Little Universes
One wave: that’s all it takes for the rest of Mae and Hannah Winters’ lives to change.When a tsunami strikes the island where their parents are vacationing, it soon becomes clear that their mom and dad are never coming home. Forced to move to Boston from sunny California for the rest of their senior year, each girl struggles with secrets their parents’ death has brought to light, and with their uncertainty about the future. Instead of bringing them closer, it feels like the wave has torn the sisters apart. Hannah is a secret poet who wants to be seen, but only knows how to hide. The pain pills she stole from her dead father hurl her onto the shores of an addiction she can’t shake and a dealer who turns her heart upside down. When it’s clear Hannah’s drowning, Mae, a budding astronaut suddenly launched into an existential crisis—and unexpected love—must choose between herself and the only family she has left.

Little Universes Details

TitleLittle Universes
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 7th, 2020
PublisherHenry, Holt and Co. (BYR)
ISBN-139781250222794
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary

Little Universes Review

  • Alexa
    January 1, 1970
    I dont think I ever expected this book to surprise me, but it did. The entire experience was incredibly moving, and made me really think a lot about my own life and belief and relationships, and I really found it to be well-written too. I don’t think I ever expected this book to surprise me, but it did. The entire experience was incredibly moving, and made me really think a lot about my own life and belief and relationships, and I really found it to be well-written too.
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  • Amy Imogene Reads
    January 1, 1970
    I don't think i'll be writing a review for this one. It was a very emotional read.*****Blog | Instagram
  • rachel ☾
    January 1, 1970
    ◯ Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Blog Goodreads Twitter Instagram ◯ Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Blog • Goodreads • Twitter • Instagram
  • Sahil Javed
    January 1, 1970
    heather demetrios could write a book about a potato and i'd still read it.
  • Alex
    January 1, 1970
    I was sent this book for review by the publisher. All opinions are my own. TW: Opioid Addiction, Overdose, Abortion, Cheating, Depression, Suicide Attempt, Loss of parents, death, grief Rep: adopted mc, POC side character --- Sisters, Mae and Hannah unexpectedly lose their parents to a tsunami in Malaysia and are pulled from their sunny life in California, forced to move to Boston to live with their mother's sister, Nora, Uncle Tony and their cousin, Nate who is studying at MIT. Hannah is I was sent this book for review by the publisher. All opinions are my own. TW: Opioid Addiction, Overdose, Abortion, Cheating, Depression, Suicide Attempt, Loss of parents, death, grief Rep: adopted mc, POC side character --- Sisters, Mae and Hannah unexpectedly lose their parents to a tsunami in Malaysia and are pulled from their sunny life in California, forced to move to Boston to live with their mother's sister, Nora, Uncle Tony and their cousin, Nate who is studying at MIT. Hannah is battling opioid addiction and depression. Mae is trying to find where she belongs in the Winters family, she was adopted into around age three & she dreams to become an astronaut. Space isn’t normally an element I like to read about but the way the author carefully explained and connected space to the characters and the story had me engaged as I read about Mae using the scientific method and conducting hypothesis’ in her daily life. I was laughing at the puns and immersed in the work Mae’s father did with dark matter. I appreciated the multimedia aspects of this book like, Mr. Winters interview on dark matter. Even though their parents weren’t present as characters, I got to know them through the multimedia elements and inclusion of flashbacks. Heather Demetrios included so many elements of space and the universe which impressed me until the last page. I loved how their mother had a “soup habit “and was a yoga instructor; how their traditions never paused because the girls were grieving. Sometimes memories help the grieving process speed up. Hannah and Mae’s grieved slow and it felt very realistic. This book is definitely a tear-jerker. I warn you in advance to have tissues present while you’re reading because I regret not having them at my side as I sobbed through the loss and gripping scenes between Mae and Hannah. But what I really enjoyed was that we saw grief from every character from Aunt Nora losing her sister to losing a daughter to cancer at a young age and to Hannah battling her demons and losing her own daughter. Hannah was a brilliantly written character. Complex