The Lightest Object in the Universe by Kimi Eiselle

[ID: The Lightest Object in the Universe on top of two books stacked horizontally. Next to the book stack is a red striped canvas tote full of spring/pastel flowers. In between the books and bag is a mini brown Caffeine and Legends box.] Check out my Instagram post!

3.5/5

Received this in my September 2020 Caffeine & Legends Box! Check out my unboxing on Instagram here.

I’ve been slowly working my way through my Caffeine & Legends books and I’ve enjoyed every one of them. This one definitely hit a different way as it’s an apocalyptic/cli-fi type story. So like sometimes a bit depressing.

The main plot line is about seeing if Carson and Beatrix will reunite after the environmental disaster that’s caused everyday society to break down. They’re on opposite coasts and Carson decides to hitchhike across the country to find her. Meanwhile Beatrix is unsure whether she should stay put or attempt to find her previous roommates who have left “north”. Eventually Beatrix decides to stay and finds that improving the community she lives in is a team effort especially with all of the broadcasts from Jonathan Blue who preaches that all who come to the center will be delivered.

I really enjoyed seeing Beatrix push herself into her community, learning to work with all the different residents and make it into a home. The addition of the bike kid gang was really interesting and added a lot of conflict. This book was quite a break from my normal which is usually YA. So having two real adult narrators was definitely different! I really liked that Beatrix as constantly reassessing and finding compromises or ways to get what she wanted by working with the other people in her community.

Carson’s journey was wild. It seemed like it took forever and almost no time at all. I don’t remember which way he was going (east to west or west to east), but he mainly travels by following train tracks. He was a history teacher, so seeing him stop to interview other people, and take in their stories was so cool. I loved seeing him collect the history that was happening.

I loved the way these two perspectives wove together, especially since both would often be thinking of each other. Writing mental notes to each other, or in Carson’s case, he actually did send Beatrix a message before he left. We also have an additional narrator in Rosie, a young girl who starts off in Beatrix’s community but ends up traveling with her grandmother to Jonathan Blue’s compound. Rosie really grew a lot through this book, we see her start to make decisions for herself and begin to grow into her own as a young adult.

The ending was a bit abrupt and open ended, so I wish there was so more to the end, like maybe an extended epilogue. But the journey of this book was very well done. Definitely something I’ll be thinking about for a while.

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