28 Apr 2017

SEE YOU IN THE COSMOS.

The first time I've felt up to doing some bloggy visits since my recent stay in hospital. I promise to get around to dropping by soon if I haven't already done so. In the meantime .. another book read and reviewed pre my stay on Ward 29. TT

SEE YOU IN THE COSMOS by JACK CHENG.

PRESS RELEASE BLURB: An astonishingly moving and heart-warming debut about a space-obsessed boy's quest for answers.

From the first pages you will fall in love  with eleven-year-old Alex Petroski as he sets out on a mission to launch his iPod into space, the way his hero Carl Sagon, the real-life astronomer, launched his Golden Record on the Voyager in 1977. With a series of audio recordings, Alex will show other lifeforms out in the cosmos what life on Earth, his Earth, is really like. But for a boy with a long-dead dad, a troubled mum, and a mostly-not-around brother, Alex struggles with the big questions we all ask ourselves. Where do I come from? Who's out there? And, above all, How can I be brave?

Alex's unique, undefatigable voice will captivate readers young and old and remind you it's always good to see the world a little differently.

<<< About the Author >>>

Jack Cheng was born in Shanghai and grew up in Michagan. After spending nearly a decade in New York, working in advertising and tech, he now lives in Detroit. 

Follow him on Twitter @JackCheng/ www.jackcheng.com

SOURCE: A GoodReads win. An Uncorrected Proof copy, as such I'm unable to share my 'First Sentence' or 'Memorable Moment'.

READ FOR: Not applicable.

MY THOUGHTS: A novel I actually rather liked despite the fact that I felt it was somewhat let down by what I felt was at times a largely implausible plot that at times had me somewhat concerned. Without giving too much away, didn't any of the characters ever notice what seemed to be Alex's mother's disinterest in her son? Didn't they ever question just why an eleven year old was travelling America by himself? Did two grown men really think it suitable to befriend an eleven year old in this way?

No?

Perhaps its just me needing to suspend my disbelief, maybe its just me reading too much into these scenarios rather than simply taking them as a vehicle to explore the issues of which there were plenty.

Issues such as mental illness, loss and finding yourself. Suitable (I would have thought) for most of the 9 to 12 year old age range at which See You In The Cosmos is primarily aimed.

A character I grew to care for ... eventually. As in The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, with which this book has been compared, I at first found Alex's voice irritating and, well, sort of rambling (with so many run-on sentences joined without the proper conjunction I admit to becoming frustrated at times) but then maybe this had more to do with the fact that the book was written largely as a set of recordings about life on earth as seen through the eyes of Alex - recordings which he intended to send into space for the benefit of any life forms that should happen across his iPod.

Not a fan of audio-books by any stretch of the imagination. However, somehow a bit disorganised on paper, I can't help but wonder if audio would be a better format for this particular novel.


17 comments:

Karen Alderman said...

As I get older, I find myself going into adult/worry mode more often and can't just enjoy the stories as much lol

For What It's Worth

Sherry Ellis said...

In our safety-conscious world, it is unimaginable that a child would to all of these things alone. If you look at books like The Magic Tree House series, though, the protagonists, who are children, have their adventures, for the most part, without adult supervision. I guess writers can get away with doing that sort of thing.

Suko said...

Tracy, thank you for sharing your honest thoughts in this well-written review. Have a wonderful weekend!

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

It is so good to have you back and hopefully feeling much more like your old self :)

It is good to see that you certainly haven't lost the knack of offering up an honest, yet constructive review either!

I could tell right from the first line of the blurb that this one isn't for me and from the comments you made, I just know that the style of writing and grammar would probably irritate me no end.

I know that in what is an extemely challenging world for most young people, authors need to connect by addressing the real issues they face, but I think it needs to be done in a very thoughtful way, which I'm not sure that this book quite achieves.

As a welcome back, you need to find yourself a really good book that you can get stuck into and enjoy :)

Yvonne

Kelly said...

Despite my own love of space and its exploration, I'm not sure this story appeals to me. It might have more when I was the appropriate age, but even then I think I might have questioned some of the same things you did.

Great to have a new review from you!

Gina R said...

Sounds like an interesting read. I'm with you though on the lack of love for audio books... though curious how it'd make this one better. Thanks for the share and welcome back! 😊

nightwingsraven said...

Tracy,
After reading your nuanced review,
and keeping in mind your constructive
criticism of the book, I am uncertain
if I would want to read it.
Though I am interested in all the issues
and themes which are featured in the book.
Raven

Melliane said...

hmmm maybe

Natasha Hill said...

I'm glad you're starting to feel up to blogging again and getting better, but take it easy and don't rush, but glad to have your posts back! This does sound interesting and like the kind of book I'd pick up, so I'll have to keep an eye out for it, and try and give it a read when I see it. A lovely review to come back to! - Tasha

Brian Joseph said...

I am glad that you are feeling a bit better Tracy.

This sounds like a book that I would relate to. I also grew up admiring Carl Sagan and very interested in space.

Too bad that it had a lot of implausible aspects to it. I think that a book of this sort would be better if it was realistic.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Yeah, I'd find myself questioning some of these things too!

Thanks for sharing though, and it's nice to see you back around the blogosphere. :)

-Lauren

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

Welcome back! You have been missed and I've been sending out prayers and good wishes to you. Hope you are feeling better every day.

I have been seeing this book around, but really just the cover. I didn't know anything about the story. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am definitely curious about it. I read The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night- so the fact that this book is compared to it makes me even more curious.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Hugs!

Nas said...

I like the eye-catching cover. And thanks for your review...interesting. I will be reading this as it intrigued me.

Barbara Fisher said...

It was lovely to see you over at my blog Tracy, thanks for calling in. I hope you are getting stronger and feeling better every day.
I don’t think I will be looking for See You In the Cosmos, which is a shame because when I started reading I felt it had promise. I can’t deal with implausible plots these days, not that I want gritty realism either, just a good story that keeps me entertained.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Yea, sometimes audio works better and just gives you a different feel. Sorry this wasn't all up to your expectations, but I have a feeling I'd have the same niggles about the book.

So glad to see you around. Please continue to take care of yourself! ((HUGS))

So many books, so little time said...

Welcome back wee love, I liked the curious incident but not sure how I would fair with this one.

Hope you are feeling a bit more like you.

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

ClaudineGueh@CarryUsOffBooks said...

Dear Tracy, I'm so glad to hear you're doing much better! Thanks for visiting earlier to let me know. SEE YOU IN THE COSMOS sounds like my kind of story and I'll be sure to check it out. Take great care!

(I'm doing well. Thank you for your wishes. My writing work has been satisfying and though there isn't much time to relax, I find my energy at a good place and pace.)