and hopeless but she had so much beauty inside of her. This novel is written in dual POV, we see how Mae and Hannah react differently and we read all of their thoughts external and internal. You learn about how their communication has subsided and how they come together by the end. There is romance involved and mostly they’re very healthy, but the author did a great job of writing the complexities of a teenage relationship through Drew and Ben. They were great characters and so, so genuine. Most of the time, YA shows the bad boy trope but that didn’t last for long with Little Universes. It’s often hard to write a contemporary novel that is past 300 pages, but this novel stuck out. I was on the edge of my seat by the last 60 pages. I couldn’t predict the end, but I absolutely loved how it wrapped up. I wish I could keep reading about Hannah and Mae because I felt like their story wasn’t completely finished. But, I also felt that there was a perfect closure. It’s hard to review this book and do it any justice. So I will just say, to read it – unless the content is triggering to you. I loved this book so much, I'm going to be raving about it until the end of time. Addiction is a subject I haven’t read about before this book. But Heather wrote this carefully and I could tell she put her heart into this book. The male characters looked toxic masculinity in the eye and I absolutely loved seeing Nate being feminine and the guys wearing nail polish. This is what a 2020 YA novel should have, it felt so progressive and I was thrilled to see this. One flaw I had was just that I wished I had seen some sort of therapy take place but that’s a very minor concern I have. This book was full of great quotes and lessons. I cherished Demetrios’ writing a lot. So, I’ll leave you with some of my favorites: “A good astronaut knows that anything – rejection, failure, death – can be a sim. Everything in your life is preparation for the mission” “There’s nothing rational about grief. I’m learning this” “I don’t want to be defined by my adoptedness – it’s just apart of me, not all of me. A fraction. But, for some reason, even the people closest to me have determined that being adopted bothers me. It doesn’t. Them thinking it bothers me is what bothers me”. “The Sad is so big, it’s like, I don’t know, it’s like that movie Mae loves where the astronaut can’t get back to the ship and he just floats off into the complete, utter, terrifying darkness of space listening to cowboy music. My sister studies the void – but I look into it Every. Single. Day.”“I feel like that wave brought you to me. It washed you up on my shore” “If a label society wants to give you is helpful to you, make you feel connected to the world – gender, race, religion, nationality, whatever- cool. Use it. / But, if it’s not, it f the label makes you smaller inside. Fuck it.”
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  • Kristi
    January 1, 1970
    I will live on one of those stars. I will laugh on one of them. And when you look up in the sky, it will seem to you that all the stars are laughing. Only you will have the stars that can laugh. --Heather Demetrios, Little UniversesLittle Universes by Heather Demetrios was a bit of a sob-fest for me. Theres an abundance of sadness in this story but also an equal amount of joy. The power of sisterhood is explored in grief, addiction and mental illness but along with this are the wonders that are “I will live on one of those stars. I will laugh on one of them. And when you look up in the sky, it will seem to you that all the stars are laughing. Only you will have the stars that can laugh.” --Heather Demetrios, Little UniversesLittle Universes by Heather Demetrios was a bit of a sob-fest for me. There’s an abundance of sadness in this story but also an equal amount of joy. The power of sisterhood is explored in grief, addiction and mental illness but along with this are the wonders that are found in forgiveness, family, and love. As different as two sisters can be, Mae and Hannah traverse life without their parents after a tragic accident takes them. Hannah, suffering from depression and drug addiction, spirals with the loss while adopted Mae, ever responsible and incredibly smart, tries her best to hold them together.Each chapter is told in the alternating voice of each girl and is beautifully poetic in the telling. At first at odds with one another, each for different reasons, the mending of their relationship is poignant, raw, and realistic. This is a beautiful story about emotionally wrought girls who find the strength within themselves and each other to overcome tragedy and circumstance. All the stars for Little Universes, this is a book that I’ll be recommending to everyone. A big thank you to Macmillan Audio for gifting me with an ALC of Little Universes.
