Hello everyone! ♥
It’s Thursday and according to my new blogging schedule, it’s review time! 😀 Lately I’ve been reading so many books, mainly review copies and ARCs, which means there are a lot of reviews I need to post. That’s why today I’m doing a double review of You’re Welcome, Universe and Things I Should Have Known. However, my reason of doing a double review isn’t merely for convenience! These books also have several things in common 😛
Behold, I’ve prepared a list :’) Both books are 1) diverse contemporary, 2) e-ARCs I received from netgalley, and 3) going to be released in March. Without further ado, let’s get down to the reviews! ♣
You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner
This book is so, so diverse! ♥ Our protagonist Julia is Indian and deaf and she has two lesbian moms who are equally deaf. She also used to go to this school where a lot of its students are deaf or have hearing difficulties.
I love Julia’s voice! It’s… real. Sure she gets too angsty at some points but I keep reminding myself that she’s 16 and she’s entitled to be angsty, so that’s that. The fact that this book was clearly written from deep POV also delighted me. Due to her deafness, Julia doesn’t always understand what people say and it shows through the text. When she can’t understand something, we won’t either. So if she’s confused, we’ll be confused as well and I think that’s cool because we get to really be in her head. I also love her relationship with her moms, the sweet Mee and the stern Ma. It’s adorable & realistic ♥
The plot itself is very character driven. It centers around Julia’s desire to make arts and to make them mean something. Though illegal, watching her gets so passionate with tagging makes me happy. I don’t even understand much about art but I could feel Julia’s excitement & couldn’t help but feel excited myself.
I love the fact that this book puts an emphasis on friendship instead of romance. It also shows us two kinds of friendship, the toxic one between Julia and Jordyn and the much more sincere one between Julia and YP. I love that it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbow but also disappointment and lies and all that. I could totally relate to that.
If there’s one thing I didn’t like from this book it would be that it got… disjointed at times. Like it will skip something that shouldn’t be skipped, in my opinion. BUT I did love the writing so much. It was easy reading and omg, so many food description from pizza to pie to Indian foods!
ALL IN ALL, You’re Welcome, Universe is an amazing, character driven book that will make you crave for arts. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by its whole diverse casts and incredible writing 🙂
Thank you publisher and Netgalley for providing the e-ARC of this book!
Book title : You’re Welcome, Universe
Author : Whitney Gardner
Publisher : Knopf (March 7th, 2017)
When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.
Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.
Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.
Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik
I started this book thinking I’m gonna get some cute, adorable, hate to love romance and maybe some juicy family drama and instead what I got was lots and lots of siblings love & how it is to have sibling with autism. I mean, there’s also the family drama & adorable romance, but I’ll get more to that later. We have 4 main characters in this book.
Our protagonist, CHLOE is not your usual girl. I mean, the main girls in books are usually innocent, never been in love, and shy but Chloe is popular, dates a hot guy, and actually does ‘stuffs’ with him. So that’s kind of new hahaha she likes to play things cool and not into airing her family dirty laundry, but over time we could see that she’s not as cool as she’s trying to be. She actually has a lot of different opinions from most people, especially when it comes to Ivy.
IVY is Chloe’s older sister who has autism. She’s almost 20 but it’s like she’s younger than Chloe. I learned about autism in uni but mostly in kids so I looked it up and I thought it was represented correctly. Due to her autism, Ivy has trouble understanding complicated, non black-and-white things. She’s also unable to express her feeling properly. The same goes with ETHAN, her school friend, though he’s considerably more vocal than Ivy.
Living with an autistic sibling is difficult for Chloe. She had to always be the grown up and explain things and all that. Through the book, I could feel Chloe’s love and frustration for Ivy. She cares a lot about her but also gets annoyed a lot and that’s so realistic. Her friend & ex boy friend don’t really get it and the only one who does is DAVID, Chloe’s supposedly annoying schoolmate. To most people, David is an ass who thinks he’s better than everyone else. I mean, he kind of is but he also cares so much for Ethan and willing to do everything to take care of him so that’s just sweet.
I actually really enjoyed the relationship between David and Chloe. It started off a bit rocky but then developed at a steady pace. However, I feel like toward the end things were kind of rushed and it was a bummer considering that the earlier buildup was amazing.
On a different note, I feel like it’s kind of… weird that Chloe is set on finding a fellow autistic for Ivy. I mean, I know only one adult with autism but he ends up with non-autistic woman. I just thought, just a little, that it doesn’t mean an autistic person has to *always* be with another autistic person.
ALL IN ALL, Things I Should Have Known is a book that explores how it is to live with someone autistic, siblings love, family struggle, and friendship in such a light and honest way. The writing was also fast paced and you’ll finish it in no time 🙂
Thank you publisher and Netgalley for providing the e-ARC of this book!
Book title : Things I Should Have Known
Author : Claire LaZebnik
Publisher : HMH Books for Young Readers (March 28th, 2017)
From the author of Epic Fail comes the story of Chloe Mitchell, a Los Angeles girl on a quest to find love for her autistic sister, Ivy. Ethan, from Ivy’s class, seems like the perfect match. It’s unfortunate that his older brother, David, is one of Chloe’s least favorite people, but Chloe can deal, especially when she realizes that David is just as devoted to Ethan as she is to Ivy.
Uncommonly honest and refreshingly funny, this is a story about sisterhood, autism, and first love. Chloe, Ivy, David, and Ethan, who form a quirky and lovable circle, will steal readers’ hearts and remind us all that it’s okay to be a different kind of normal.
Has anyone read any of these books? After reading my reviews, and probably any other ARC reviews, are you interested in buying any of them? I personally recommend You’re Welcome, Universe because it’s so unique and cute! ♥
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