Now, like House Rules and Anything but Typical, this is a fictional book about being very different. I'm still not sure if it has anything to do with Alex Woods being hit by a meteor. Him being the victim of bullying at school may be because of his relationship with his doctors, his big words and inability to understand anything if you can't read it, and how he wants to be a theoretical physicist. One day, out of coincidence, he ends up meeting a senior citizen in the worst possible scenario, his tool shed destroyed with Alex at gunpoint with him. Named Isaac Peterson, the elder is a tough righteous man who smokes cigarettes, and Alex is forced to do chores for him to make up for it, courtesy of Alex's strong willed mother, even though neither of them really want it. Gradually, over the years, they start to bond, talking about revolutionary books like ones written by Kurt Vonnegut. They are a very odd matchup, but it somehow works. Mr. Peterson teaches Alex the way life really works and how to feel when your dog dies. This gets him involved in a teenager his age who swears like a dog barks named Ellie, and she bonds with Alex in a weird sisterly kind of way, certainly not in the sweetest fashion.
My mom read this whole book to me, and at first, I couldn't understand what any of the praise meant by "warm." It just went by and such for a big portion of the book; sixty pages of the book didn't need to be there, and the vocabulary gives off some jokes that my mom laughed at but I usually didn't, so I can come to the conclusion this book is more for adults, even though a teen is the main character. In short terms, I was very close to not recommending it in the end and I was planning on giving this thumbs down as the first half of the book went by, and in a way, I want to. But I can't, it delivers the premise during the second half. It then resorts to an interesting story about death and I then felt for the characters and I could listen to every page without getting that annoyed. However, in the end, I did want more, such as I expected a chase scene during the last bit and I wanted things to be more complicated. Before the end though, it had tension, and I was crying a little bit, and the relationship with Ellie went how I wanted, her swearing actually starting to make me smile.
It's far from perfect, and it got seriously annoying, but the elements were there. In terms of most freaky and exposition clogged books about difference, The Universe vs. Alex Woods wins by default.