Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales is a book I had been highly anticipating since it is being described as Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets Clueless with inspiration from Grease. I enjoyed the mix of fun and seriousness in the book, although the plot is not overly unique, and the characters are all so complex. There is also a theme of family, which I always love in a book. Ultimately, this is a great book for those looking for a more meaningful contemporary that will also deliver laughter.Title: Only Mostly Devastated
Author: Sophie Gonzales
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genres: Contemporary, Diverse
Publication Date: March 3, 2020
SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA meets CLUELESS in this boy-meets-boy spin on Grease
Summer love...gone so fast.
Ollie and Will were meant to be a summer fling—casual, fun, and done. But when Ollie’s aunt's health takes a turn for the worse and his family decides to stay in North Carolina to take care of her, Ollie lets himself hope this fling can grow to something more. Dreams that are crushed when he sees Will at a school party and finds that the sweet and affectionate (and comfortably queer) guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High.
Will is more than a little shocked to see Ollie the evening of that first day of school. While his summer was spent being very much himself, back at school he’s simply known as one of the varsity basketball guys. Now Will is faced with the biggest challenge of his life: follow his heart and risk his friendships, or stay firmly in the closet and lose what he loves most.
❃ 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. ❃
Review: Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales
This book follows Ollie and Will who had a summer fling that quickly ended when Will stopped replying to Ollie’s texts. When Ollie moves to North Carolina permanently, he finds himself at Will’s school and discovers that Will is not out yet. I found this story to be fun, but it is also quite complex and tackles many heavy topics such as terminal illness. While I enjoyed most of it, I didn’t find the story that original. Because I have read so many different versions of this, I found it predictable and difficult to truly get into.
❀ Diverse Cast of Characters
Gonzales’s diverse cast of characters is one of the book’s strengths. I really appreciated how each one of them is so realistic, and they act their age, which can be hard to come by in YA. For starters, Ollie is a fantastic main character. He is funny and sweet, and he knows what he wants. He is in a difficult situation as he likes someone who is still working on coming to terms with their feelings, but I loved how he stays true to himself and doesn’t let Will’s hesitancy get him down too much. The side characters are also well-developed, and they all have their own backstories and flaws. That being said, having each character’s issues as a focus of the book does overshadow the main conflicts.
❀ Strong Family Theme
One of my favourite aspects of this book is the theme of family. Ollie’s aunt has cancer, and his family moves in order to be closer to her. Ollie immediately steps up and helps out with her kids, and this is so heartwarming to read about. I always love reading about family over romance, and these touching scenes make the book even more enjoyable.
Only Mostly Devastated is a moving story about a boy who falls for someone who is not yet comfortable going public with his sexuality. I enjoyed the developed characters who evolve throughout the book and the theme of family. I would recommend this one to those looking for a wholesome yet sentimental contemporary.