Wednesday, June 14, 2017

At The Edge of the Universe - Shaun David Hutchuinson

Title: At The Edge of The Universe
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Format: Hardcover

Tommy and Ozzie have been best friends since second grade, and boyfriends since eighth. They spent countless days dreaming of escaping their small town—and then Tommy vanished.

More accurately, he ceased to exist, erased from the minds and memories of everyone who knew him. Everyone except Ozzie.

Ozzie doesn’t know how to navigate life without Tommy, and soon suspects that something else is going on: that the universe is shrinking.

When Ozzie is paired up with new student Calvin on a physics project, he begins to wonder if Calvin could somehow be involved. But the more time they spend together, the harder it is for him to deny the feelings developing between them, even if he still loves Tommy.

But Ozzie knows there isn’t much time left to find Tommy–that once the door closes, it can’t be opened again. And he’s determined to keep it open as long as possible.

Ozzie is perplexed because his boyfriend, Tommy, has suddenly disappeared.  Not just kidnapping or running away, but literally it is like nobody remembers him - like he never existed.  So, Ozzie is on a mission to prove Tommy is real and that Ozzie is not losing his mind.

At The Edge of The Universe discusses many things, not the least of which is mental health issues in teens.  (It's obvious that Ozzie has some possibly depression issues, and his new friend Calvin has issues with cutting himself.)  It's great that the author doesn't shy away from those issues, too.  A lot of authors are scared to broach the issues of mental health, especially in teens, so it's nice to see an author actually covering those issues.

Things I Liked About The Book:

*The fact that the author actually talked about issues of mental health in teens
*That Ozzie's friend (whose name just escaped me) is gender fluid.  And it's no big deal!  What I mean by that is that when she's appearing with Ozzie, and in the book, everyone accepts who he is without caring that he is gender fluid, and that she decides based on each day which pronouns to use.  That is just the way it should be.
*That this book includes LGBTQ+ characters.  We need more books that show people who are on the spectrum as just the same as straight/cis people!
*The universe is shrinking.  So, this book has a slight sci-fi feel to it in that the universe in Ozzie's world is shrinking every day. 
*The bookstore that Ozzie works in.  I just love bookstores.  So, Ozzie working in a bookstore is just the coolest.

Things I didn't like:

*Really, the only thing that bothered me was that the beginning started out a little slow.  I wasn't sure if I would like this book at first, but once I got a few chapters in, I couldn't stop reading.

The Characters:

The characters are all well-written.  They have a depth that is really important, even in YA books.  I should say, especially in YA books.  I feel like A lot of authors and editors underestimate how smart teens are, and underestimate the fact that YA readers need characters with depth and growth.  This book accomplishes that.

The Actual Story:

While I felt that the story did start out a little slow, it picked up, and things changed. I think the book was well written and the story fits with the characters, and vice versa.  This is a story you'll be able to enjoy until the end.

This book gets 4 out of 5 stars.

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