At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I think this one managed to fly under my radar for quite a while, but after reading it and double checking when it came out, I wish I'd gotten my hands on it much earlier, like back in February so I could've made this one pair with another slightly sci-fi-twisted (though not really) YA contemporary heartbreaker of a book - Adam Silvera's History Is All You Left Me. It would've made a terrific pairing, as both books feature protagonists struggling with their mental health, off-kilter perceptions of the universe (though unlike Griffin, Hutchinson's Ozzie has a far less hopeful view, not of infinite multiverses, but of one that's perpetually shrinking), missing boyfriends, tentative feelings for new boyfriends with their own issues...and oh my God, the issues. Unless you're as soulless as any evil speedster Barry Allen's faced in his career, you will cry reading this book, and that's a promise.
Though I'm not diagnosed officially, I'm pretty reasonably certain I've got anxiety and depression something fierce. So, naturally, this book cut me deep, but I appreciate it for that, oddly enough. Not only because it's so honest, and doesn't shy away from issues of mental and emotional health or bullying or self-harm or relationships or sex, but also because, long as it is, it's addictive because you need it to end on some level of okay. And even if it does (I'll leave the specifics out because spoilers), you'll still have been crying, and probably will still be crying. (Good thing I had some seriously salty Chinese food, as well as salted caramel espresso ice cream for dessert, to balance my sodium levels back out again.)
I'm sure now that I'm going to start picking up more of Hutchinson's books, I'm soon going to have to further expand the room in my mind palace where I've now placed Ozzie and Calvin and Lua and Tommy, along with all of Silvera's boys, for group hug sessions.
Oh, and one more thing - yes, I'm pretty sure Oswald Pinkerton got his full name as a Doctor Who reference.
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