Review: Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzalez

Title: Only Mostly Devastated

Author: Sophie Gonzales

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Genre: YA, m/m romance, LGBTQ

Source: bookshop.org

Publication Date: March 3, 2020

Ollie has met the man of his dreams in Will Tavares. Spending his summer at the lake, taking care of his cousins while their mom battles cancer, Ollie meets Will one day and is swept off his feet. Their summer concludes in the perfect night… only to have Will stop answering his texts and totally cut Ollie off. Then, when his aunt grows worse, causing Ollie and his family to move to the same town as Will. But the Will he meets with at Collinswood High is nothing like the sensitive, sweet, caring guy from the summer. This guy is a closeted class clown and not very nice. Ollie decides that he doesn’t have time for Will, but suddenly, Will is everywhere he is., and Ollie finds his resolve weakening.

This book was adorable. I bought it after listening to a livestream with the author, and when she described it as a m/m retelling of Grease, I knew I had to read it. The characters were a joy. Poor Ollie had so much going on in his life: his aunt’s battle with cancer, being an on-call babysitter for his two young cousins, and being uprooted from California to North Caronlina (I think). His new social circle is fraught as he’s immediately adopted by a group of girls, one of whose claws frequently attack Ollie. But he’s a kind, warmhearted guy and sees more than she intends. They soon bond, although the friendship is never all roses.

Will was more difficult to like, but even he had his tender side. He was good with kids and when he was one on one with Ollie, very sweet and sensitive. His fear of coming out and losing his status kept him pushing Ollie away until it was almost too late. Not only does he struggle with his sexuality, but with his future. He’s a basketball player, but didn’t get a scholarship and secretly desires to be… I think it was a nurse (but don’t quote me on that; it’s been a few weeks since I read this and it’s a little hazy). Whatever it was, he feels like he has to keep his professional aspirations a secret from his family along with his sexuality. Gonzales shows the struggles of being in the closet very well, and makes it also clear why Ollie doesn’t want to be involved with that without making either of the characters unsympathetic.

The book has it’s emotional ups and downs and the characters weather them in very realistic ways. I loved how everything worked out and the conclusions. It was a very satisfying read.

Yes. I think this is a great book and fans of Simon Verses the Homosapien Agenda would enjoy it.

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