Opening Line: "T-Minus 62 days to Launch."
Twelve-year old Abby and her family are moving to Florida for her mom's new job at Space Now, an aerospace company. There impending move gets her to worrying, as if climate change, global news issues and The Great Pacific Garbage Patch isn't enough for her to worry about. Abby's mom wants her to focus on the positives, but how do you do that when so many negatives surround you?
Once in Florida, Abby struggles to acclimate to her new school and being assigned a mentor doesn't help her anxiety. Abby then ventures out to explore the neighborhood and meets two boys, Adam and Bix, who tell her they're a long way from home and need her help to find Adam's twin sister Vanessa or V, who is ill. As Abby starts to help the boys, she discovers that they're not just visiting from out of town, they're actually from the future, a time that sounds like a utopia, compared to the dystopian world she currently lives in. Abby then secretly touches Bix's time vortex device and enters a portal to the year 2272. Thrilled by her discovery of this new world, Abby strikes a deal with Adam and Bix, she agrees to help them from being discovered and in exchange they'll take her with them when they return to the future.
Abby hides Adam and Bix on her dad's boat and secretly brings them food to eat. Hoping to get more answers about the future, Abby searches for her mother's aunt Nora, a brilliant scientist like Abby's mother, and someone she's always been curious about. Why did they become estranged? And why did Aunt Nora leave Space Now? Was it Aunt Nora's agoraphobia that made her isolate herself from her work and family or is there another reason? At the same time, Abby begins to spend more time with her mentor, Juliana and begins to enjoy the company as well as helping her while dog walking. When Abby's mom's newest space project begins to have troubles, her mom and Aunt find a way to reconcile their differences. As the time allotted in finding V draws near, they will all need to join together to ensure that they can find her and cure her illness before time runs out and V, Adam and Bix are stuck in Abby's time and the overall timeline will be disrupted.
A Long Way From Home was a super quick read that I really enjoyed. Abby is the kind of character that is pretty relatable, she's very anxious and worry's a lot about the state of the world and is also very compassionate and caring. She refers to her anxiety as being a part of the human package, just like opposable thumbs. She's very sweet and before learning about why Adam and Bix were at Checkers, she offers to buy them a milkshake just because she thinks they'll like it, and they look hungry. She even begins to open up to Juliana and offers to help her with her mom's business. I liked trying to figure out the messages that were showing up on Abby's outdated cell phone, and the connection they had to the overall plot. The way each of the chapters were a countdown (T-Minus... days to launch) gave some urgency to Adam and Bix's mission to find Victoria and also to Abby's mom's project at Space Now. Overall, this was an enjoyable read with some wonderful inclusion of women in aerospace and an interesting look at whether a utopian society provides a perfect future or whether exacting change needs to happen here and now. A nice selection for someone getting into the science fiction genre. ** A huge thank you to the author, Laura Schaefer for the ARC for my review**