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  • Nia •ShadesOfPaper•
    January 1, 1970
    If I could marry this cover, I would.Thank you Macmillan and Henry Holt and Co. for the ARC.Blog | Twitter | Instagram | BlogLovin If I could marry this cover, I would.Thank you Macmillan and Henry Holt and Co. for the ARC.Blog | Twitter | Instagram | BlogLovin’
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  • Lucsbooks
    January 1, 1970
    Trigger Warnings: abortion, addiction, grief, rape, consent, death.This was such an amazing read but be aware: it was one of the heaviest books I have encountered.This story focuses on two sisters, their identities and their relationship with one another. I feared for a second that it would end up being about the boys they got involved with but that ended up just being a part of their lives, and not even one of the biggest.When this book starts it almost feels like it is being written in two Trigger Warnings: abortion, addiction, grief, rape, consent, death.This was such an amazing read but be aware: it was one of the heaviest books I have encountered.This story focuses on two sisters, their identities and their relationship with one another. I feared for a second that it would end up being about the boys they got involved with but that ended up just being a part of their lives, and not even one of the biggest.When this book starts it almost feels like it is being written in two completely different languages, depending on whose point of view. Hannah’s chapters read like poetry, which makes absolute sense: she is all about emotion and the “something else”. Her poems feature at the end of each chapter, giving the reader a window to what she is feeling at every stage. Mae’s, on the other hand, reminds me of reading a scientific paper - she doesn’t only like science, she lives it and applies it to every moment of her life, thinking it the only way to understand the world around her, including humans.As the book progressed, one of the most amazing things was seeing how each sister started to think in the other's ”language”. As their relationship mended itself and they were able to have a more balanced perspective, each other influence on the other became obvious.Both Hannah and Mae were extremely interesting (and so are the other characters such as Drew, Ben and Nate but this isn’t about them) and I loved to see how they evolved and grew but mostly I liked that the author made sure to have them fail a lot in their journey. I liked to see them misunderstand one another, doing things that they regretted, talking without thinking and then having to apologize. They acted like humans, not two-dimensional characters.This is not an easy or quick book to read. The way that drug addiction was depicted in particular was absolutely heartbreaking, raw and real. It was also my favorite part.Something else I think I should also notice is how science-heavy this book is and if at times that may be a bit daunting, for people that don’t breath and eat equations and physics like half the characters in this book, that was nothing compared to the awesomeness that was having a character like Mae being so passioned about it (Yeah for girls in science!). While I was reading it I thought that maybe the author, like Mae, had an interest in the subject so I was really surprised when I reached the acknowledgments and learned that she had to research the themes for this book herself, which made me like her so much more because...damn! You’ll see what I’m talking about when you read this.Little Universes will rip your heart out of your chest and make you like it.Thank you to Henry Holt and Co and Edelweiss+ for this DRC.
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  • Andi (Andi's ABCs)
    January 1, 1970
    This review was originally posted on Andi's ABCs I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. In 2014 I won a giveaway for a book by Heather Demetrios called I'll Meet You There. I was familiar with her work because I had already read her debut, Something Real, and had fallen on love but I'll Meet You There was something else entirely for me. I loved that book with every fiber of my being and I have read This review was originally posted on Andi's ABCs I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. In 2014 I won a giveaway for a book by Heather Demetrios called I'll Meet You There. I was familiar with her work because I had already read her debut, Something Real, and had fallen on love but I'll Meet You There was something else entirely for me. I loved that book with every fiber of my being and I have read it 7 times since, sometimes twice a year. I consider it a perfect book and is one of the few I crave a reread of. Honestly I wasn't sure Heather could reach that level for me again and then I read Little Universes. And man did she blow me away with this story.Little Universes is a very emotional read. I cried for probably about 70% of the 480 page book. It's the story of California native sisters, Hannah and Mae Winters, who's lives change when a tsunami hits the island their parents are vacationing on. Soon it is clear they won't be coming back and the sisters are forced to move across the country, to Boston, to live with their aunt and uncle. Not only do the girls have to grieve the loss of their parents and the life they knew while navigating a new place. But they also have to manage the secret they have been holding on to...Hannah has an addiction to pain pills. Between that and a secret about their parents they didn't know these two sisters are on an emotional journey one that you won't soon forget.Hannah and Mae broke me. Each girl was dealing with so much together and on their own and they broke me. I was in tears over the loss of their parents. I was in tears over the loss of their relationship. I was in tears over Hannah's self-worth. I was in tears over Mae being unable to fix everything like a math equation. These two sisters had stories that needed to be told even if they crushed me. But I loved every minute of it.Little Universes has a lot of trigger warnings; abortion, addiction, death, sex, drug use and cheating. But it is a lot more than those things. It is a book that is about grief and sisters and love and self esteem. It is about learning you are enough even when you don't feel like you are. It is about learning not everything can be solved like an equation, not everything is fixable. It is a story that will stick with you whether you have a sister or not. I may not read it a bunch of times like I'll Meet You There (my heart can't handle it) but I will recommend it just as much. Make sure you add this one to your TBR.
