For me, science fiction boils down to whether you’re a galaxy far, far away person or a space, the final frontier person.


Yes, I am a science fiction dilettante. 


But a good story is a good story. And sometimes, it’s a love story—set in space.


And sometimes, that love story is complicated, which is exactly the premise in A Complicated Love Story Set in Space by Shaun David Hutchinson.


“I woke up on a spaceship,” is the first line of the novel. Unfortunately for Noa, he doesn’t know he got there—or who the strangers are that he is with on the spaceship. Also, that spaceship is about to explode. Also, that’s not their biggest problem.


Noa, DJ, and Jenny find themselves aboard Qriosity, which doesn’t explode (not a spoiler), with a hologram—also called Jenny.


“Hi, I’m your host, Jenny Perez, whom you probably remember as the precocious kid detective and bestselling author Anastasia Darling on the award-winning mystery entertainment program Murder Your Darlings. If you’re seeing this holographic message, then you’ve initiated your Trinity Labs Quantum Fold Drive.” (95)


And that’s not the worst, aside from a holographic guide who is “simultaneously cutesy and condescending” (95), Noa, DJ, and Jenny (not the holographic guide) face monsters, aliens, a high school dance in space, and not knowing what is real, or even who is real. 


Oh, and there’s the love thing, which, you’ll find, is complicated.


A Complicated Love Story Set in Space is a fun, quirky, and multi-layered story that will have you questioning what you know to be true and what you hope to be true. 


You may also never look at your favorite television shows the same way again either.


Let’s just say it’s complicated.


Have students pick a favorite show or book and have them change the setting to space! Download the lesson here!



Michael Méndez Guevara is a former high school journalism and English teacher who spent his time in the classroom helping students see themselves as writers and fall in love with reading through the world of young adult literature. As an educational sales consultant with Perfection Learning®, Michael works with teachers and schools on improving their literacy instruction and providing resources to help students achieve academic success. He has taught elementary school, middle school, and high school and has worked as a district level leader and served on the Texas state standards revision committee that developed the state’s current literacy standards. He is the father of three adult sons, the youngest a student at the University of Kansas—Rock Chalk! Michael is working on a professional development book for literacy educators and currently has agents reading the manuscript of his young adult novel, The Closest Thing to a Normal Life. When he's not reading, writing, or running, Michael is fully committed to watching as much Law & Order as possible.