Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Life in Outer Space

Life in Outer Space

Fall 2013 Fiction
Ages: 12 - 16 yrs.
Author: Melissa Keil
ISBN: 9781561457427
Hardcover Price: $16.95

Sam is counting down the days until his high school years are over, when he can write horror screenplays, and when he and his friends won't need to spend their lunch periods ensconced in the school's IT room to avoid being bullied. Then, Camilla Carter moves to town, and she appears to have social superpowers. She's cool enough to be adopted by the popular kids, but for some inexplicable reason, she seems to really like hanging out with Sam's geek crowd, tossing around Star Trek references and playing World of Warcraft. Not only that, she can get away with it; under her influence, the school becomes safer for Sam and his friends than it's ever been. Sam is still dubious, though. How can he ever trust that anything could work out between a girl like Camilla and a guy like him?

This appealing story of geeks finding true love is layered with science fiction/fantasy references, but the novel itself belongs squarely in a different category of fantasy—it is an unabashed celebration of high school romance, albeit with a somewhat unconventional romantic hero. As a character, Camilla is a bit too good to be true…but that is, after all, partly what fantasy is for. Sam's friends are well drawn and convincing characters, rounding out the cast of the high school drama nicely. Readers who do not recognize all of the popular culture references will enjoy the school story plot and the romance elements, and fellow geeks will appreciate Sam's wry commentary on high school culture through a constant stream of cult film references.

Naomi Lesley   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Naomi Lesley taught middle and high school English for six years. She is currently in a doctoral program at the George Washington University, focusing on American young adult literature.

Look for this product at:
Peachtree Publishers

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