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  • Maria Zuppardi
    January 1, 1970
    (4.5 stars!)This book...if you have siblings, youll want to read this one especially! Well-developed characters, fascinating plot line, girls in STEM. This book is perfection! Definitely a must-read YA book (4.5 stars!)This book...if you have siblings, you’ll want to read this one especially! Well-developed characters, fascinating plot line, girls in STEM. This book is perfection! Definitely a must-read YA book
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  • Susie
    January 1, 1970
    Gutted. Thats how I described my condition to my sister when I texted her to tell her how much I love her and how grateful for her I always feel. Gutted. This book. For. The. LOVE. I dont cry/sob/snot during books like that! I mean, sometimes I will cry at the end or, on occasion, once or twice during a book. But I was a wreck almost continually during this book!!! A complete and utter wreck. Especially the second half. And it is not a short little jaunt if a book. It is a journey. An arduous Gutted. That’s how I described my condition to my sister when I texted her to tell her how much I love her and how grateful for her I always feel. Gutted. This book. For. The. LOVE. I don’t cry/sob/snot during books like that! I mean, sometimes I will cry at the end or, on occasion, once or twice during a book. But I was a wreck almost continually during this book!!! A complete and utter wreck. Especially the second half. And it is not a short little jaunt if a book. It is a journey. An arduous process to, well, process! I mean, Come the fuck ON!!! Sister story. Science that I shouldn’t get but that I totally did. Addiction gut-wrenches. A tsunami in so many ways!!!This one will be with me for a very long time. I already preordered hard copies for me, my sister and my library. 🤓💜💜💜💜💜📚
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  • Fanna
    January 1, 1970
    ☀ya contemporary☀explores the bond between sisters☀must be super emotional ☀️ya contemporary☀️explores the bond between sisters☀️must be super emotional
  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
    January 1, 1970
    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Well, I just got done reading this and sitting in a long-cold bubble bath sobbing my face off. Because it is that good. I highlighted giant chunks of the thing because both the writing and the messages were just so damned beautiful.Sisters Mae and Hannah have just lost their parents in a horrific tsunami, and have absolutely no idea how to move forward. Because who would, honestly? Mae You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Well, I just got done reading this and sitting in a long-cold bubble bath sobbing my face off. Because it is that good. I highlighted giant chunks of the thing because both the writing and the messages were just so damned beautiful.Sisters Mae and Hannah have just lost their parents in a horrific tsunami, and have absolutely no idea how to move forward. Because who would, honestly? Mae is incredibly science and logic focused, which makes her grieving even more difficult, as there is no logic in grief. Hannah had been struggling with drug use since before their deaths, and obviously the loss of her parents shattered her even further, and sent her spiraling even more.As they move across the country to live with their (incredibly loving) aunt, uncle, and cousin, they have to figure out how to rebuild. And there is a lot going on in both girls' lives beyond just the loss of their parents. Mae needs to decide if she can and should leave her sister to follow her lifelong dream of being an astronaut, or if she needs to change her trajectory. She finds a great friend in her cousin Nate, and Nate's friend Ben who is kind of the best and also kind of more than a friend. Hannah is recovering from an abortion that she isn't sure she wanted to have, in addition to the addiction. She's pulled from her long-time boyfriend Micah, and feels more alone than ever. She also finds out a secret about their parents that is eating away at her as she tries to spare her sister the pain.There are so many tremendous side characters in this book, not all of whom I can even mention for fear of spoilers. I loved that the girls had so many supports (and they both acknowledge that they are quite lucky, too) especially in their family who were willing to step up to help them through this. They not only need to learn to navigate these new relationships (or rather, closer relationships) with extended family, but their new normals with each other.And look, this book is heavy. It isn't a quick or easy read. But it just so lovely, so full of heart, and at the end of the day, so hopeful, that it is completely worth the journey. Bottom Line:  It's a story about the triumph and resilience of the human spirit against all odds. It's love overcoming death, and there's nothing greater than that. **Trigger warning for death, grief, abortion, assault, attempted suicide, drug addiction/overdose
