WHAT GOES UP by Katie Kennedy

Rating: 5/5


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Rosa and Eddie are among hundreds of teens applying to NASA’s mysterious Interworlds Agency. They’re not exactly sure what the top-secret program entails, but they know they want in. Rosa has her brilliant parents’ legacies to live up to, and Eddie has nowhere else to go–he’s certainly not going to stick around and wait for his violent father to get out of jail. Even if they are selected, they have no idea what lies in store. But first they have to make it through round after round of crazy-competitive testing.

And then something happens that even NASA’s scientists couldn’t predict . . .

Why I Read It

In the interest of honesty, I feel I should mention that I hadn’t planned on reading this book until I won a giveaway author Katie Kennedy held on Twitter. I, along with about 4 other people, won a paperback edition of this book, What Goes Up. As soon as it arrived (conveniently right after I finished reading something else) I picked it up and started reading, finishing it in approximately . . . 72 hours? Give or take?

I entered the giveaway after looking up the synopsis for the book and deciding it intrigued me. Space is so interesting to me, and it takes place in Iowa which HELLO! is where I live. It seemed like a pretty fitting book. Normally all the space books I see seem too . . . I don’t know, serious? Intense? Intimidating? Full of lingo I don’t understand? This is YA fiction, which is my THING, so I decided to enter the giveaway and yay I won! So here we are.

My Thoughts

As a writer myself it can be kind of hard to separate the writer in my from the reader in me. I was recently taught that I need to read like a writer, but I think there is a time and a place for this strategy. For reviews, I don’t think it’s beneficial to read like a writer. I’m not here to critique grammar and spelling, I’m here to decide whether or not I liked the book and explain why.

I liked this book! Obviously. I’m sure you gathered that from the rating.

Here is a quick list of some things I liked:

  1. The knock knock jokes in this book were a cute little addition, and the final joke in the book (told by Rosa) made my heart grow two sizes when I read it.
  2. The whole book is just unique, unlike anything I’ve ever read before. As I mentioned, the only space books I ever see are definitely NOT YA fiction, so this was a nice change.
  3. I learned a lot but I didn’t feel like I was being lectured at or taught. I think this is due to the characters actually being in a learning environment themselves, although I won’t lie, some of the stuff did go over my head.
  4. While some of the action parts were difficult for me to picture in my head, this was probably due to my own confusion and me not reading an action novel for a while, and as the scene progressed the situation and the actions cleared up for me (which is why this is a like).
  5. The mention of University of Iowa! AKA my school starting this fall! Yeah! Go Hawks!

Here is a relatively short list of some things I didn’t like:

  1. Inconsistencies in Reg’s character. It was hard for me to get a feel for who he was. There was a part in the beginning when he seemed super mean? But other times he was willing to joke around. Maybe he was just crabby in that scene, but it felt out of character for him.
  2. The situation with Brad. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there is a situation Brad is involved in and it felt kind of weird. I was happy, don’t get me wrong because I hate hate hate Brad with all my heart. But it felt random and possibly under explained? Unclear?
  3. The gifts. The GIFTS. Rosa’s gift is half nice and half weird and pointless. Without saying what it is, I just. I don’t know. I don’t get it. And Eddie’s “gift” wasn’t even a gift. Unless I’m remembering wrong.
  4. The action parts that were hard to picture (for me) are a dislike as well, obviously, but mostly a like because the problem fixes itself and it’s probably just me.

As a whole, I absolutely loved this book. The characters are lovable, especially Eddie. I just wanted to grab him and hug him but also love him because he seems like he’s probably very attractive. I was able to love the characters I was supposed to love and hate the characters I was supposed to hate.

There should be more YA fiction books like this! Maybe there are, but I doubt they’re really like this one. Reading this book has also made me want to snatch Kennedy’s other book too, Learning to Swear in America.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book to YA fiction lovers. It’s such a fun read, and so unique. Seriously, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever read. I’ll definitely be telling everyone I know to read this. Luckily I have a copy to give them! 😉

Have you read any space novels? Tell me about them, I’d love to check them out!

One thought on “WHAT GOES UP by Katie Kennedy

  1. Oh I loved Learning To Swear In America!! It actually didn’t occur to me (duhh I’m so bad😂) to go look up more of her books but now I definitely want to!! I’m so glad this was a solid win for you. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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