Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales is the story of boy meets boy over the summer at the lake in North Carolina. Ollie, our storyteller, is from California and thinks he’s going back to San Jose at the end of the summer. The intention is that they were just visiting his sick aunt and her family but when it’s time to go back, his family tells him they’re going to stay in North Carolina for his senior year of high school. Most people can relate to spending your senior year away from the people you grew up with.
Gonzales started off giving me major Grease vibes with this one. After the summer, Ollie starts school and immediately meets the “Pink Ladies” or the rose necklace girls. It turns out, Will, Ollie’s love interest from the summer, goes to the same school even though he lives outside of town and is apart of the “T Birds” or basketball player group. As I kept reading, the Grease vibes went away but it was a fun start. We learn that while Ollie grew up in California and has been out of the closet for years, Will’s family and friends think he’s straight. This really is your typical “jock-doesn’t-want-to-come-out-of-the-close- and-thinks-his-family-will-judge” story. Don’t get me wrong though it was absolutely adorable.
The story is told going back and forth between present-day Ollie and giving excerpts from his time over the summer with Will. I loved the relationship Ollie had with his cousins that he babysits since their mom is sick. Then we learn about how tender and kind Will is with the younger cousins and you can’t help but want to fall in love with Will too.
Look, was it a predictable teenage romance? Yes. But, did it hit all of my emotions? Yes. I smiled through most of this novel. I was reading it on a plane, and at one point I had to prevent myself from sobbing in public. Sophie Gonzales does an amazing job of telling a beautiful story of friendship, family, and love. I enjoyed it from start to finish. It honestly reminded me a lot of a YA Hallmark movie. I would recommend picking this one up when it comes out in March!
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s press for my advanced e-copy!