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- ISBN-13: 9781481449663
- ISBN-10: 1481449664
- Publisher: Simon Pulse
- Publish Date: February 2017
- Page Count: 496
- Reading Level: Ages 14-17
- Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.9 x 1.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2017-02-13
- Reviewer: Staff
The universe appears to be literally shrinking around Ozzie Pinkerton: erasing people, obliterating the stars, and reducing the world to little more than his town of Cloud Lake, Fla. Ozzie alone remembers the world as it was, and hes also grappling with graduation, the vanished boyfriend whose very existence is now in question, his parents divorce, his brothers enlistment in the military, and the secrets hes keeping for his new friend Calvin. As in We Are the Ants, Hutchinson uses a science fiction overlay to explore important topics, including self-mutilation, gender identity, and child abuse. Ozzies friends remind him that the world doesnt revolve around him, but Hutchinson playfully disagrees, turning the literal shrinking of the universe into a smart metaphor for Ozzies introversion and alienation. Ozzies wit and concern for his friends make him a captivating narrator frozen by the changes and choices he faces. The conceit also works as a powerful parable for victimization, as everything Ozzie knows is stolen and the people he should be able to trust constantly undermine himor disappear altogether. Ages 14up. Agent: Amy Boggs, Donald Maass Literary. (Feb.)
BookPage Teen Top Pick, January 2017
Oswald Pinkerton has an unfortunate moniker and a boyfriend who has disappeared. Ozzie is a thinker—perhaps too much so—and he wonders endlessly about how his boyfriend, Tommy, vanished. Not only is Tommy gone, but he’s been erased from the memories of everyone who ever knew him.
As Ozzie navigates school (the bullies, as well as a potential new love interest, Calvin), work (where he often sees Tommy’s mom) and friends (including gender-bending Lua), he also travels from therapist to therapist (reluctantly) to deal with issues relating to Tommy, his parents’ rocky divorce and a plane crash that nearly took his life.
At the Edge of the Universe tackles it all—relationships, gender issues, family angst, sexual abuse, alcoholism. It’s a heavy read, but a surprising page-turner. Author Shaun David Hutchinson (We Are the Ants) infuses the very likable yet troubled Ozzie with a lot of interest in and knowledge of the metaphysical world, but there is enough added drama and typical teen issues to keep readers wondering: Will Calvin and Ozzie become a couple? Will Tommy return? Is the universe really shrinking?
This is a well-composed, intelligent young adult read with contemporary themes and plenty of descriptive detail. Some of the issues aren’t pretty or easy, but today’s teens will thrill to Oswald’s story of great heart and big ideas.