The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman – Brady Stefani (Review)

Title: The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman
Author: Brady Stefani
Publisher: SparkPress, 2016
Genre: YA Science Fiction

**I received a copy of this book free from the author and Booktasters in exchange for an honest review**

This review can be found on my BlogTeacherofYA’s Tumblr, or my Goodreads page

My Review:

This book was…different than what I was expecting. But that does not mean bad! It just means…different.

But let’s get into it…

Courtney Hoffman is a little troubled ever since her grandfather tattooed a symbol on her ribs and then tried to drown her at seven years old. Her grandfather was found dead later, and Courtney has mixed feelings about him. See, Courtney’s grandfather believed in aliens. Yup…aliens. Like this: πŸ‘½.

Courtney doesn’t want to believe, but when she starts getting visits in the middle of the night, she knows she’s either crazy…or her grandfather was right:

When Courtney tries to tell her mother, it doesn’t go well. Especially since her mother has been dating Dr. Anderson. He is creepy and seems to think Courtney is mentally ill. Maybe she is? I mean, who sees aliens in their bedroom at night? She can’t sleep, and when she does, it seems like the aliens are trying to tell her something…or maybe hurt her like her grandfather…are they the ones that hurt him?

Luckily for Courtney, someone believes her: a girl she thought was an imaginary friend. Courtney knew her as Astra, but she’s real, and she’s been trying to communicate with Courtney, because maybe Courtney isn’t so crazy after all…

If someone else believes, maybe Courtney is right. But what does that mean in the long run for her. 

And what do these aliens want…if they’re real?

Here’s a video trailer for the book that I think sums it up nicely:

Is It Classroom-Appropriate?

Nope. And that’s only because there’s some swearing. Especially use of the F-word. If that wasn’t there, then I would say yes 100%. But you know how parents can get…and I don’t blame them. However, if there wasn’t, I would think this could be a good book for the classroom: you have a young girl, suffering from the loss of her grandfather and some trauma in her childhood, questioning her mental health and getting very little support from her mother. 

Unfortunately because of the swearing, I cannot recommend it for the classroom. Maybe for older readers? 


Age Range

On this one, I would say 15 and up. 16 and up if you are extremely conservative about swearing. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. I don’t think this should turn off older readers to this book, though. I’m overly cautious when it comes to two areas: sex and swearing, as well as adult themes. So for a mid-teen, I don’t find this offensive. But that’s a personal call I can’t make, as I don’t have children. 

End Result:

So this is where it gets a little tricky with me. I love most books. I liked the concepts and I did get glued to the page. But Courtney…oh, Courtney.

Let’s just say that Kestrel from The Winner’s Curse used to be the most annoying character for me. Past tense.

Courtney has stolen the spot from Kestrel. 

Throughout the book, Courtney is whiny, always crying, and always doing the one thing you are SCREAMING AT HER NOT TO DO. “Remember, don’t open the gate.” Courtney opens the gate. “Don’t go meet with Dr. Delmar!” Courtney meets with Dr. Delmar. Seriously??? You’re brought to a room in a dirty, abandoned hospital, without your parents or a safety buddy, where someone could rape you and leave you for dead…but it’s ok because he’s a doctor that specializes in aliens?? AND THEN YOU ALMOST GO BACK???

I wanted to slap her. So bad. So many bad choices. I know teens aren’t always making the best decisions, but seriously. C’mon. That was my biggest complaint: Courtney and her mistakes. Courtney and her poor decision-making skills. Courtney and her attempts to tell her mom what her mom obviously won’t believe. 


There is a second book coming out apparently. And I’m a sucker for finding out more. I did not like Court of Fives, but when paired with Poisoned Blade, I started to like it more. Maybe this was Courtney’s “growth” period and she won’t be so frustrating. Or maybe she was just being a teenage girl. 

I give The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜†. I could see others liking it, but it wasn’t my cup of tea. But I will probably read the sequel, because I always have to know more. (At least a sequel or follow-up was alluded to).

That also means:

So whatcha y’all reading lately? I have another review right after this of Holding Up The Universe, so stay tuned…

34 thoughts on “The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman – Brady Stefani (Review)

  1. If it wasn’t for the annoying Courtney is whiny and makes constant bad decisions I would probably give this book a go. I’m all for aliens.. it sounds mighty good but i don’t think i can manage the teenage drama… fork it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fork it indeed!
      Yeah. The premise: I love science fiction…give me aliens any day! (I totally need to read the Obsidian books by Jennifer L. Armentrout). I also like me some romance in my books.
      But I will prob read the sequel bc he IS a good writer…I just hope the main character develops a bit more. Maybe I’m not giving her enough credit: she IS 15. Maybe he got it right and other authors get it wrong. I remember being whiny as a teen. I think…


      1. Yeah, you’re right… teenagers are whiny and hormonal and it’s probably a fairly accurate characterisation.. however… there are teenagers that are pretty down to earth as well…. but everything in good doses, right? It would be mega if in the sequel the character development really appeared, it would be the obvious thing to do after all…
        you love alien stories? do you believe in them too? ^^ πŸ™‚
        re Obsidian… hehe.. you should check out … Liam there does a readalong of Obsidian and he is not impressed with the male character from there… or with the female character πŸ˜€ it’s been hilarious and shocking… sure, we all see our characters from different angels but… ^^

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I will have to check that out, lol!
      Yeah, if the character doesn’t change in the next book, I’m gonna give up. I’m thinking if aliens don’t mature you like instantly, then there is something seriously wrong with you.
      And don’t go into creepy abandoned buildings with strangers. That’s just obvious!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review for this book Stephanie. It sounds…confusing to say the least but I will admit I think the concept itself is interesting. I haven’t really read many books about aliens so far, they don’t seem to be very big in YA at the moment, so it’s certainly unique for me from that perspective.
    But oh Courtney would have really annoyed me as well. I hate it when characters seem to always do the opposite of what is safe. I mean maybe once or twice to get the plot moving but all the time? It’s like in horror films when the characters all split up and your screaming at them not to because they’re just going to get killed quicker. :/ Yeah I can see why you may have been annoyed by her character a bit. Still hopefully the second book will be better! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! It was just like that! It’s like, “No bitch, don’t run up the stairs!” And she DOES!!
      I kinda screamed at her at one point out loud. I said, “Are you serious? You’re really gonna…” and I trailed off bc I realized I was talking out loud to a book.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As always, you have managed to dissect this one beautifully. I admit though, I do not think this is one I am going to recommend to the daught. Not due to swearing.. because we really don’t give a fork πŸ˜‰ <– Like what I did there haha. I just don't think this would be her cup of tea.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really like the whole concept of this. I’ve only ever come across three other series that tackle the whole alien thing but all of them were so interesting (even though I haven’t finished 2/3 of the series). The main character for this does sound really annoying though. I don’t like whiney, impulsive characters at all. I get so frustrated and want to throw the book πŸ™ˆ. Great review as always, Stephanie!! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Melissa!!
      Yeah, she was super whiny and always did the stupid thing. ALWAYS.
      However, if he really does plan to write another book in the series, then I will prob read it bc I want to see if the protagonist grows at all. Nothing worse than having an emotionally stunted protag throughout the entire series!! πŸ™„

      Liked by 1 person

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