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.

Quick Update

Just an FYI, I’m going to be absent for some time. My dad is getting sicker and I’m dealing with that, plus the normal isolation struggles. The blog is just too much for me to want to deal with right now. I miss you all. See you soon, hopefully.

The Watchmaker’s Daughter by C.J. Archer

Title: The Watchmaker’s Daugther

Author: C.J. Archer

Genre: fantasy, historical fiction

Source: library (Hoopla)

Publication Date: June 28, 2016

India Steel’s life has taken a turn for the worse. Her father is dead, her fickle fiancee has dumped her and stolen her watchmaking shop, and she’s about to be kicked out of the attic room she’s been staying in. Worse, no one will employ her, despite the fact her father has been training her for yeas. In fact, the other watchmakers seem frightened of her, for reasons she cannot fathom.

Then, a chance meeting with the mysterious Matthew Glass changes her luck. Glass is looking for a watchmaker he met in America five years ago. He hires India to help him find the mysterious Chronos. India is thrilled, until her suspicions are aroused by a newspaper article about the Dark Rider, an American outlaw who’s in London. Has India thrown her lot in with an outlaw? Or is there more to this story than appears. And what is so special about the watch Glass wants fixed, one that glows purple and seems to revive him of a mysterious illness?

This is a very fun read. India is a great heroine. She’s strong and smart and, at the same time, awkward and unsure of her place in the world. I like her confidence in her watchmaking skills and her curiosity about the world. She’s outspoken without being brash or rude, and stands up for herself without hesitation.

Matthew Glass was a great character, too. He’s mysterious and funny. You want to know more about him just as much as India does, and can get frustrated by his secretiveness. But is chemistry with India is great and I loved when he’d flirt with her, leaving her bewildered as to what was going on. There were several very heated scenes that left me wanting more.

I think that, overall, this was a good introduction to this word. The overarching mystery isn’t solved and will continue into the next book, but there are smaller mysteries that are unveiled, mostly the ones that would have prevented a further relationship between India and Glass’s gang. I loved all the characters and how much they cared for each other and Glass. I liked that India was an open, warmhearted woman and Glass was, too. He has a gruff exterior, but a heart of gold.

I would definitely recommend this book. It’s not particularly deep nor complicated, but it’s entertaining with a great cast of characters. It’s the perfect book for these troubled times.

Weekly Wrap-Up March 29, 2020

What a week. I mean, not that I did a lot or anything, but it still feels like it was a busy week. I’ve been really diligent about trying to keep myself busy and focused during my self-isolation. I vlog every day and post it on YouTube; not many people are watching, but it makes me feel less alone, so I’ll keep doing it. I exercise every morning, which helps keep my mood stable. I watch a lot of YouTube, but not as much Netflix and Disney+ as I was expecting. Maybe that will increase as time goes by. I also go for a walk every afternoon and I’m finally getting back into writing every day. That’s been the hardest part.

Overall, my mood’s been remarkably stable during this time. I think had I not done all that therapy over the summer, I’d be in a much darker place. For many reasons, I’m grateful I did that, and this is one of them.

I’m finally getting on track with reading and blogging again. I finished two or three books this week and have a bunch more to tackle. Of course, that’s not stopping me from ordering books to read as well. I’ve never had a TBR this big and I’m not helping myself by ignoring it to read other books. But, whatever; these are trying times.

Also, I cannot get WordPRess to work for me, so I won’t be posting my links to last week or what I’m doing next week. Is anyone else having trouble with WordPress?