The first novel published through Hardie Grant Egmont's new Ampersand Project, an imprint dedicated to debut YA novels, Life In Outer Space is just the loveliest. As a result, I am very much looking forward to what the Ampersand Project discovers next.
Reminiscent of Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood in terms of adorable romance (and a little bit Shirley Marr's Preloved too), Life In Outer Space is just nice, you know? I don't know how to express this properly (if we could mind-meld you'd get it - how much easier everything would be if we could mind-meld), but sometimes I tire of all the edgy, and the gritty, and the ever-present overly masculine and borderline-disturbing love interest (I mean, really) and I just want to read a novel with people I can relate to in it. It's like a YA novel version of a rom-com with all these socially awkward nerdy kids in it (who are actually really cool and awesome, despite their professed geekiness).
It's funny and endearing and chock full of movie references (do you think I've used the phrase 'chock full' on this blog before?) and there's a little bit of World of Warcraft in there, too. It's not groundbreaking - just boy-meets-girl, boy-is-socially-awkward, boy-eventually-realises-he-loves-girl but it's so darn nice/adorably funny. I love Camilla myself, and I also love Melissa Keil and I'd quite like it if another Keil novel were published very soon (why must it take so long for books to be written? Again, mind-melds, they'd be handy).
Here it is on Goodreads, should you care for a blurb or a second opinion.