told a story by an 11-year-old. Rex very masterfully switches between Tip’s voice and his storytelling so that it’s almost unnoticeable. Yes, it’s a children’s book but just like any good animation movie, there are enough elements in there for adults to enjoy. It’s a quick and enjoyable read, and perfectly suited to be read to children at bedtime. If you’re looking for a quirky, relaxing read by the pool, I would definitely recommend Adam Rex’s debut novel. He wrote a sequel entitled Smek for President, which was published in February 2015. I’ve put it on my to-read list, so when I find a copy, I will let you know what I thought!

I’m not going to go into more detail when it comes to the story, you’ll have to read it for yourselves. If you’ve already watched Home, and don’t feel like reading the book because you already know the story, believe me you don’t. The movie closely relates to the book, but a lot has been left out, and the story develops differently than in the book. I really recommend you read it, especially if you’ve liked the book.

So, are you guys planning on reading the book? Or have you read it already? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Happy reading,

Loes M.

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