Book Review: See You in the Cosmos

Title: See You in the Cosmos

Author: Jack Cheng

Genre/s: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

My rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

A space-obsessed boy and his dog, Carl Sagan, take a journey toward family, love, hope, and awe in this funny and moving novel for fans of Counting by 7s, Walk Two Moons, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

11-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan—named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he’ll uncover—from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.

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After reading King of Scars, I was in some sort of hangover. I didn’t know what to read next, I had no motivation to read another book (it is frustrating!). I knew I needed something contemporary, something light as I’ve binge read so much fantasy novels this month. Fortunately, See You in the Cosmos is exactly what I needed to refresh my reading mood and my senses! It was beautiful, touching, fun, and downright wonderful.

The writing

The writing style of this book is really refreshing! It was light, it was funny, and so, so innocent. I also liked the fact that the story was written differently. It was written as if they were the transcriptions of Alex’s recordings on his Golden iPod. That was really unique, and I kept thinking about how the audiobook version must be superb.

Furthermore, the writing style really captures the innocent point of view of such a magnificent child towards the complicated, adult world. It was so simple, yet so moving. The author took us to a journey of making friends, finding family, discovering love, and growing up. The story was just so incredibly human.

The characters

Alex is such a sweet, intelligent, and honest child. Reading the story through his point of view, his recordings, is such a blessing. This kid just has so much innocence, brilliance, and compassion in him that he changes the people around him, affects them for the better. I loved him as the protagonist. I would have liked more representation though. Alex and his brother is half-Filipino, and I would have loved if there were more details and more background about it. (Filipinos represent! 🇵🇭💗)

Zed was really cool, and I knew from the start that his story has more to it. And at the end, it was really nice seeing his character development!

Terra was also a good character for me. It was so nice witnessing her journey, and how much Alex affected her life.

Steve was really annoying to be honest, but I’m glad that he manned up at the end, and started to act more like a responsible adult.

And of course, my favorite character here is the dog, Carl Sagan. Bless him.

The plot

The plot was simple enough to follow, and yet so many things happened. First there was the SHARF, then Las Vegas, then LA, then back home. They went to a lot of places, met a lot of new people, but despite that, I loved how the plot was centered in family. I loved how it progressed, and I certainly loved how all the questions and the conflicts got resolved.

Quotes from the book

“…if you’re only brave when you’re happy then it’s not bravery”

“There’s a part of it that’s, like, letting go. Like a sacrifice but in a good way. You trade a part of yourself for something that’s even bigger than you, and it feels good but weird at the same time. It’s totally worth it, though.”

“…real love means a sacrifice, but a good kind of sacrifice, that’s about giving up something to get a bigger something else.”

“Sometimes when we really love someone we have to leave them, because it’s better for them than if we stayed.”

“…fire is really interesting to watch, I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because it’s always changing.”

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And there you go, 5 stars for this wonderfully-written book! I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. In the end, I’m so glad I read this!

How about you guys? Read this one yet?

2 thoughts on “Book Review: See You in the Cosmos

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