Looking for gay teen romance in space, but with even more complications? Look no further!
I don’t know a ton about gay teen romance, but I suspect there are always complications. However, A Complicated Love Story Set in Space by Shaun David Hutchinson takes it to another level.
Goodreads describes it as, “Black Mirror meets What If It’s Us in this gripping, romantic, and wildly surprising novel about two boys lost in space trying to find their way home—while falling in love.”
There are tons of big reveals along the way that add the titular complications to the story, and I don’t want to spoil anything for you. So instead of a synopsis of the book (you can read a very good synopsis on Goodreads if you really need to know more about the story before you pick it up), I’m going to list my favorite things about the story in no particular order:
1) I’ve never seen either of the shows in that blurb above, so the description is not why I picked it up. Honestly, it was the title. What a delightful introduction to the feel of the story! I love the title, and the story absolutely lives up to it.
2) Much of the story is introspection. Yes, there are some interesting action scenes, but main character Noa trying to work through his feelings is the larger part of the story. Some of my favorite space operas do this well, and so does this book.
3) The audiobook is A++. I would have liked the story anyway, and the author’s voice absolutely comes through in the writing, but I literally can’t get the audiobook reader’s voice for the Jenny hologram out of my head, and I love it.
4) There are plenty of sci fi tropes throughout the book. Space monsters, a time loop, ship malfunctions, visits to other planets… my Star Trek loving heart was satisfied.
5) The book has a goofy overall tone, but the dialogue and inner monologues of the characters make you think, and a little bit break your heart. Very well written.
6) Even though you have an inkling of some of the big reveals, they are bigger than you think. I am speaking as someone who often spoils books for myself by guessing the endings.
Need to know: There is a trigger warning right at the beginning, and plenty of hints as to what the triggering event will end up being, so if you need to avoid that particular trigger, just skip the one section mentioned in the trigger warning. Yes, you’ll miss a bit of the story, but you basically already know what happens in that flashback based on the warning.
The long and short is that this book is a delight, and if you love sci fi, or character-driven stories, or teen romance, or gay romance, or any combination of those things, you should totally pick up this book.
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