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The Universe Is Expanding and So Am I
Contributor(s): Mackler, Carolyn
ISBN: 1681195992     ISBN-13: 9781681195995
Publisher: Bloomsbury Ya
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: May 2018
Annotation: As New York City teenager Virginia learns to accept her plus-size body and struggles to cope with her brother's suspension from college for date rape, she finds herself losing interest in boyfriend Froggy and growing closer to new boy Sebastian until a terrible secret threatens everything.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Self-acceptance; Fiction.
Body image; Fiction.
Dating (Social customs); Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2017039209
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 9.75" H x 6.25" W x 1.25" (0.90 lbs) 282 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s):

Carolyn Mackler is the acclaimed author of the YA novels The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things (a Michael L. Printz Honor Book), Infinite in Between, Tangled, Guyaholic, Vegan Virgin Valentine, and Love and Other Four-Letter Words, as well as the co-author of The Future of Us. She also wrote the middle grade novel Best Friend Next Door. Carolyn lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2018 February #4)

Virginia Shreves is back in Mackler's sequel to her award-winning 2003 novel, The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things. She's still worried about her weight, still worried about boys and finding love, but most of all worried because her brother, Byron, has just been arrested. Mackler infuses momentum into Virginia's story by returning to the alleged sexual assault Byron committed at Columbia, for which he faces trial and possible jail time. Virginia must parse her feelings about her brother and what he did (or may not have done)—not an easy subject, but one that Mackler handles with sensitivity and complexity. Meanwhile, Virginia resists getting her driver's license and embarks on a secret romance with the brother of the woman who accused Byron of rape. Though a sense of impending doom looms over their new relationship because of the circumstances, the tension doesn't lead to predictable conflict. Mackler provides Virginia with plenty of opportunity for growth as she navigates romance, family difficulties, and relatable struggles with self-image. A thoughtful and engaging read. Ages 14–up. Agent: Tina P. Schwartz, the Purcell Agency. (May)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 March)

Gr 8 Up—Virginia Shreves is back in the sequel to The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things. Initially, not much has changed—she and Froggy are still hot and heavy, the drama of Byron's rape charge seems to be going away, and her relationship with her parents remains tense. She misses Shannon who has moved to Spokane, but she and Alyssa have developed a friendship. The status quo changes quickly. Her feelings for Froggy have changed and she really does not want to continue their relationship. The girl Byron raped has pressed charges against him, his future is at stake, and Virginia's parents keep trying to present a perfect family facade to the world. Virginia's new crush just happens to be the brother of the girl Byron raped. Life has become complicated and uncomfortable, and Virginia finds herself unsure of what to do about all of the issues surrounding her. She continues to be a well-rounded and maturing protagonist although the same cannot be said for most of the other characters. The plot, while continuing to elaborate on events from the previous volume, gives enough background that familiarity with the first book is not necessary for enjoyment and understanding. As Virginia struggles to find herself and make the right decisions, she and the universe are truly expanding. VERDICT A welcome read for those who loved the first book, but also strong and enjoyable enough to stand alone.—Janet Hilbun, University of North Texas, Denton

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.