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  • The Clever Reader
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes you find your way back home. You need to surrender the person you no longer are so that you can step into the person youre supposed to become - Little Universes This book was so beautiful. It tackles grief, addiction, family dynamics, love, and friendship. Two sisters who feel so opposite from one another have no idea just how similar they are. You will feel so much while reading this so dont be surprised if you cry than once. The writing is gorgeous and youll find many many “Sometimes you find your way back home. You need to surrender the person you no longer are so that you can step into the person you’re supposed to become” - Little Universes This book was so beautiful. It tackles grief, addiction, family dynamics, love, and friendship. Two sisters who feel so opposite from one another have no idea just how similar they are. You will feel so much while reading this so don’t be surprised if you cry than once. The writing is gorgeous and you’ll find many many notable quotes throughout the book that will resonate with you on so many levels. For a deep and heavy book it is a page turner. This book will forever hold a piece of my heart. I hope you will all pick it up!
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  • Heavenly Rose
    January 1, 1970
    The author is a genius and this book is beyond gorgeous. I loved both Hannah and Mae, but I related to Hannah more. Seeing the world from Hannah's perspective was like being inside my own brain, and I'm so glad the author gave her a second chance at life because that gave me hope that people like Hannah and me could have second chances at life after all, and that against all odds there really is hope.
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  • Lindsay Montague
    January 1, 1970
    This wrecked me. I stayed up until 2:30am to finish then woke up with a puffy face and a crying hangover. Not only was this a gripping story and incredibly heartbreaking, this was beautifully written. One sister is pushing everyone away, while the other is trying to hold on as tight as she can.There was such a distinct difference in tone and style between Mae and Hannah that made easy to switch between the two perspectives,  Mae looks at every situation as a math or scientific problem to solve. This wrecked me. I stayed up until 2:30am to finish then woke up with a puffy face and a crying hangover. Not only was this a gripping story and incredibly heartbreaking, this was beautifully written. One sister is pushing everyone away, while the other is trying to hold on as tight as she can.There was such a distinct difference in tone and style between Mae and Hannah that made easy to switch between the two perspectives,  Mae looks at every situation as a math or scientific problem to solve. Everything will be okay if only she can fix the problem. When she has trouble crying after the death of her parents, she begins to question why, and if she even deserves to cry because she's technically not their daughter. Mae goes through a lot of questioning when it comes to her identity within this supportive and loving family. Now that they're gone, does she still belong?While Mae seems to compartmentalize her feelings, Hannah, on the contrary, feels every emotion, at all times—even when that's just being numb to her pain  It's why she is drawn to opiates. They are offering her a high that she isn't getting in her life, despite having a loving family, a wonderful guy, and headstrong sister. But that's how depression works, even when you think "There's nothing to be sad about, I have this great life," you can still feel empty.    I don't know what more I can say except: READ THIS BOOK! FEEL ALL THE FEELS!ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.***TRIGGER WARNING***death of parents, major drug use, adoption, abortion, suicide
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  • Krysti
    January 1, 1970
    A heart-stinging story about grief, addiction, and finding your place in the universe. Demetrios's writing is quite simply stunning in this evocative and poignant novel about two sisters who are forced to cope with the tragic death of both of their parents while also trying to discover what they truly want from life and attempting not to lose each other in the process.This is the perfect book to buddy read with a sister or friend.
