Little Universes — Book Review

  Author:     Heather Demetrios
   Genre:    Young Adult/Contemporary
   Pages:    368
   Format:   ARC
   Rating:     4 star

One wave: that’s all it takes for the rest of Mae and Hannah Winters’ lives to change.

When a tsunami strikes the island where their parents are vacationing, it soon becomes clear that their mom and dad are never coming home. Forced to move to Boston from sunny California for the rest of their senior year, each girl struggles with secrets their parents’ death has brought to light, and with their uncertainty about the future. Instead of bringing them closer, it feels like the wave has torn the sisters apart.

Hannah is a secret poet who wants to be seen, but only knows how to hide. The pain pills she stole from her dead father hurl her onto the shores of an addiction she can’t shake and a dealer who turns her heart upside down. When it’s clear Hannah’s drowning, Mae, a budding astronaut suddenly launched into an existential crisis—and unexpected love—must choose between herself and the only family she has left.

Little Universes is a book about the powerful bond between sisters, the kinds of love that never die, and the journey we all must make through the baffling cruelty and unexpected beauty of human life in an incomprehensible universe. 

I got this ARC at YALLFEST 2019. Thank you to the publisher for the arc in exchange for an honest review.


Content Notes: addiction, suicide, death, abortion, rape and a whole host of other things. Those are the main ones though.

First off, this story is intense. Hence the reason I am sticking warnings at the very beginning of my review here.

This book was very good — I feel that there was a lot going on in this book, however. There was nothing lighthearted about it. It was supremely dark, and there is very little light or hope in this book. While most of that is due to Hannah, Mae also experiences some things as well.

This book was a lot to take in. I read it over the course of two days, and I still feel…uncomfortable, itchy after reading it. It is very hard to put into words how I felt while reading this book. There was a lot of emotion, starting with the death of their parents. And it doesn’t get much better from there.

I felt the book was really poignant. It felt so hopeless — and it was really, really depressing. I will say this, I had trouble connecting to the characters only because I don’t think I have experienced the type of pain they did. However, I think it was done really well, and it made me cry. So I did feel for them, very, very intensely.

There was really not any action plot, other than the character’s stories themselves. It was a slow paced book, that gave out information a little bit at a time. There were multiple strings all connecting things together. It showed how everything was linked together.

There was some romance in this book, for both the girls, and it was a part of their story, and I will admit that I’m still not totally sure how I feel about it. I liked it for some reasons, and disliked it for others. It’s complicated.

This book showed the broken side of people, and it was intense. I wouldn’t recommend this book for anyone who may even be a little uncomfortable with the subjects in my warning, because this book deals heavily with them. This book is dark, heavy and deep. 

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