Friday 10 August 2018

Review: The Universe Is Expanding and So Am I by Carolyn Mackler

Six months ago, Virginia decided to ignore the ‘Fat Girl Code of Conduct’ she used to live by and make her relationship with Froggy Welsh the Fourth official. But now things are getting complicated. She’s not sure she still likes Froggy, her mum has betrayed her to the meanest girl in school, and her brother Byron – she’s not she’ll ever know how to feel about him. And then she meets Sebastian. He funny, sweet and he doesn’t want to talk about family, and Virginia’s fine with that. But then a terrible secret comes out that could ruin everything. 

Fifteen years after the publication of the acclaimed The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things, funny, fierce Virginia Shreves is back for round two.

Review: I really enjoyed getting to hear more from Virginia and loved being back in her world. I read the 2 books in this series back to back and am really pleased that I did because jumping from one right to the other meant I just got the carry on the story five months after it left off. I read an early version of the previous novel and I understand that it has been updated in the last fifteen years but I found it a bit odd to jump from talking about Tower record and Sports Authority Gift cards to be talking about Brexit. So do be warned to read a later version of The Earth My Butt and Other Big round Things so you don't get the confusion that I had!

Catching up with Virginia was great and since she conquered the idea that fat people don't deserve love and relationships in the previous novel, we now see her with many more potential love interests, this added a whole other layer to the story. Her love of fashion and her ambition has also developed and so we get to have a lot more fun with the clothes that she wears and the adventures that she goes on- I loved it. 

This book does revisit the issues that came up with Virginia's brother in the first novel but things get a lot deeper and darker in this book so if you found that triggering then you should definitely heed the warning with this novel. I admire the courage of this author though to take that deeper and err on the darker side of things because it is something that needs to be talked about and as we know, that is not something that Virginia's family like to do!

I really enjoyed the fact that not much time has passed between the two novels but that Virginia has done a great deal of growing up in the times across the two books. This really reflects the rate of development during this pivotal time in any young person's life, things change just as much day to day when you are a teen as when you are a toddler and not enough books reflect that. I really recommend this book and reading both books back to back. I especially recommend this to people in the same situation as Virginia but if you are older than a teen and have ever been called fat as an insult then I know this will ring true with you as much as it did with me!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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