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    This sounds like teardrops on pages...💜
  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    Honestly, I'm sure this book is amazing and brilliant. But when the first few chapters are already dealing with death, addiction, abandonment, natural disasters, abortion, and a whole lot of darkness, I'm just not sure I can handle the whole book right now. I was excited because I've loved previous work by her but I think this one is just too heavy for me to deal with currently. I'll definitely be keeping it on my shelves to check out at a later time, when real life maybe isn't quite so dark Honestly, I'm sure this book is amazing and brilliant. But when the first few chapters are already dealing with death, addiction, abandonment, natural disasters, abortion, and a whole lot of darkness, I'm just not sure I can handle the whole book right now. I was excited because I've loved previous work by her but I think this one is just too heavy for me to deal with currently. I'll definitely be keeping it on my shelves to check out at a later time, when real life maybe isn't quite so dark itself.
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  • Sacha
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I'll post that review upon publication.Updated 4/7/20: 4.5 stars What a beautifully written book. Truly, if for no other reason (but there were others, I promise), this novel is worth a read based on style. Its beauty helps overshadow the dark depths that the characters go to so often here as they fall into one tragedy after another. This novel is told from the perspective of two sisters, Mae Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I'll post that review upon publication.Updated 4/7/20: 4.5 stars What a beautifully written book. Truly, if for no other reason (but there were others, I promise), this novel is worth a read based on style. Its beauty helps overshadow the dark depths that the characters go to so often here as they fall into one tragedy after another. This novel is told from the perspective of two sisters, Mae and Hannah, who appear to have fairly opposite personalities, interests, physical appearances, and goals. What binds them is the incredibly tragic circumstances of their parents' encounter with a natural disaster (to start). This info exists in the summary, so I'm not counting this as a spoiler. It is fascinating and heart breaking to sit in the minds of each character as she deals with her own grief, and at times, it is even more riveting to watch her responses to her sister's grief. And that grief unfolds in so many ways: depression, addiction, isolation, hopelessness, removal of one's goals for the sake of others' comfort and happiness, outbursts of all kinds, suicidal ideation, and so on. I particularly like the realistic portrayal of addiction here. Despite all of the tragedy and heart break - and it does just keep coming at you - there's an unmistakable sense of hope, recovery, and possibility that evolves in both expected and unexpected ways. Many readers will find the fundamental issues and questions here extremely familiar and helpful in building empathy and in developing a stronger understanding of ourselves.
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  • Margaret (xoxoLibro)
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a GODDAMN MASTERPIECE. How can one book be both so heavy, and yet, so hopeful? So dark, and yet, so sweet?Seriously, you guys, I loved this book so much! I'll be gushing all my feelz below, but first...There are some majorly heavy topics in this book. This review did a great job summing up the Trigger Warnings and Representation here.Little Universes tackles big questions. The Big Questions. - Why are we here? - How did we do this thing called Life? Is there a right way? A wrong This book is a GODDAMN MASTERPIECE. How can one book be both so heavy, and yet, so hopeful? So dark, and yet, so sweet?Seriously, you guys, I loved this book so much! I'll be gushing all my feelz below, but first...There are some majorly heavy topics in this book. This review did a great job summing up the Trigger Warnings and Representation here.Little Universes tackles big questions. The Big Questions. - Why are we here? - How did we do this thing called Life? Is there a right way? A wrong way? - What do we do with all the darkness and pain we have inside? - Can we, should we, risk our hearts to love? "The Sad is so big, it’s like, I don’t know, it’s like that movie Mae loves where the astronaut can’t get back to the ship and he just floats off into the complete, utter, terrifying darkness of space listening to cowboy music. My sister studies the void – but I look into it Every. Single. Day." Mae and Hannah...man, their road is long. Their journey