Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley
Fifteen-year-old Aki Simon has a theory. And it's mostly about sex.
No, it isn't that kind of theory. Aki already knows she's bisexual—even if, until now, it's mostly been in the hypothetical sense. Aki has dated only guys so far, and her best friend, Lori, is the only person who knows she likes girls, too.
Actually, Aki's theory is that she's got only one shot at living an interesting life—and that means she's got to stop sitting around and thinking so much. It's time for her to actually do something. Or at least try.
So when Aki and Lori set off on a church youth-group trip to a small Mexican town for the summer and Aki meets Christa—slightly older, far more experienced—it seems her theory is prime for the testing.
But it's not going to be easy. For one thing, how exactly do two girls have sex, anyway? And more important, how can you tell if you're in love? It's going to be a summer of testing theories—and the result may just be love.
(Synopsis from Goodreads).
I had wanted to read Our Own Private Universe ever since the book was first posted on Goodreads. The F/F LGBTQ+ story line interested me because at the time, most of the LGBTQ+ young adult books I had read were M/M. Then the cover was revealed. It was one of the most beautiful covers I had ever seen. After that, I knew I had to get my hands on this book somehow. After reading it, I found it to be enjoyable, yet disappointing at the same time.
Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy parts of Our Own Private Universe. I loved that the setting was in Mexico on a mission trip. It brought something new to the LGBTQ+ young adult subgenre. It was also interesting to see the internal battle between, faith, following your heart, and sticking to what you believe in. As an atheist, I've never had that problem, so it was fascinating to see that perspective.
There were also a few things I didn't like about Our Own Private Universe. The relationship between the two girls fell flat for me. It felt kind of like the author was forcing them together, even though they didn't have much chemistry. I also didn't care for how the relationship was resolved in the end. I'm trying to be vague because I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it, but something happened that drove me crazy.
Our Own Private Universe was a fairly enjoyable book to read. I was bummed that it didn't hold up to my expectations though. I will probably Robin Talley's other books, but they aren't high on my priority list at the moment. I recommend this book to anyone looking for an LGBTQ+ coming of age story. Just don't get your expectations based on the beautiful cover.
I give Our Own Private Universe: 3.5/5.
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I received this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.