Goodreads Summary: As a successful social media journalist with half a million followers, seventeen-year-old Cal is used to sharing his life online. But when his pilot father is selected for a highly publicized NASA mission to Mars, Cal and his family relocate from Brooklyn to Houston and are thrust into a media circus.
Amidst the chaos, Cal meets sensitive and mysterious Leon, another “Astrokid,” and finds himself falling head over heels—fast. As the frenzy around the mission grows, so does their connection. But when secrets about the program are uncovered, Cal must find a way to reveal the truth without hurting the people who have become most important to him.
Thoughts: I’ll admit I wasn’t too sure if I’d like this for so many reasons. One being the reality TV scenes thrown in, especially since those scenes feel choppy and confusing to me. Another was that this book was something I knew nothing about, NASA and a connection to a time that happened before I was born. I gave it a try though because I love LGBTQ+ stories told by own voices and I’m glad I read this.
Overrall it’s a cute story of two boys in love at a complicated time for everyone involved with so much more embedded in the story than the space exploration mission. The complexity of the characters, their relationships, and emotions throughout is really what drew me in.
I loved how this book addresses both anxiety and depression through two different characters. I thought if was good to see mental health being addressed by both the mom and Leon. I also liked how Cal jr. wants to fix everyone but struggles with how and learning that it cant be fixed.
I really enjoy how Cal acts like hes a rock and the idea that he can lift everyone up. I enjoy the complexity of him needing others as things fall apart for him but how he struggles with asking for help. It reminds me a lot if myself throughout my life so it resonates with me and makes me feel bad for Cal.
You can get this book at Barnes and Noble or look for it at your local library coming February 4th.