So, this book rocked my world. My first favorite of 2017.
I have no words to explain the level of awesome in this book, but I will try.
First of all, I’m so thankful to Jellybooks for giving me an advanced electronic copy to read. Last year I read We Are the Ants and it became one of my favorite books of 2016. I was eager to read anything else by Shaun David Hutchinson. I’ll be buying a physical copy of this beautiful book as soon as it’s released.
I have so much love for this book. It follows Ozzie, a boy who exists in a universe where every trace of his boyfriend, Tommy, has been erased from the universe. Nobody remembers Tommy’s existence, not even his own mother. Throughout the story, Ozzie theorizes on the reasons why this happened, as well as trying to figure out why the universe keeps shrinking in size. On top of adoring Ozzie, I fell hard for all of his friends and family. Ozzie’s best friend, Lua especially stole my heart, my lovely gender-fluid rockstar. And Dustin, who I’m pretty sure was ace, also stole my heart. And Ozzie’s brother, Renny. I mean, even Calvin was a small cinnamon roll, and I loved them all.
So aside from the characters, there were strong friendships and relationships that constantly shifted, and it all made sense, even though it shouldn’t have. As the universe shrunk, Ozzie’s world kept changing. It was frustrating, but also so relatable. I felt the same when I read We Are the Ants. It’s one of those stories where you’re aware something is off with the metaphysical world, but it makes perfect sense with the way you’ve felt mentally. It’s hard to explain, but the author does beautiful things with his stories.
I don’t think there’s much of a plot to this book, which added so much more depth. It’s a story about relationships, romantic and platonic. It’s a story about love, loss, growth, courage, and moving on. It’s about opening your eyes to the people in front of you, and showing them compassion and love. It’s about life and death and the nothingness at the edge of the shrinking universe. As Ozzie lost traces of the life he’d always known, I mourned my own personal losses. When you lose a loved one, sometimes it feels as if the universe swallowed them whole.
I’m sad to have finished this book simply because I wanted to continue living in Ozzie’s universe, as scary as it sometimes was. I wanted the story to go on. I’m looking forward to revisiting this book many times in the future. I think that’s a trend with all of Hutchinson’s books, actually. I think he’s now one of my favorite authors.
I definitely recommend this to everyone. I would understand if other people didn’t feel as strongly about this book. It resonated with me, but I don’t expect it will with everyone. It’s a very unique type of book. I’m glad I found it.
(Also, just have to mention the amazing, totally unexpected cameo of a certain pair from We Are in the Ants. It was a nice touch. It had me smiling like an idiot.)