is rough and it isn't done yet. These girls leap off the page, along with their pain and their love and their hope. I can't put into words how much I love these girls, and if my sister were closer (and Covid-19 weren't a thing rn) I'd be giving her an extra squeeze tonight.You can read about their specific trials in this book in the synopsis—grief, addiction, suicide, heartbreak, and more. I'm privileged and grateful to say that these are not struggles that I have personally experienced, BUT Little Universes is UNIVERSAL. There are so many great lessons here for all of us. 1. Have compassion for others. We don't know what darkness another person is carrying, so be kind. Be patient. Ask questions before judging too harshly.2. Be kind to yourself. We're all doing our best. Sometimes we mess up. Sometimes we hurt our loved ones. But we are more than our screw ups. We can choose to be more.3. Appreciate your loved ones. Love them, hold them, laugh with them, while you have them. You never know when they'll be taken from you.4. Find your WHY. Find your reason for being here and go after it with all your heart. That is what makes this life worth living. That is how you leave your mark on the world.5. There's always something worth living for. You'll find your passion for space or your Drew or your halfway house. The possibilities are endless. But you have to keep living. Keep looking.And I couldn't wrap up this review without mentioning the absolute beauty of the prose. It is poetic. Unique. Captivating. Every other page has a quote you just want to reread, to savor. The one I'll leave you with is... "There is a little universe inside each of us. We are filled with planets and stars, light and gravity, dark matter and a million other mysteries we may never understand. And the greatest mystery of all is that we are immortal. We will be reshaped, again and again, by the universe itself. And we will never die." Oh, and one more thing...(view spoiler)[Drew & Hannah and Ben & Mae forever. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Shimin Mushsharat
    January 1, 1970
    Little Universes Heather Demetrios Trigger warnings: death, addiction, abortionI thought I couldn't write anything about this book but I feel like I HAVE to. So here we go. 'Bad Romance' is a book that's extremely near and dear to my heart. I needed that book. It helped me in so many ways I can't even begin to count. The author deals with a lot of heavy stuff in her books and she doesn't shy away from writing things exactly as they are. Even more so in 'Little Universes' than 'Bad Romance'. Little Universes Heather Demetrios Trigger warnings: death, addiction, abortionI thought I couldn't write anything about this book but I feel like I HAVE to. So here we go. 'Bad Romance' is a book that's extremely near and dear to my heart. I needed that book. It helped me in so many ways I can't even begin to count. The author deals with a lot of heavy stuff in her books and she doesn't shy away from writing things exactly as they are. Even more so in 'Little Universes' than 'Bad Romance'. Little Universes is about two sisters Mae and Hannah who lose their parents in a Tsunami. This is their journey through the grief. Mae and Hannah are extremely different, Mae an over-achiever and Hannah often calls herself "just Hannah" because she's not a genius like her sister. They both go through so much. Mae struggles to process her emotions and Hannah with the addiction. Their voices are entirely different. They think differently. Mae is a scientist. Everything with her is hypothesis and facts and trying to prove why their life is torn apart like this. While Hannah tries to forget it all and loses herself too much to risk never coming back. It was such a gut wrenching read.▪️This book is laden pretty heavily with experiences of a drug addict. I don't know if it would be a good idea to read it for someone who's struggling.▪️The author brings up a LOT of issues (abortion, grief, death, cheating). I personally didn't find anything wrong with that. Everything seemed well placed and realistic. ▪️Mae has an extremely scientific mind. Her chapters literally have equations and definitions. This bothered me a lot. It's a completely personal thing. I don't like to think/talk/listen science. At all. It makes me irrationally angry. Probably because I thought I was smart enough to study science and ruined the chances of having a satisfactory career.▪️Hannah's struggle with quitting and relapsing was so heartbreaking to read. Especially when she says she is so sad. There was no reason. She knows she is privileged but she is still so sad. Then she tries so hard to get better. For the ones she loves and for herself. This book is extremely hard-hitting. If you decide to read it please go in with an open mind.
