I picked this book up because I enjoyed The Wicker King and it was the best decision of mine in a long time.
This story is about Ryann and Alexandria. Ryann lives with her brother and his child, her parents died a year ago and she is doing the best she can to make things work. School, home maintenance, raising a child, and looking after her friends means she has very little time to think, or care, about what she wants. She gave up on her aspirations of NASA where her mother worked and inspired a love of space in Ryann. She’s given up everything to take care of everyone else. Alexandria is a legend. She is the daughter of a girl who went on a special life long mission in space. Her mother had her shortly before she left and left Alexandria with her father. Now, Alexandria and her father move around to keep who she is a secret and allow her some peace.
Well that doesn’t go as planned. Ryann is put on a mission to befriend Alexandria and it isn’t easy. With this challenge in her hands, Ryann has her group of friends join her in getting through Alexandria’s rough exterior. But it turns south when they find Alexandria on her roof and she falls after they give her grief. To make up for it, Ryann replaces Alexandria and listens to the radio she has set up to receive transmissions from space in the hopes that she hears from her mother. As things go on and Alexandria and Ryann become more close, something falls into their laps that will change their lives.
To put it simply, I loved this book. I can’t really explain it well. I’ve tried and it just doesn’t work. There’s a gentleness to this story, a love that is woven in the lines of the pages. The realness of the characters and their specific emotional journeys and life circumstances add such a depth to this story that makes it even more magical. There is one section in particular that just completely captivated my heart. Time stood still as I read those pages. I was transported into the story like I have rarely experienced, my heart was floating, I was transfixed. It didn’t even feel like I was reading a book, it felt like I was listening to something real, something that actually happened. That sounds so weird or lame or confusing, but I mean it. I just… time stopped while I read that section. Everything in my world was focused in on what was on the page. I still have the ghost of this feeling that I don’t know if I’ll ever experience again.
I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s quiet, yet loud, brave and gentle, soft, and full of love. There is a magical quality that I can’t put into words so all I can do is tell you to read it. It’s not sci-fi, it is a contemporary story with a focus on space. This is definitely character driven, there is plot, but the point is the characters and their relationships with each other. This story is sapphic too in case that is something you’re interested in (and let’s be real, if you’re on my blog there’s a good chance that’s what you care about). So please, please read this book. I want you to experience what I did, to feel the way I felt. I know that it may not happen to everyone, but just in case, just in case, you should read it.