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.
My thoughts on this book, are still nearly a week later just a feral scream of joy! I stayed up until nearly 3 am reading “just one more page” that found me closing the book at the end. I think I need to preface this with, I was in the stage production of Grease in high school and it has cemented a favourite place in my heart. This book was such an ode to this story while also not giving into its flaws.
It goes beyond Ollie’s ongoing frustration in Will never willing to be enough for him, romantic enough, thoughtful enough and most importantly out enough, viewing Will as selfish. Ollie has to deal with his own realisation that requiring Will to be at the same level he is was being selfish in the way he viewed things, expecting Will to continually do his things. This was a plotline I struggled with as it hit me so personally as I am someone who has been out in some form since middle school and have a hard time understanding those who are unable or scared to be so out.
Additionally, we have the romantic entanglements of Ollie’s new friends Lara and Niamh who along with Juliette form the traditional pink ladies. I have so much love for Lara who is the best bitchy bi disaster you will ever find. It’s not at all surprising that she’s my favourite as she is clearly the novel’s Rizzo who is also my favourite.
In the background is a story of family trauma as we see Ollie watch is Aunt who has been everything to him slowly succumb to cancer. The scenes with his aunt are touching, raw and beautiful. These are only surpassed by the scenes with his two young cousins who struggle with their mother’s sickness. He is so thoughtful and touching with them even when he begrudges having to care for them.
I found the whole book completely realistic, thoughtful and touching. There is specifically a scene between Ollie and Lara that I adored and their friendship is my favourite.
A Review Copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
I give Only Mostly Devastated:
Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales is set to be published on 10 March 2020 (TOMORROW) by Hachette. You can purchase your own copy at Mighty Ape, Whitcoulls(they only have the US version), Booktopia, Hachette, or wherever you like to purchase books.