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review 2014-11-11 00:00
Life in Outer Space
Life in Outer Space - Melissa Keil You can find this, and other reviews, on my blog.

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.
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review 2014-09-07 00:00
Life in Outer Space
Life in Outer Space - Melissa Keil “She doesn't follow me.

She doesn't call out my name and chase after me in the rain. It isn't even raining. The sky doesn't even have the decency to provide me with a good movie cliché.”


Este es uno de esos extrañisimos libros que logró encantarme de principio a fin. Y mi cara mientras lo leía puede resumirse mas o menos así:

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Sam es un nerd adicto a las películas de terror, que desea ser guionista. Él y sus amigos -Adrian, Allison y Mike- se encuentran en el fondo de la cadena alimenticia de popularidad, y pasan sus almuerzos escondidos en la oficina del coordinador de tecnología del colegio.

Camilla es la chica nueva del colegio, fanática de la ropa vintage, las películas de los 80 y es hija de un famoso crítico musical, lo que la hace inmediatamente popular.

Así que cuando Camilla decide romper el status quo y pasar sus días con ellos hablando de Star Trek y Warcraft, Sam teme que sea algún tipo de broma, pero realmente es el comienzo de una gran amistad.

Todo esto puede sonar un poco cliché y predecible, y sí, lo es. Pero también es dulce, divertida y realista.

La relación entre Sam y Camilla se va formando despacio, y me recordó un poco a [b:Anna and the French Kiss|6936382|Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)|Stephanie Perkins|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1358271931s/6936382.jpg|7168450]. No es que tengan nada que ver las tramas, sino por el desarrollo de la amistad y por como puedes sentir la química entre los personajes.

Además tiene puntos extras por no tener nada de exceso de drama. Aquí no vas a encontrar personajes "rotos" o suicidas; bad boys; novios infieles; padres abusadores; ni terribles accidentes, muertes o enfermedades.

Los personajes son un sueño, los amé a todos y cada uno de ellos.Y me parece genial como aunque el foco principal está en Sam y Camilla, la historia no es sólo de ellos, sino también de Adrian con su look de troll y su emoción permanente; de Allison con su adicción a Hello Kitty y a las películas japonesas; y de Mike con su afición al karate y unos padres que tapizaron su casa con banderas multicolores para demostrarle que no tienen problema con que sea gay.

Esta es una historia de amor, pero antes que nada es una historia de amistad.

Y por si eso no es suficiente, ¡tenemos montones de conversaciones geek!

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Me encantan los libros con referencias a la cultura pop, pero en ocasiones son muy cargadas y en vez de ser interesantes se vuelven aburridas porque sino sabes de que hablan no entiendes el chiste.

Este no es el caso de Life in Outer Space. Aquí, las referencias son en su mayoría de películas (aunque también hay algunas de comics, música y videojuegos). Nada demasiado profundo como parecer forzado o que si no has visto la peli no vayas a entender, pero suficiente como para darle credibilidad a Sam como nerd y para entrar en modo fangirl si sí las has visto.

Realmente me gustó mucho mucho este libro y estoy un poco sorprendida que sea el debut de la autora. Estoy llegando a la conclusión de que el mundo necesita más autores australianos.


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review 2014-08-26 15:22
Life in Outer Space - Melissa Keil

I love when I find myself with the desire to hug the book I’ve just read. And not only after I finished it, but also while I was reading it.



I admit that I wasn’t hooked in the first couple of pages. But once I got familiar with Sam, I fell in love. Specially with him. He is such a loser, but in the good way. A total “retard” (used as in term of endearment); or, as I learned in this book, a “knob”. I love that the book was written from his POV; his thoughts were hilarious to read. He is completely clueless, paranoid, and introvert. He is a real nerd; not only he is obsessed with gore movies, but he also likes to write scripts about it -killer cats, zombies-. His taste in horror movies is somewhat MEH, in my opinion, but it was so cute how passionate he was about them. And, of course, he also likes to play games (is WoW really that good, or is just a hyped videogame? I really need to play it someday).

I could relate to him in several aspects: YES to movies; NO to dance. YES to British accent, NO to the use of the term “LOL”. Maybe the best word to describe this book is kawaii. Seriously, I was giggling or grinning most of the times.

The story takes place in Australia, which I had no idea before picking the book. Sam has been living his life quietly and almost unnoticed (except for some bullies) with his 3 best friends; friends that are also very much likeable: gay Mike, weird Adrian and Japanophile Allison. Usually when I finish a book, I forget the names of the MC's friends, or I have a hard time to remember them. Not here. The reader has the chance to know each one of them; the 3 of them are relevant to the story.

