Title: Only Mostly Devastated
Author: Sophie Gonzales
Length: 373 pages
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
I was so excited when this ARC showed up at my house. It’s an anticipated read for me.
Synopsis: When Ollie meets Will over summer break he thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After. But once summer ended, Will stops texting him back, and Ollie finds himself short of his fairytale ending. A family emergency finds Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country- Wills school- and Ollie finds that the sweet, funny and comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the one attending Collinswood High. This Will is the class clown, a basketball jock and well, a bit of a jerk. Ollie isn’t going to pine for a guy who isn’t ready for a relationship. But as school life repeatedly throws them together, from music class to the lunch table, Ollie finds his resolves weakening. With the noisy drama of their friends as the backdrop- from ambitious Juliette to frosty Lara, to big-hearted Darnell and king-jock Matt, Ollie has a decision to make. 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. Right?
Ok so, I enjoyed this book, I did. But it also fell a little flat, it became predictable and generic. I just wanted it to go further, surprise me, something to make it stand out.
Obviously the main plot for this book was the romance between Ollie and Will, and it was my least favourite thing about the book. It was at time sweet but that’s about as far as it went for me. I judge a love story based on whether or not I get a feeling in my stomach, telling me they belong together. I didn’t get that here. I think it’s mainly because Will treats Ollie like sh*t so many times throughout the book, then he apologises and does it again. Where’s the romance in that? I don’t wanna read that. I don’t think it’s something young adults should think is acceptable and make it the kind of romance the strive for. So yeah, the romance was a hard no from me.
Also, everyone in this book was stunningly good looking. Perfect hair, perfect teeth, perfect skin. And it isn’t just in this book to be fair. It’s a common theme throughout YA books. It’s unrealistic and boring. Let me tell you something, in my high school it was all bad haircuts and acne. Let’s see more of that. In Only Mostly Devastated it was like the two main characters had more looks than personality.
You’re probably wondering why I gave this book three stars and then proceeded to complain about it, but there were somethings I did like.
I think the side characters were much more interesting than the main two. Lara (I could read a whole book about her), Niamh and Juliette all had great personalities.
There was the storyline with Ollies Aunt Linda who was battling cancer, which I actually found quite moving and was dealt with really well. I would’ve liked to have read more about that. That for me, was the heart of this book. It was the thing that kept me reading.
Obviously the LGBTQ+ representation was good. It’s always good to see guys as the main romance. And I loved Lara’s journey that she went on.
I would recommend this one still, I think a lot of people will love it. Like I said I didn’t hate it, it just could’ve been better. I’m still so glad I read it.
Thanks to Hodder and Stoughton (team bkrk) for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for a honest, unbiased review. It’s out March 5th.
Until the next review.