January Book Discussion: Life in Outer Space


This was such a sweet book, and a fun, quick read. Set in Australia (it actually took me a little while to realize this…anyone else?)! I love trying to hear accents in my head, haha.

A few quick thoughts:

  • 150 bonus points for mentioning the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, which I think I have seen about 100 times and can probably still quote beginning to end.
  • I love that Sam watches horror movies with his mom. I thought their relationship was very sweet and I would have liked to have seen more of it, though I recognize that that was not really what this book was about.
  • Camilla was an interesting character who could have been a cliche but felt very fleshed out and real. I think all of the main characters were, actually. At first, I thought Allison was going to be kind of a cardboard cut out character, but she ended up having some depth and layers, too. I liked that Mike was gay but that it wasn’t “a thing.” He wasn’t “the gay character.” He was just a character.
  • What are your thoughts on what the title means? I didn’t notice any specific references to life in outer space (though I will admit that I read quite quickly and have a tendency of skipping over paragraphs that don’t look like they contain pertinent information. Yes, this does occasionally/frequently bite me in the ass). I think perhaps it is referring to the idea of becoming untethered from our normal way of thinking about things and being catapulted into a different perspective, but I don’t know. I’d love to know your theories!
  • I like that Sam was a writer. His obsessions were a nice framework and provided a good through-line that helped guide the book. It wasn’t just “my character will be a writer and this will have no relevance whatsoever.” The ideas of creation and creativity and genuine love for something are a major theme (Sam’s writing, Camilla’s music, Mike’s karate). It was a nice touch to have his writing tie in with his eventual realization of Camilla’s reciprocal love for him.

Okay, guys. Your turn. Thoughts in the comments!

PS. Pick the book for next month here

January Book Discussion: Life in Outer Space

3 thoughts on “January Book Discussion: Life in Outer Space

  1. Carlia says:

    I don’t have many, or really any, significant thoughts to share about this book. It was pretty good, I wasn’t super engaged or felt this overwhelming urge to read it in its entirety over a lunch. However, I did look forward to my work breaks when I could pick up the book and see what was going on with Sam today. It was a nice, simple way to de-funk in the middle of my day.

    I did enjoy how Sam seemed to link everything he did, the questions he had, etc. to movies. Trying to find the “normal” or “typical” response to his situations. One of my more favorite moments has to be the whole Karate Kid = saving Mike connection. That whole scene was thoughtful, awkward and a great show of strong friendship and support.

    Small shout out to Adrian – who never seemed to really know what was going on but just lived each moment.

  2. Valerie says:

    Well I have to admit I was disappointed when this book was picked for January’s read. It just did not sound captivating to me. I was so pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I think I read it in three days. Knowing Jeri and Carlia needed it also could have been another reason for the quick read. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The character development was quite well done that you could essentially understand even some of the minor ones. Like Jessica I am unsure as to the reason for the title, although it may have something to do with not really existing in their current world, but more living in worlds created by movies and music. Camilla was, in my perspective, the most interesting character. At first I thought she would be shallow, brooding, and narcissistic but you quickly learn that she is so much more than that. Her ways of being a part of all ‘crowds’ without judging or excluding were very refreshing. I think the author did a wonderful job of melding these characters together. My wish would be for all kids to have such great friends.

    1. I totally agree about Camilla! I expected her to be a kind of manic pixie dream girl (just there to further Sam’s ambitions and character development, rather than having any of her own) but she was so layered. It was an awesome surprise. 🙂

      You’re right about the friendships, too. I would love for everyone to have such supportive friends in their lives.

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