Then, enters Camilla, new girl in town; daughter of a very popular journalist. She becomes popular since Day 1; she is everywhere and shares time with everyone. Including Sam’s group, who never goes to parties, never has lunch in the school cafeteria, etc. She befriends them and literally, turns Sam's life upside down. And the story gets all “ohhhh”, “awwww”, “hahaha”. Sam’s fights with his friends made their friendship more real, because they were over silly things or misunderstandings that, eventually, lead to the reconciliation. Sam and Camilla together was so awwwww. Camilla is certainly a lucky girl. According to her words, Sam looks a bit like Luke Skywalker in the first Star Wars movie… Even though I am not into blond guys, a geek Luke Skywalker? Oh yeah.



I loved the book even though it seemed it was going to end with Sam not getting his girl. But no worries, this book is cute from beginning to end (although it also has it serious moments), so of course it has it HEA.

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review 2014-02-24 00:00
Life in Outer Space
Life in Outer Space - Melissa Keil Ahh, the things we do for love. This actually romantic in a highschool-cheesy-NERDY way. Teehee.

4.5 stars! Nerdlust!
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review 2014-01-27 17:22
Life In Outer Space by Melissa Keil
Life in Outer Space - Melissa Keil

 

Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont

Format: Kindle e-book

Rating: 3/5

 

Sam and his best buddies are the geek clique of the school. Fans of cult horror movies and World of Warcraft, they are quite happy to stay out of the way of the 'populars', keeping their heads down in class and seeking refuge in the computer room at lunchtime. Then Camilla joins the school and upsets the apple cart. Camilla, having moved around her whole life and been the 'new girl' way too many times, avoids joining cliques and seeks being friends with everyone. This includes Sam and his crew. Over the course of a school year, Camilla's easy-going nature and general kindness brings together members of the student body who have previously avoided each other and helps Sam to believe in himself and his talents and his true friends.

 

Whilst reading this book, I couldn't help hearing the song 'For Good' from Wicked in my head. Firstly because this book is about those marker people who change you in some way. Secondly because it is a story set during the last year of high school and people like to sing this for leavers assembly and such like, don't they? Anyway, I like these kinds of stories and I enjoyed this book.

 

I didn't like Camilla at first because she seemed like every other manic pixie dream vintage dress wearing free spirt kind of girl. However, she really grew on me and by the end I was completely Team Camilla. Also, there are people out there who are genuinely like her - effortlessly cool, hippie, nomadic types. We didn't get to see too many of her flaws but a) it was Sam's story and b) we were seeing her through Sam's rather rose-tinted glasses.

 

Sam verged on being a bit of a Debbie Downer, which might be why Camilla came off so annoyingly perky and twee in the beginning. However, Sam really needed someone like Camilla to push hum to do things outside his comfort zone and learn to embrace life and everything that comes along with it. She also helped show him clique snobishness can go both ways - the majority of the 'populars' didn't necessarily hate the 'nerds' but the 'nerds' never gave them a chance because of the actions of one member - Justin.

 

The rest of Sam's gang were a cute ensemble. Adrian was the Howard Wolowitz of the group, fully embracing his nerdiness and not letting it hold him back from pursuing what he wants. Allison was sweet and I loved the scene at the beach where she found her voice and began to open up to the other girls. Some women say they can't be friends with other women but I think every woman needs a good girl friend. Camilla became Allison's person and it was very sweet. Finally, Mike, Sam's stoic, karate loving BFF since kindergarten. I appreciated that his story arc was not about his sexuality - it didn't define him. He had his own battle to deal with.

 

I really enjoyed the scenes when the whole school class came together, such as the beach and prom scene. The writing was strong as Melissa Keil presented a diverse body of students trying to deal with feeling a bit silly having spent the past five years looking down on and not speaking to each other. We all went through this during final year.

 

Along with growing up and moving on, another major theme was that of absent parents. It seemed like Camilla's need to reconcile everyone and everything stemmed from loneliness. Her dad - a music journalist - was constantly at gigs and enjoys globe hopping. Her mother is more concerned with running her modelling agency and pampering herself. There's a really sweet bit towards the end where Camilla, literally run down from trying to help everyone, finally accepts help from Sam and his family. I thought Melissa Keil handled Sam's parents' problems really well too. The extent to which their unhappiness effected Sam didn't manifest until the final third of the book when they make a decision and it was very well done.

 

Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot. The film references were lost on me because I don't watch horror films, however I would've loved to go to their prom! A nice Aussie novel.

 
Source: sophsophia.blogspot.com/2014/01/reading-mutiny-challenge-life-in-outer.html
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