Wednesday, September 25, 2019

ARC Review: Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

Only Mostly Devastated
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets Clueless, inspired by Grease. 

When Ollie meets his dream guy, Will, over summer break, he thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After. But once summer’s ended, Will stops texting him back, and Ollie finds himself one prince short of a fairytale ending. 
To complicate the fairytale further, a family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country—Will’s school—where Ollie finds that the sweet, affectionate and 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. But as Will starts ‘coincidentally’ popping up in every area of Ollie’s life, from music class to the lunch table, 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. 

Todd's rating:

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets Clueless, inspired by Grease.

With all of the many, many dramatics of the straight friends in the book, I definitely got a "Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda" vibe from the story, no doubt.

But "Clueless" was extremely funny, which this book had its moments, but I didn't personally feel that humor played much of a role here. At least not constantly, like in "Clueless".

And "Grease"? Ummm, I didn't really feel that many Grease-like moments, but I'm not completely obsessed with that movie in the same adoring way that my hubby is. The boy has a problem, I'm telling you. heh

As the story began, it was Ollie's first day at a new school in North Carolina, then over the course of the story, we got flashbacks of a summer fling that he'd had with a local, closeted basketball player, Will, which seemed to end fine, only to be followed by a bout of extreme ghosting.

Will had expected the end of summer to also signal the end of their short relationship, but when Ollie enrolled at his new school, Will freaked out pretty badly, exactly as I'd figured he would. Talk about your chickens coming home to roost.

I liked both Will and Ollie, understanding all too well the predicament that they were in, but just like with "Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda", I had the same feeling that their friends' problems at least partially overshadows the *main* story in this M/M YA romance.

The one side plot that I was happy to include pages for was Ollie's aunt's cancer, and how Ollie stepped up to help with her kids. Every single page of that sub-plot felt genuine and packed with tons of emotion.

However, I could've honestly done without a few of the other side-plots with Ollie's new gal pals. Those parts felt long and drawn-out, making me want to skip pages until we got back to the romance.

The story had no steam, but finished with a very strong HFN, with the boys thankfully going pretty strong, something that a some YA stories fail to end with, which never fails to piss me off.

Overall, the book made me smile and left me in a hopeful, upbeat mood, the main reason that I read YA to begin with, so I'd rate this one at around 3.5 stars and recommend it to YA readers looking for a manageable level of angst.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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