Okay, so Unplugged and Unpopular by Mat Heagerty, illustrated by Tintin Pantoja and Mike Amante, was a hilarious and adorable, if slightly exaggerated, story about a young girl who loses access to all her technology when she is grounded for helping a popular girl cheat on a test. While Erin quickly sees this punishment as the fastest path to making her exceedingly unpopular, she’s not quite prepared for what the break from her screens opens her eyes to. All of a sudden she can see the aliens who have been brainwashing everyone with technology.
One of the funnier aspects of this story is the fact that those who don’t spend a lot of time with technology–e.g. the elderly–can see the aliens and Erin’s grandmother happens to be one of them. But of course she and her parents, who are constantly looking at phones and computers, just think grandma is a bit crazy when she goes on about the aliens that live among them and are slowly abducting people.
As Erin becomes more aware about the truths of the world, she visits a library where two older men have been preparing to fight against the aliens for quite a while now, one of which happens to be her grandmother’s boyfriend. And thus begins their quest to save everyone who has been abducted and to get rid of the aliens once and for all. With Erin at the front and everyone else from the retirement home behind her, surely they can manage to fend of the creatures and save their family and friends.
It’s a fun and intriguing story with a decent commentary about the obsessive need people have developed for their phones and computers. I would definitely agree that it’s nice to step away from it all every once in a while. Of course, there are a few inaccuracies and stereotypes presented, mainly with libraries and the elderly, but overall nothing too problematic as far as I was able to tell. I enjoyed this graphic novel overall, though I did certainly find it to be somewhat silly.
I think it’s definitely a fun read for any middle school kid and would definitely recommend it.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.