Monday, February 25, 2013

Life in Outer Space

Review Time! Life in Outer Space is the first book published through Hardie Grant Egmonts Ampersand Project. A project dedicated to publishing YA works of fiction by unpublished authors. Melissa Keil  is the first author to be published through this project! YAY for Aussie YA fiction and 2013 YA Debuts! You can purchase a copy of Life in Outer Space from Fishpond | The Nile | Booktopia | Bookworld. Thanks to Hardie Grant Egmont for the review copy!

(Goodreads) Sam Kinnison is a geek, and he’s totally fine with that. He has his horror movies, his nerdy friends, World of Warcraft – and until Princess Leia turns up in his bedroom, he doesn’t have to worry about girls.

Then Sam meets Camilla. She’s beautiful, friendly and completely irrelevant to his life. Sam is determined to ignore her, except that Camilla has a life of her own – and she’s decided that he’s going to be part of it.

Sam believes that everything he needs to know he can learn from the movies ... but now it looks like he’s been watching the wrong ones.

The Short Story? - Keil's Life in Outer Space is a heart warming story about growing up and pushing social boundaries. The story of a group of high school misfits and the girl who changes everything, Life in Outer Space is everything that I imagined it would be. Funny, quirky and adorkably cute, Keil's debut is unlike anything I've ever read. With a brilliant yet socially awkward male protagonist and his equally as awkward motley crew, Life in Outer Space offers readers a refreshingly realistic and relatable take on growing up and the power of friendship, love and everything dorky!

The Long Story? - Under normal circumstances, this probably wouldn't have been my cup of tea. I'm not normally one to be found reading novels about growing up (unless there are hot boys involved) or books with geeky references throughout it (because I don't get 95% of them) but somehow I found myself enjoying Life in Outer Space very much. There is something refreshingly about this debut, I loved that it pushed social boundaries, I loved the emphasis on friendship and I like the routine of the whole novel, it's so steady yet funny and not at all boring. I would have liked to see a little more romance which is funny because everyone else LOVES this book because of the minimalistic romance but I'M A GIRL (sue me!). I can't say that I understood many of the geeky references made throughout the novel but I enjoyed it nevertheless. There is something light and fluffy about this plot and I can definitely see why this book appeals to readers of both genders. Definitely a debut worth checking out!

The characterisation really did it for me. I wouldn't say I'm typically geeky or a "misfit" but I could definitely connect with Sam. I loved that the book was written through the perspective of a boy, honestly it's such an interesting perspective, authors should write through boys more often! Sam was so cute and adorkable, I just wanted to cuddle him and never let go! I loved reading about his adventures with his friends and his relationship with Camilla. His awkwardness and wittiness was irresistible and I want more than anything to plop down on the couch next to him and watch horror movies! His character development was well done, I'm glad to see him become more confident because there is no reason for him to have low self esteem, he's absolutely brilliant. Camilla was one of my favourite secondary characters, she's so down to earth and groovy! She doesn't care about what everyone else thinks and yet somehow everyone adores her for being who she is. She's such a lovely girl! All of Sam's other friends are all so lovely as well, I simply adored them all! I want to be their friend!!! Great characterisation!

I would highly recommend Life in Outer Space to any readers looking for a light hearted contemporary YA without a heavy emphasis on romance. This is the kind of novel everyone should read because it shows true appreciation for friendship which is what high school is about. It's about friendship not boys and I liked how that came through in Keil's debut (although you know I wouldn't hate the book either if it's overly romantic :D). All in all, I very much enjoyed Life in Outer Space and I'm sure many of you will too!

What's it Worth? - Squeeze Into the Budget/ Hand Over the Paycheck

Badass Bookie


  1. Great to see initiatives like the Ampersand Project giving voice to young writers. Wish there were more of them out there. Life in Outer Space seems a little like an Aussie Perks of Being a Wallflower, which is a good thing as I really dug that book. One of the best teen angsty stories I've ever read is SUBMARINE by Joe Dunthorne. Quirky and heartfelt.

  2. Hey, it's M.J. Hearle! Author of Winter's Shadow--woot for remembering. I'll have to check out Submarine.

    Nice review, missy. I love books with good characterisation. :) *thumbs up* This one reminds me of another Aussie YA book, Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood. Male perspective (he's a little bit geeky), a slow-simmering romance and a sweet and lovely read. Added to the magical Goodreads. 8D

  3. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed LiOS- I really enjoyed it, myself, and loved Sam. To me it felt a little like Miss Keil could maybe be something like an Australian John Green, her writing style felt reminiscent of him, though maybe for a slightly younger age. Love the review!

  4. This book looks amazing to read and you have an awesome review i might get this one as a gift to myself. :)