I've always loved a title that tells you exactly what's in the box. Snakes on a Plane, for example... Or A Complicated Love Story Set in Space. And since I've been a big fan of Shaun David Hutchinson for ages, I just ad to pick this one up when I saw it on the library shelf.
Although to be honest, the love story isn't actually that much more complicated than any other love story - aren't they all? What is complicated is the plot going on around the love story.
The book opens with two teenage boys waking up on an abandoned spaceship. Well, one on, and the other outside. And all the information the ship is providing tells them it's about to blow up. An exciting set up, right?
It quickly becomes clear that Noa and DJ (and Jenny, who they discover locked in a toilet) have no clue how they got there, or why. It's also clear that keeping the dilapidated spaceship going will keep them busy enough, without the arrival of aliens, possibly murdered crew members and a bizarre school floating in the depths of space.
Great time to fall in love, right? But Noa and DJ find themselves growing more and more attracted to one another. So much so, Noa is almost able to overcome the terrible memories he has from his last relationship.
But of course, the reality of their situation is something very different to what they believe it is. And this where things start to get really complicated.
I really enjoyed this book. It was absurd, but there was enough reality to ground it and the characters reacted to their ridiculous dilemmas in exactly the way a bunch of relatively sheltered kids would when faced with something so bizarre and incomprehensible.
But don't just listen to me. Here's the blurb:
When Noa closes his eyes on Earth and wakes up on a spaceship called Qriosity just as it’s about to explode, he’s pretty sure things can’t get much weirder.
Boy is he wrong.
Trapped aboard Qriosity are also DJ and Jenny, neither of whom remember how they got onboard the ship. Together, the three face all the dangers of space, along with murder, aliens, a school dance, and one really, really bad day. But none of this can prepare Noa for the biggest challenge—falling in love. And as Noa’s feelings for DJ deepen, he has to contend not just with the challenges of the present, but also with his memories of the past.
However, nothing is what it seems on Qriosity, and the truth will upend all of their lives forever.
Love is complicated enough without also trying to stay alive.