TITLE: What Goes Up
AUTHOR: Katie Kennedy
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
PUBLICATION DATE: July 18th 2017
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Action-packed and wildly funny, this near-future sci-fi features three teens on an inter-dimensional mission to save the world.
Rosa and Eddie are among hundreds of teens applying to NASA’s mysterious Multi-World Agency. After rounds of crazy-competitive testing they are appointed to Team 3, along with an alternate, just in case Eddie screws up (as everyone expects he will). What they don’t expect is that aliens will arrive from another dimension, and look just like us. And no one could even imagine that Team 3 would be the only hope of saving our world from their Earth-destroying plans. The teens steal the spacecraft (it would be great if they knew how to fly it) and head to Earth2, where the aliens’ world and people are just like ours. With a few notable exceptions.
There, the teens will find more than their alternate selves: they'll face existential questions and high-stakes adventure, with comedy that's out of this world.
Setting the Scene:
5 Word Summary
Wonderfully written hilarious sci-fi adventure.
Mood Before Reading
Craving a fluffy contemporary or epic fantasy
What Goes Up is about a bunch of teens who are competing to be on a NASA team and what happens after they make it. It features two main characters, Rosa and Eddie. They’re sort of opposites and come from different worlds (figuratively… at first). Oh, and there’s an alternative reality.
Words cannot describe how much I love this book. It’s the best book I’ve read so far this year. What Goes Up is definitely one of the most comedic books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. It’s extra special because not only did it have me smiling so much my cheeks hurt, it’s also a sci-fi novel. And while some sci-fi novels can get me to laugh, it’s rare to stumble upon one that keeps the laughs coming.
What Goes Up manages to find a rare balance between light and heavy and the comedy shines throughout the story, even with its fast pace, and all the action and sci-fi elements and twists the book throws at you. If you strip away all its wonderful worldbuilding and sci-fi elements, it feels more like a contemporary than a book that deals with space. Even better, the comedic aspects of the novel don’t take away from some of the heavier topics it covers.
Topics like what’s it’s like:
- To be a person of color (or a halfie) in America (“where are you from?)
- To be different and to belong to a group but not feel accepted
- To be a woman and the discrimination we face
And that’s only some of the things What Goes Up covers. I could relate to both Rosa and Eddie so much through the depth of how those topics affect their lives. Never before have I wanted to yell “Yes! Yes, yes yes!” so many times. The ability to connect with the characters made the story so much more powerful and the characters so likable. I also liked how while they all had a common goal, they were all vastly different (different situations, way of thinking, pedigree, socioeconomic status, race, etc…). Even better than their differences is their development and growth. It was wonderful to see them grow and develop and to watch their relationships and friendships grow with them.
I loved this story so much I’ve preordered a copy even though I own a physical ARC. Yes, that’s just how good I think this book is. Be sure to be on the lookout for it in stores.
What Goes Up is one of my new favorite reads. It’s unique. It’s funny. It’s cute. It understands all my struggles in life. And it’s sci-fi. What more could you want from a book?
I highly recommend What Goes Up to sci-fi fans looking for a cute light read.