Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil
This book. I’m not even sure where to start.
Life in Outer Space isn’t just a young adult novel about the Geeky Guy that falls in love with the Cool Girl. It’s about friendship and navigating high school and growing up and relationships and it’s all packaged in a very funny, very brilliant book.
I found the whole thing really relatable, even though I’m not a teenage boy. A lot of the things Sam is dealing with – being the “uncool” kid, working out how boy-girl relationships work (as friends and more), parents being weird around each other – is just so believable from beginning to end. We’ve all been there, we’ve all wondered if we’re ever going to be one of the popular people, or if our parents are slowly losing the plot.
On top of all that, Sam isn’t just a geek, he’s a believable geek. The whole book is peppered with movie/book/gaming quotes and references, and none of it feels forced or thrown in to earn points.
We don’t get to see much of Sam’s friends outside of his perceptions of them, but we do still get a great picture of who they are and how they’re reacting to everything going on.
There was nothing that I don’t love about this book, apart from the fact that it can’t go on forever. As with Cinnamon Girl, it’s a perfect snapshot of common situations faced by everyone, whether they’re currently in high school or reminiscing about their own awkward teenage years.