Title: Only, Mostly, Devastated
Author: Sophie Gonzales
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Audience: Young Adult
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.
Only, Mostly, Devastated is the first Sophie Gonzales book that I have picked up, and it certainly came at the right time for me because I loved it. I had heard many describe it (specifically the blurb) as a queer update on Grease, and it is that, but it is also so much more. I can’t wait to check out some of the other books that Sophie Gonzales has written.
When it comes to the characters, they all stand out in different ways, and I love them for that. Ollie, our main character, was amazing, and I just wanted to give him a hug at many points. He went through so much during the book and only came out stronger and more developed through it. It was also a book in which I loved all of the secondary characters as well, which is not something that I often say. They all brought something to the book, and none of them felt as if they were just there for the sake of being another character. I would love to get a spin-off of their journeys as I think there are some excellent stories to be told there.
The romance between Ollie and Will was adorable, and while it did have a little bit of cheese, I could move past those bits. Because what is a romance book without a little bit of cheese. They had some moments that really allow you to see the progression of their relationship and how they have grown both individually as people and as a couple. I also love the moment that they have in the end, and I think that Sophie Gonzales captured the moment incredibly well.
While Only, Mostly, Devastated is an adorable book, it also covers some serious issues such as grief/death of a close family member, homophobia/biphobia, chronic illness and body dysmorphia. I loved the way that Sophie Gonzales tackled the issues and did not shy away from them. I cannot speak for any of the representation apart from the chronic illness, but I thought that she tackled that incredibly well, and at no point did it feel forced.
I highly suggest picking up Only, Mostly, Devastated because it is an underrated gem within Young Adult Contemporary. Sophie Gonzales is definitely going to be an author that I will be going back to time and time again.