Help is NOT On the Way!

the loneliest girl in the universe

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

By: Lauren James

Grade: A

Romy Silvers is the last survivor of a deep space mission headed to a new Earth. She’s never even set foot on the real Earth having been born on the mission. Used to her loneliness and tenuous connection to NASA Romy is over the moon when she hears they’ve launched another mission to catch up to hers. Soon J makes contact a young man and easily connects with the lonely girl.

But everything is definitely not as it seems.

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Life

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Life

Directed by: Daniel Espinosa

Grade: B+

Life is about a group of scientists on the International Space Station that discover an alien life form. Unfortunately not E.T. I should say first off that I have certainly heard the Alien comparisons, and understand them, but my Alien experience is only the one that had Michael Fassbender in it. (And you bet I’m gonna see Covenant.)

But that’s a whole other movie.

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Hidden Figures

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Hidden Figures

Directed By: Theodore Melfi

Grade: A-

I finally got to see Hidden Figures this week! It’s one I had been looking forward to for a long time and thankfully it lived up to the hype. Even though my theater somehow forgot how to start the movie on time and then how to turn down the lights. But that’s a whole other deal.

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The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet

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The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet

Author: Becky Chambers

Genre: Space Epic

Grade: B +

Rosemary is escaping her life when she signs on to be a clerk on the Wayfarer, a ship that punches holes through the galaxy so people can get where they need to go quicker. Near the start of her journey Ashby, Captain of the Ship, sees a chance to make a lot of money and a name for themselves when the government makes a treaty with a former enemy. A group of people who no one knows a great deal about except they generally fight with everyone.

I didn’t find that that part of the plot was a big deal. This is really more of a character journey. You don’t even see it completely through Rosemary’s eyes but every member of the crew gets their moment to shine. There’s Ashby along with two engineers Jenxs and Keezy, space pilot Sissix, unpleasant Corbin, Doctor Chef, Ohan (who is actually two- long story) and the AI Lovey.

Despite the jumping around and the side trips and meeting their families in some cases, friends and loved ones in the other I really enjoyed this. It moved quickly. All the characters were well-written they stood on their own in terms of personalities and voices. Jenx and Keezy were probably the closest but then they were meant to be.

There is some talk about alien sex, alien/human relations and in general wars and all the ways species can manage to kill themselves and each other. There’s even a bit about war profiteering and cloning. Because it’s so much nothing ever really goes to in-depth. It really felt like watching episodes of Firefly or Farscape like this ones going to be about this character, now this character and so on and so forth.

It’s weird to say but that took some getting used to as I’ve been reading a lot of main character type books recently. All the information and exposition on the world was a little tough to keep track of too but it’s the characters that count.

The good thing is that when you do get to the crux of the story toward the end I more than gave a damned about them.

Recommend: Yes. If you like a good character book that’s really more about the journey than the destination. I’m not sure if this is a series (which honestly is a good thing these days) but if there’s ever a second book it’s a world full of characters I would want to hang out with again.

The Prom Goer’s Interstellar Excursion

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This book was a little bit Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, a little bit Spaceballs, and a little bit John Hughes 80’s teen movies. It also has a little bit of those behind the music documentaries to it. Fun, easy to read and should probably soon be optioned into a movie. I kind of want to fan cast a movie version now.

Bennett is a lanky musician loner who gets the girl of his dreams to agree to go to prom with him only to have her kidnapped by aliens. He then realizes that he needs to save her so as not to ruin his prom dreams. Also big credit for having him realize that if he doesn’t he’s probably going to go to jail on kidnapping charges or worse. Luckily when he doesn’t get kidnapped himself he decides on a last meal of freedom and gets picked up by the Perfectly Reasonable, a galactic band on the way to the big festival to make a comeback.

If they can stop drinking and fighting long enough they may even save Sophie and make it back in time for prom. Of course remembering my prom if I had the option I would have stayed in space.

Like I said this was a fun book and I genuinely liked all the characters and rooted for them. There was a lot of cute stuff with the band and making space music. I also liked reading a YA about kids who aren’t in a post-apocalyptic world and don’t have any kind of super powers in fact besides the whole space/alien thing they are utterly normal. I also loved that even alien band members know that you don’t just apply to one college and hope for the best.

 Recommend: Yes, especially since this is prom season. Give it to your date when you ask them and you can always say at least we won’t be kidnapped by aliens. (Probably.)