Only Mostly Devastated from Sophie Gonzales is an absolutely fun read which so very well portrays the agonies of growing up, coming out and fitting in. A modern take of the much-loved Grease, Only Mostly Devastated is a definite must read for teens and their parents.
The story line is one familiar to all; summer love, the best kind, especially when you are a teen testing the waters of love and discovering the depths of love, angst and passion that somehow seems to fit perfectly within the framework of long, hot, endless days of summer.
Ollie and Will have a summer ‘fling’ while he and his family are at the Lake in North Carolina, helping out Aunt Linda as she has Cancer and could use a little help with her young children over the summer break. Which is all beyond wonderful, until Ollie has to return home and Will refuses to answer any of Ollie’s texts. Rejection, devastation hit hard.
But worse is to follow as his parents have decided to move permanently to North Carolina because Aunt Linda seems to be getting worse. Ollie’s life as he used to know it is crumbling with the sheer enormity of changing schools, making new friends and having to drop being the bassist in his band.
Written with a quirky, funny and very wry look at growing up, Only Mostly Devastated deals with so many issues in a manner that is both serious and yet light-hearted, especially when Ollie discovers Will, the very love of his life, is not the laid back gay guy of summer love at all, but a larger than life, basketball playing, class clown at his new high school!
Add a group of girls also trying to find their place in the world of emotions, challenges and friendship, a family in crisis, as well as learning to fit in and you have an immensely enjoyable, very refreshing take on the very real issues faced in the world of growing up.
Only Mostly Devastated is a terrific read which will, like the iconic Grease, become a favourite, with a gentle message built in, and is a story line which will return full of fond memories, time and time again.