This might be one of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to. Bonnie Turpin completely captured the book in her narration. I didn’t even mind not seeing the illustrations. Her voice was spot on for Tip and J.Lo. There were times when I laughed out loud as I was driving…sure I looked like a crazy person but the book was that funny.
The True Meaning of Smekday is an essay by Gratuity (Tip) Tucci written for a time capsule to be opened in 100 years. The essay (or essays as she revises often) detail the invasion of Earth by the Boov. They rename Earth Smek after their leader Captain Smek. Since the invasion begins on Christmas Day they rename that Smekday. After destroying lots of important things and people, the Boov decide to be generous and create human preserves. They give Americans Florida, but then decide they like oranges and change it to Arizona.
Tip’s story begins with her mother’s abduction by the Boov. Instead of going with the other humans on the rocket to Florida she decides to drive from Pennsylvania. Along the way she meets a Boov named J.Lo. He fixes up her car, Sloushes, and they road trip together all the way to Arizona. Along the way they are chased and shot at by other Boov, meet a group of resistance fighters (kids calling themselves Boob) in Happy Mouse Kingdom, go to Roswell and find a bunch of crazies, and get attacked repeatedly by aliens.
I can’t truly describe how much I loved Tip and J.Lo. They are like some awesome comedy duo. Both are fantastic characters and the audiobook truly captured them. Sure this story has a lot of political and historical commentary (forced relocation of native peoples anyone?) and the satire of the book is wonderfully inventive and non-preachy. Not sure kids will get all the references, heck I’m not sure I got them all, but they are nice and subtle and don’t take away the fun of the book. How could any road trip beat driving cross country in a souped up flying car with Tip, J.Lo (a urinal cake eating alien) and the cat Pig. I don’t think it can.