"I'm so starry-eyed for this wise, romantic gem of a book." - Becky Albertalli, bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
In this smart, heart-warming YA debut perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, two teens find love when their lives are uprooted for their parents' involvement in a NASA mission to Mars.
Cal wants to be a journalist, and he's already well underway with almost half a million followers on his FlashFame app and an upcoming internship at Buzzfeed. But his plans are derailed when his pilot father is selected for a highly-publicized NASA mission to Mars. Within days, Cal and his parents leave Brooklyn for hot and humid Houston.
With the entire nation desperate for any new information about the astronauts, Cal finds himself thrust in the middle of a media circus. Suddenly his life is more like a reality TV show, with his constantly bickering parents struggling with their roles as the "perfect American family."
And then Cal meets Leon, whose mother is another astronaut on the mission, and he finds himself falling head over heels--and fast. They become an oasis for each other amid the craziness of this whole experience. As their relationship grows, so does the frenzy surrounding the Mars mission, and when secrets are revealed about ulterior motives of the program, Cal must find a way to get to the truth without hurting the people who have become most important to him.
An IndieBound YA Bestseller!
An IndieNext List Pick!
An Amazon Best Book!
A Goodreads Choice Award Finalist!
A Cosmopolitan Best Young Adult Book of the Year!
Recommended on the TODAY Show!
Cal is a young queer man with a plan, building a following on social media and preparing for a future as a journalist, but his whole life turns upside down when his pilot father is chosen as an astronaut candidate for NASA's Mars mission. After his white family relocates from Brooklyn to a small town near Houston, Cal determines to adapt to his new life as best he can, tweaking his reporting to work alongside NASA's publicity department, necessarily appearing on the reality television show that follows the astronauts and their families, and making friends and more than friends with fellow "Astrokid" Leon, a brown-skinned gymnast. Stamper thoughtfully handles Cal's struggles to fit in with the other astronauts' "perfect families, fancy parties, and petty gossip," the stress of the mission, Leon's depression, and the spotlight of public attention. Despite the dramatic backdrop, this quiet debut is a openhearted novel that shows a realistic, imperfect queer relationship and a young man growing to know and to be true to himself even when everything is shifting around him. Ages 13 up.)\n
This is the second LGBT book I read and it was definitely not the book I was expecting.
I was pleasantly surprised.
A New Favorite
The minute that I finished this book, I wanted to flip right back to the first page and read it again. This story is absolutely beautiful. The characters feel so real right from the start. I absolutely adore their development- the arcs all feel earned and are so rewarding to read through. I highly recommend this book! I can’t even begin to describe how much these characters mean to me. This book left me an emotional mess and I can’t wait to see what Phil Stamper does next. I think I might have a new favorite author 💕