"Starman" meets "The Fifth Wave" is what captures the feel of the story for me, although there is no alien invasion like in the Wave. Lucas is in a coma, dying from cancer when an object from space crashes on his family farm. His dog Mack is sniffing around the object before coming back into the house to snuggle next to Lucas. What no one realizes is that an extraterrestrial entity was present in the pod and it has hitched a ride on Mack and then entered the body of Lucas to protect itself. What they do see is Lucas making an incredible return to health.
Emma, Lucas's girlfriend, thinks that the potion she bought from the local magic practitioner, believes that she is responsible for the miraculous recovery her boyfriend makes that night. But Mrs. Kokesh, the potion maker, had warned that the Lucas she got back might not be the same boy she had loved before the cancer. At first Emma thinks that is why Lucas seems to have trouble speaking without unless he repeats what someone else says, and other oddities in his behavior. But at last Emma and Lucas's brother Eric figure out what has happened, and then the three teens have to solve the problem of how to get the real Lucas back and the visitor in his body back where he belongs.
Along the way there are sneaky government agents, conspiracy nuts, square dancers, SETI, and a major road trip. There are very realistic details portraying how a family with a teen dying of cancer would be dealing with the situation, but then the quest to get "Scout" (the alien visitor) home becomes a "Smoky and the Bandit" chase across the miles from the farm to where the radio equipment they need is located. We can see Emma's and Eric's love and concern for Lucas in the lengths they go to for his sake, and we root for a happy ending for Emma and Lucas's family, as well as for Scout.
If you like sci-fi/fantasy and don't mind some romance mixed in, or like romance and don't mind if some sci-fi/fantasy is mixed in - then read From a Distant Star.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.
For more information about the author and her other books, visit her website.