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Literature / The Dark Side of Nowhere

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The Dark Side of Nowhere is a Young Adult Science Fiction novel by Neal Schusterman.

Jason is having a bad day. The kind of day when you just don't feel like yourself. Only for Jason, it's not just a feeling. He really isn't himself.Not any more.Who is he? That's the problem. Jason isn't sure. And it's not just him. Everyone in town is acting weird. His friends. His parents. Everyone. Billington is usually such a normal town. As Jason is about to discover, nothing will ever be normal again.


This Book contains examples of:

  • Alien Among Us
  • Alien Invasion
  • Aliens Speaking English
  • As You Know: The story of the warrior fools.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: The aliens. Jason looks at his reflection and wonders if it's possible for a monster to look like a god, and later theorizes it's a defense mechanism to make conquest easier.
  • Going Native: What the aliens, mainly Jason's parents, did when they thought the invasion fleet wasn't coming. And it's how Jason's family ends the novel, prepared to turn traitors for humanity's sake.
  • Her Boyfriend's Jacket: There's a gender reversal of this. Girls wearing their boyfriend's letter-jacket to signify that they are together is a custom in their high-school, but where protagonist Jason gets together with his athletic tomboy love interest, he wears her baseball cap.
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  • I Just Want to Be Special: Jason. He gets his wish.
  • Interspecies Romance: Jason and Paula.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: The book centers on the protagonist discovering that everyone in his Norman Rockwell-esque town, including himself, is really an alien. The frequent booster shots they've received all their lives have been chemicals to suppress their Adonis-level good looks and blend in with humanity. And the message has just come through that the time has come to gear up for the invasion...
  • Short Tank: Little League player Paula Quinn out pitched ugly, angry, Bully Chambers but right afterwords, to erase his humiliation, asked him out on a date.
  • Small Town Boredom: The book starts out with the protagonist thinking like this. Then he discovers that he and most people in the town are actually a race of aliens gearing up for a full-scale invasion.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Jason finds out that everyone in Billington is an alien.


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