I don’t know if this was pitched as a gay ‘Grease’ but it’s totally what it feels like.
Genre: Y/A, Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQIA+
No. of pages: 304
Will Tavares is the dream summer fling ― he’s fun, affectionate, kind ― but just when Ollie thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After, summer vacation ends and Will stops texting Ollie back. Now Ollie is one prince short of his fairy tale ending, and to complicate the fairy tale further, a family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country. Which he minds a little less when he realizes it’s the same school Will goes to… except Ollie finds that the sweet, comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, closeted ― and, to be honest, a bit of a jerk.
Ollie has no intention of pining after a guy who clearly isn’t ready for a relationship, especially since this new, bro-y jock version of Will seems to go from hot to cold every other week. But then Will starts “coincidentally” popping up in every area of Ollie’s life, from music class to the lunch table, and Ollie finds his resolve weakening.
The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again.
I really enjoyed this book, the relationship felt realistic and wholesome, and the couple faced real life fears many teens do. All the characters felt fleshed out and three dimensional. I definitely had to pull the tissues out near the end. Such a sweet story with a lovely ending
Ollie is sweet and musical and confident – thought it felt like he missed some nuances of a being gay, he was just a little too good, and didn’t have the innate insecurities that most queer youth have. But maybe times are changing as social consciousness evolves and this type of character is more realistic than the perfect fantasy I’m thinking up… maybe I think too much about fictional characters.
Will was that paranoid closeted jock, and it was interesting to see him navigate his feelings and peers. Again this story is a little romanticised, but heck, that’s what I signed up for – a fun, positive tale of queer love.
I have to note the inclusion of family and its active presence in the story. Supportive friends. Less of a stereotypical (old fashioned) stereotype of gay youth. It warms this old gals heart to read stories like this.
Pacing was a touch slow, the story felt a little long, but I never got bored and read it in two sittings. ‘Only Mostly Devastated’ has a charm and wit about it and Gonzales’ writing style comes with a breezy ease that lets you slide right into the narrative until the end.
Overall feeling: Brilliantly sucked into the narrative!
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