10 September 2018

The Universe Is Expanding and So Am I - Review

The Universe Is Expanding and So Am I - Virginia Shreves #2
by Carolyn Mackler

What they say: Virginia Shreves’ world implodes again in this long-awaited follow-up to Printz Honoree The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things.

Sixteen-year-old Virginia Shreves’ life is finally back on course: she’s accepted who she is inside and out and is rebuilding her relationship with brother Byron, whose date-rape charge shattered everything.

But just as she adjusts to her new normal, her world turns upside down again. Sparks with boyfriend Froggy fade, her best friend bombshells bad news, and then the police arrest Byron. As Virginia struggles to cope, she meets Nate, an artist with his own baggage. The pair vow not to share personal drama. But secrets have a way of coming out, and theirs could ruin everything.

Just in time for The Earth, My Butt, and Other BIg Round Things’ 15th anniversary, Virginia’s hope-filled story of love, friendship, and the beauty in imperfection continues, by acclaimed author Carolyn Mackler. 

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review!

What I say: Virginia's world in The Universe is Expanding and So Am I is complicated, dramatic and unorthodox. She has a boyfriend she's not sure about, a brother who she can't forgive and life she doesn't really fit into.

Virginia is difficult to describe. She's confident even against the odds, but comes across as difficult and a little critical at times - hmm I wonder where she gets that from?! I appreciated her POV and the insight into her often conflicted opinions. Like many people out there, she finds herself judged and downtrodden but isn't above doing so herself. I'd like to have seen the coming of age part of her story developed a little more but appreciated how difficult the script is and how strained the family dynamics were.

The story wades into some pretty heavy topics including sexual assault and bullying, which are covered with sensitivity and empathy. I haven't read book one so I'm not sure how much is covered there in terms of back story.

Virginia is both likeable and dislikable to the point where I'm still not sure how I feel about her, which I actually kinda like in a weird way.

4 Stars in my Sky!


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