Izzy was such a refreshing and hilarious character. Her personality shone through the blog posts and her annotations on hindsight. Once in a while, the details she shared bordered on TMI (too much information) but in a diary sort of blog that’s not exactly unusual. If you like no holds barred narrations that flow with stream of consciousness, you’ll be in stitches laughing over The Exact Opposite of Okay.
As a standalone sequel, A Closed and Common Orbit did well to outline the setting. I think new readers would be able to understand things just fine. At the same time, it further expanded the world building for those who’ve read The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. The characters remained central to the plot of A Closed and Common Orbit as well, thereby justifying the slow pacing.
My problem with space operas is that usually not much happens besides the characters floating through space. On that front, I felt The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet fit squarely fit that trope. Conflicts outside of the spaceship didn’t arise as often nor as intensely as I had liked, even with their unpredictable mission and the threat of war looming. The reason I enjoyed this book anyway were the characters. They were absolutely wonderful!
I am so glad I didn’t study English Literature at A Levels. The Great Gatsby was a set text for the exams and after finally reading this novel, I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed taking it apart. I have a friend who absolutely adored The Great Gatsby back then and still avidly references it in his conversations with people. Frankly, I don’t see the appeal.