4 star, adult

Review: A Cosmic Kind of Love by Samantha Young

Space is the last thing an event planner and an astronaut need in this charming new romantic comedy from New York Timesbestselling author Samantha Young.

When event planner Hallie Goodman receives party-inspiration material from the bride of her latest wedding project, the last thing she expects to find in the files are digital videos from Darcy’s ex-boyfriend. Hallie knows it’s wrong to keep watching these personal videos, but this guy is cute, funny, and an astronaut on the International Space Station to boot. She’s only human. And it’s not long until she starts sending e-mails and video diaries to his discontinued NASA address. Since they’re bouncing back, there’s no way anyone will ever be able to see them…right?

Christopher Ortiz is readjusting to life on earth and being constantly in the shadow of his deceased older brother. When a friend from NASA’s IT department forwards him the e-mails and video messages Hallie has sent, he can’t help but notice how much her sense of humor and pink hair make his heart race.

Separated by screens, Hallie and Chris are falling in love with each other, one transmission at a time. But can they make their star-crossed romance work when they each learn the other’s baggage?

Overall Recommendation:

A Cosmic Kind of Love shot me straight into space from the start with its cute romance and interesting protagonists. Hallie is an empathetic character and Chris has such interesting points of view (sometimes literally from above in space). The pacing and plot started off so well but felt by the 75% mark to be longer than necessary. The romance is definitely still worth reading, but it wasn’t the 5-star reading I anticipated.

A Cosmic Kind of Love started off with a bang but eventually fizzled out into an average contemporary that reads like most romances. With a fun hero and an interesting premise of watching each other’s personal videos without *technically* permission, the potential for an epic romance was there but the long execution fell flat near the end.

I’m a huge lover of stars and once dreamed of being an astronaut myself. So the beginning parts featuring Chris’ videos from space to his ex Darcy was super interesting to read. I loved the insight into life on the ISS and how he felt sometimes being in such a wondrous environment. I would’ve hoped that this part would last longer but unfortunately we don’t get to read too much about space Chris since he is Earth-bound in the present day. From the sounds of the synopsis, one would think this would be a larger part of the book.

Hallie, our spunky heroine, wasn’t shy to be bold with her dyed pink hair and penchant for finding herself in the weirdest situations (cue almost stealing someone’s jacket in a store thinking it was a product for sale). But she’s definitely a crippling people pleaser who struggles really hard to say “no” to others, particularly to her divorced parents. I empathized at times but I’m glad I’ve gotten past that level of people pleasing because it really isn’t the best for all parties involved.

Her videos to Chris in return were also cute and heartfelt. I loved how they both started feeling something towards each other from just hearing their personal thoughts and seeing their unfiltered selves. I wanted these to last longer!! It felt too abrupt that they met so quickly in person and stopped with all mention of the videos. This was their “meet cute” in a sense and my favorite part of the story.

The beginning and middle were excellent in pacing and building that angst, whether it was waiting for them to meet in person or Chris hiding from Hallie that he knew her prior to meeting her because of her video diary. I couldn’t put the book down and wanted them to list everything bare.

And then in the late parts of the middle, I realized this book was very heavily focused in their individual struggles with family that needed to be resolved – Chris’ controlling father who wanted nothing to do with their Mexican heritage, Hallie’s stuck in the middle between feuding divorced parents. The whole romance angle, will they get together or not officially, was mostly complete minus the odd twist or two. I mean, I’m all for seeing how the couples figure their lives out after getting together in a serious and committed relationship, but their family issues weren’t particularly interesting nor what the synopsis made this book to be that I was signing up for. It’s with this expectation that made the story fall for me, particularly in pacing, and that left me wanting to pick up another book. It honestly felt like the book was done yet it wasn’t and there were another 100 pages to go.

The chemistry and romance between the protagonists were palpable. My goodness, it got hot sometimes. If this book had been cut short a little and maybe rearranged where they individually work on their family issues in the middle, this would’ve been a 5-star kind of read easily. As it is, I’m nowhere near bashing this as it still was a good romance (for the most part). It was fun, well written during the set up and had characters I really enjoyed to follow. Overall, not a terrible first read by Samantha Young, but perhaps my expectations for this book was a bit too high.

But who wouldn’t want to read more about a cute astronaut?? Am I right?


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