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Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa broke my heart, then put it back together. Following a boy who accidentally comes out online, then finds himself in a relationship with his Twitter crush, this one contains both hard-hitting and heartwarming scenes. I especially enjoyed the realistic characters and their connection. Despite my enjoyment of Jules and Mat, I found the writing very dialogue-heavy, and I would have liked to see more descriptions throughout the book. However, this is still such an important read that I’m sure will touch many.Title: Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun
Author: Jonny Garza Villa
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: June 8, 2021
A poignant, funny, openhearted novel about coming out, first love, and being your one and only best and true self.
Julián Luna has a plan for his life: Graduate. Get into UCLA. And have the chance to move away from Corpus Christi, Texas, and the suffocating expectations of others that have forced Jules into an inauthentic life.
Then in one reckless moment, with one impulsive tweet, his plans for a low-key nine months are thrown—literally—out the closet. The downside: the whole world knows, and Jules has to prepare for rejection. The upside: Jules now has the opportunity to be his real self.
Then Mat, a cute, empathetic Twitter crush from Los Angeles, slides into Jules’s DMs. Jules can tell him anything. Mat makes the world seem conquerable. But when Jules’s fears about coming out come true, the person he needs most is fifteen hundred miles away. Jules has to face them alone.
Jules accidentally propelled himself into the life he’s always dreamed of. And now that he’s in control of it, what he does next is up to him.
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa
After accidentally outing himself on Twitter, Julián is prepared for rejection from those around him. What he doesn’t expect is for his Twitter crush to like him back, from the other side of the country. This is a deeply personal story, and it contains many heavy themes as Jules faces homophobia at school, during his soccer games, and from his own father. At the same time, though, Jules has a supportive group of friends and a caring boyfriend, who bring more lightness to the story.
❀ Strong Main Character
Jules is a strong main character, and I enjoyed his voice. He has a difficult home life since his father refuses to accept him for who he is, and I really sympathized with him coming out before he was ready. There are times when Jules can’t be strong, and I liked getting to see these moments of vulnerability as well as strength. Mat is also a lovable character, and he is so supportive of Jules. I loved their conversations online, and both of them speak and act like teenagers, which I always love to see. It’s easy to feel their connection, although their relationship is a bit insta-lovey.
While I appreciated the important themes of this book, I didn’t love the writing style. This one feels very dialogue-heavy, which takes away from the emotion in certain scenes at times. Characters often have short monologues explaining how they feel, and I personally prefer being shown emotion through actions. I did enjoy the snappy dialogue between Mat and Jules, but I would have liked to see a little more description.
❀ Heavy themes with a sweet relationship
Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa is a story of pain, but also one of joy. I enjoyed reading about Jules and Mat’s online relationship, and both of them are realistic characters. While I do appreciate everything this book accomplishes, I found that the dialogue-heavy writing style takes away from some of the emotion of the story. I would still recommend this to those looking for a book that balances heavy themes with a sweet relationship.