Life in Outer Space - Melissa Keil

I’m a geek at heart. My favorite show is the Big Bang Theory, I get excited about math and if there is any possible way for me to throw a movie quote into a conversation I totally will.  This book was written for me, the MC Sam is totally my peeps.


Sam’s inner dialog is funny, his outer one with his friends is funnier still.


No one calls me Sammy.  My mother occasionally throws a “Samuel”, but I am, and have always been, just Sam.  Sammy is a name for five-year-olds and game show hosts and Shinny Happy People.

I am, definitely, not a Sammy.


He is a self professed geek.  He helps fix computer related stuff at the school, is obsessed with horror flixs, StarWars, Star Trek, plays World of Warcraft and can’t pass gym to save his life. 


He runs around with the same group of kids he has from grade School.  They are a tight knit foursome Mike, Adrian and Allison.  They are so tight knit that when Mike announces that he thinks he might be gay, but isn’t quite sure, his friends help him by googling it, looking as Sam’s Dads vintage porn to make sure, and watching movies that are probably extremely gay i.e. Dirty Dancing.  Adrian even offers to kiss him just to verify, which is rejected for hilarious reason I will not ruin.  Once decided Mike is definitely gay that is it.  It is not a big deal and everyone just moves on as normal, as you should.


When the new girl Camilla comes to school Sam is baffled when she seems to try to be a part of their group because their group is definitely on the D-list of High School hierarchy.  She is beautiful, smart, funny, plays World of Warcraft and since her dad is quasi famous as a writer the A-group totally wants her to be with them.  Camilla has moved around so much that she is really comfortable in her own skin and seems to be able to hang out in any group without any repercussions.  


I realize that Camilla is out very own statistical anomaly, an outlier that no one seems to know where to place.


There it is a math quote, I think this is where I had a geekasm, if there is such a thing and I’m pretty sure there is.  Camilla inserts herself into Sam’s life via a study group with the rest of Sam’s friends and when she meets Sam’s mom Julie: 


Mum looks like someone has told her that Santa will shortly be arriving with that guy from Pride and Prejudice in tow


I liked that there is no insta-love in this.  Sam is not the nerdy kid that sees the beautiful girl and is in love and must find a way to make her see him.  He is totally happy hanging out with the cool girl that likes WoW (World of Warcraft), Star Wars and will argue the validity of ewoks with him.  They become best friends and he is oblivious that there might be something more to his feelings until….well until he is not. 


The story is just situational, there is no real plot driver but I loved watching all the interactions of Sam and his friends over the course of their school year.  It is how friends who are tight should be.  Whenever anyone in the group has a ‘crisis’ the others are there to help out.  I absolutely loved Mike, who seemed to see where things could go and even though Sam was oblivious Mike was there trying to help him be alone with Camilla.  When Sam’s parents split up each member of the group does what they can to help Sam


“So. Are we concocting some elaborate scheme where we pretend to be twins to get your parents back together?”


There are so many moments in this book that I giggled, quite a few a guffawed and it left me feeling shiny and happy.  I was reading and realized my cheeks sorta hurt from having a stupid smile on my face for an hour.  Any book with chapter titles like The healing power of John Cusack movies and Proof that math and meat cleavers will only ever be metaphorically useful has to be brilliant.


I loved Camilla and Sam and their journey in this book.  This is a great, I want to feel good, lazy day read.  I recommend it for anyone that wants a cute and happy book.  I will say that this even rivals Anna and the French Kiss as one of my all time favorite YA contemporary romances.


Brilliant Funny Fantastic I don't have enough adjectives for how great this book was