How I Stole Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend is a bit like the movie K-pax as seen through the eyes of a fourteen-year-old boy, with a humorous love angle. I knew I was going to like it from the first few pages. David lives with his therapist father in Normandy, France on the ‘nut farm.’ While his father tries to mend the mentally ill, David hangs out with his sad sack best friend whose big claim to fame is that he made out with a girl at summer camp. Making out, the friend reports, is like kissing raw chicken ‘all weird and gooey.’ David’s interested in kissing nonetheless, and he becomes quite interested in kissing Zelda, his father’s latest patient, a pretty (human?) teen girl who was caught outside a Paris supermarket stealing food. Zelda claims she is 350-years-old and hails from the planet Vahalal. She’s handcuffed most of the time since she’s prone to beating up authority figures. Zelda is determined to break her bonds because she is on a mission—to find 'her chosen one,' and take him back to her home planet. After all, her planet is women only. When David asks what would happen if he landed there--would he be revered as a god?—Zelda tells him that he would be immediately vaporized. Obviously! Zelda’s mission is to find a man; David’s is to woo Zelda. Can he possibly succeed?
There is so much humor in this book. I loved that the narrator was a misfit—Zelda refers to him continuously as ‘dwarf’ because he’s short—and his point of view, often given through inner thought paired with downplayed dialogue, is hilarious. David makes many a misstep, but his determination is heartwarming. The reader can’t help but like him, and as David begins to question who or what Zelda is, the reader must weigh the options--is Zelda a disturbed teenage girl or is she really a 350-year-old alien from an all-female planet?