A huge thanks to Edelweiss and Tor Teen for the e-arc.
This was my first book by Charlie Jane Anders, and it won't be my last. I haven't read such a refreshing sci-fi in a long time. With a cross between Space Balls, and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, this tops my favorite YA books ever.
Tina is a clone, living on Earth and awaiting the day when her beacon would summon her back to space. But when the day comes, she finds herself hunted by a monster as she tries to escape Earth.
The beginning felt so separate from the rest of the book. The setup was great, don't get me wrong, but the real story happens when Tina and her friend Rachel recruit Earthlings to help fight off a sadistic rebellion called the Commission. While she slowly regains the memory of the former captain she was cloned from, she discovers how far she's willing to go to save the galaxy.
With the brief synopsis out of the way, let me get to the meat of this story: the characters. I adored the different species Tina meets, and her interactions with them. Every one of them was unique and stood apart from one another. Rachel resonated with me in that she is an introvert with tenancies to shut down after too much social interaction. I cared about every one the crew members. I rooted for them.
This was the most fun I've had reading a book in 2020. There is so much going on in this book, but it's so easy to understand. We jump from planet to planet, battle to battle with ease. Ander's writing style sucks you right in.
GOD I LOVED ALL THE PRONOUNS. Aliens greet each other by introducing themselves by name and pronoun and it's so refreshing. There is so much diversity in this book, and the first YA I've ever read when the love interest is trans.
Anders touches upon some heavy issues such as depression, anxiety, and discovering who you are as a person. It felt real, and raw in a story where aliens blow different colored bubbles to signify how they feel. :D
I cannot get over how fantastic this book was. have you seen the cover? Are you looking at it right now? Scroll up, and come back to me...OK, you've taken a closer look and ARE YOU NOT AMAZED? I cannot wait to see this sitting on my bookshelf. I'm already getting together my bookstagram props to make this book SHINE