Review of A Complicated Love Story Set in Space

A Complicated Love Story Set in Space
by Shaun David Hutchinson
High School    Simon    464 pp.    g
1/21    978-1-5344-4853-7    $19.99
e-book ed.  978-1-5344-4855-1    $10.99

Noa wakes up to find himself, inexplicably, in a spacesuit floating outside a spaceship, with no recollection of how he got there. Neither does DJ, another boy aboard the ship, who helps bring Noa in, nor Jenny, whom they find locked inside a bathroom. The teens’ immediate concerns are survival and trying to figure out what resources are available, how the ship works, and how they might get back home. Once they settle in for the long haul — as they learn from a recurring hologram of an annoying erstwhile child star, it could be six to nine months before they are rescued — they turn their attention toward one another, becoming friends even as a romance blossoms between Noa and DJ. An already bizarre and complicated plot adds a recurring time loop, an alien monster attack, and a visit to a mysterious high school in space before things start to make sense. In the meantime, the development of the quirky, unusual characters and their growing relationships should keep readers engaged. Hutchinson (The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, rev. 3/18; The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried, rev. 3/19) writes with witty humor and a great ear for dialogue, and he addresses some big existential questions about love, loss, and identity.

From the March/April 2021 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Jonathan Hunt
Jonathan Hunt is the coordinator of library media services at the San Diego County Office of Education.

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