Written by Alexandra Monir

Published by Harper Teen, March 6, 2018

My star rating: 2.75 stars


When Leo, an Italian championship swimmer, and Naomi, a science genius from California, are two of the twenty-four teens drafted into the International Space Training Camp, their lives are forever altered. After erratic climate change has made Earth a dangerous place to live, the fate of the population rests on the shoulders of the final six who will be scouting a new planet. Intense training, global scrutiny, and cutthroat opponents are only a few of the hurdles the contestants must endure in this competition.

For Leo, the prospect of traveling to Europa—Jupiter’s moon—to help resettle humankind is just the sense of purpose he’s been yearning for since losing his entire family in the flooding of Rome. Naomi, after learning of a similar space mission that mysteriously failed, suspects the ISTC isn’t being up front with them about what’s at risk.

As the race to the final six advances, the tests get more challenging—even deadly. With pressure mounting, Naomi finds an unexpected friend in Leo, and the two grow closer with each mind-boggling experience they encounter. But it’s only when the finalists become fewer and their destinies grow nearer that the two can fathom the full weight of everything at stake: the world, the stars, and their lives. Find it on Goodreads

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Well. It’s safe to say that I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I wish I could have. I was so excited about the premise. It sounded very action packed and interesting. But, it fell completely flat and had the most cringeworthy and unnecessary romance I’ve ever read. There were some seriously strong points though, so I’ll start with those.

Her writing style was fantastic. The flow of words was there, it wasn’t too basic yet it wasn’t too overwhelming. I really enjoyed it. But the strongest part of her writing is in her world building and descriptions! The picture that she painted in my mind was terrifying. She took the destruction of the world to a global level, and included many regions of the world and how things were falling apart. It was terrifying!

Along with that, she was able to relay the desperation all of the people felt. We felt their loss, their struggle, their complete lack of hope, and their loss of will to survive. We were also able to see the 24 people chosen for this mission and how much it meant to them. If they didn’t make it into the final six, they would be sent back home. Most of them had no one alive to go home to, and none of them were guaranteed safety.

But here’s where my thoughts take a turn for the worse. The world is literally falling apart and all of humanity is relying on this mission…….. so they choose inexperienced TEENAGERS…….. Hmmmm, why? That was a little annoying. We do know that there is something larger taking place here, and maybe that’s why, but still. I’m perplexed.

And then there’s the pace and plot. If you’ve read the synopsis, then you know exactly what happens from start to finish. It’s all right there. Nothing happened aside from that. It was super predictable and had my eyes rolling when certain things were revealed. Everything seemed to have a neon sign around it, yelling at you to remember this because it’s coming back. It also felt like it took forever for things to happen. The pace was so slow! Sometimes I didn’t mind. Like I said, I really enjoyed her writing style, so learning about their training and the “competition” to get into the final six, was actually quite interesting!! But still, I wished that things were condensed and sped up a bit.

And then – the romance. Jesus this was the most unnecessary, cringeworthy, gag me, romance I’ve EVER read! There didn’t need to be a romance in this story. They could have remained friends and teammates and  the story would have been the same. But no. One minute they’re meeting and then the next minute they can’t stop remembering the feeling of their lips. They confess their love and vow that they can’t imagine a world without the other. They literally just met! There was nothing even leading up to the relationship either, other than the initial spark of attraction. It literally went from attraction to Romeo and Juliet end it all in love. The worst!!!

This book was ok. I really did enjoy her writing but all of the negative feelings I had about it far outweigh the positive. Not sure that I’ll continue with this series but I will keep her in mind for the future!

Until next time, happy reading!