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  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    I won a copy in a Goodreads giveaway, this did not influence my review.The opening chapters of Little Universes are spectacular, I wholeheartedly expected a four or even five-star read. I was immediately pulled in by all of the characters and the unique story of two sisters who are like night and day in many ways. Unfortunately, Demetrios included too many "issues" for one novel - adultery, drug and alcohol abuse/overdoses, death and grieving, adoption, relocation, first love, depression, and I won a copy in a Goodreads giveaway, this did not influence my review.The opening chapters of Little Universes are spectacular, I wholeheartedly expected a four or even five-star read. I was immediately pulled in by all of the characters and the unique story of two sisters who are like night and day in many ways. Unfortunately, Demetrios included too many "issues" for one novel - adultery, drug and alcohol abuse/overdoses, death and grieving, adoption, relocation, first love, depression, and more. While recommended for ages fourteen and up, younger or more sensitive readers may find the book overwhelming or upsetting. The book is also in need of some stringent editing in terms of quantity; it is approximately 470 pages and about 10o or more pages could have been edited out between the end of Part 1, most of Part 2, and even a bit of Part 3. Had it been shorter, the story could have been tighter and more focused. Instead, the plot begins to drag and feel repetitive. I found it tiresome to work through the middle of the book and I lost interest in two characters I had initially loved. The book eventually regains its footing, but it almost felt too late by then. Ultimately, this is a YA novel with ample potential but poor execution.
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  • Destiny (myhoneyreads)
    January 1, 1970
    TW: death, grief, addiction, depression, attempted suicideI buddy read this book with my friend Belle and when she pitched it to me, it sounded a lot less harmless than what it actually was. But despite how much I connected to this book in not-so-great ways, I still finished the book and really, really enjoyed it. The writing was easy to get into at first, then took some adjusting to (the science-y stuff got a bit too much, even for a nerd like me), but by the 20% mark I was just flying through TW: death, grief, addiction, depression, attempted suicideI buddy read this book with my friend Belle and when she pitched it to me, it sounded a lot less harmless than what it actually was. But despite how much I connected to this book in not-so-great ways, I still finished the book and really, really enjoyed it. The writing was easy to get into at first, then took some adjusting to (the science-y stuff got a bit too much, even for a nerd like me), but by the 20% mark I was just flying through this book. As an older sister who’s been in similar situations as Mae, I got it. I really, really got it. I cried about four times while reading this, remembering the hard times with my sister and appreciating the bond between Mae and Hannah. The characters were real, they were raw, and the author did a great job of making them so incredibly human. This is the first contemporary novel that I’ve finished in two years and I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. 4/5 stars. *Thank you to Belle for letting me read this with you, and the publishers who suggested she share the ARC with a friend. The sisters buddy read is such a cute idea!
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  • Alicia
    January 1, 1970
    Maybe it was the distraction of airplane reading because I wasn't following what was happening and it ruined the enjoyment and understanding of the book. I'm a fan of Demetrios' other book, so I was excited to grab this ARC, but like AS King's most recent novel, there was a lot of patience required to develop the opening and dive into the heavy stuff and I didn't have that kind of patience. So while my review and rating is solely based on my difficulty in getting "in to" the novel, I don't Maybe it was the distraction of airplane reading because I wasn't following what was happening and it ruined the enjoyment and understanding of the book. I'm a fan of Demetrios' other book, so I was excited to grab this ARC, but like AS King's most recent novel, there was a lot of patience required to develop the opening and dive into the heavy stuff and I didn't have that kind of patience. So while my review and rating is solely based on my difficulty in getting "in to" the novel, I don't necessarily know that it will be the majority opinion for those looking forward to the title.
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  • avaa
    January 1, 1970
    Im dnfing at 17%Heres why-I hate this character so much-Singular noun because Mae literally only exists for Hannahs arc-I am getting serious Ill g*ve you the s*n flashbacks and I CANT PUT MYSELF THROUGH THAT AGAIN I’m dnfing at 17%Heres why-I hate this character so much-Singular noun because Mae literally only exists for Hannahs arc-I am getting serious I’ll g*ve you the s*n flashbacks and I CANT PUT MYSELF THROUGH THAT AGAIN
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  • Alexa L
    January 1, 1970
    This was honestly super good, my only issue is it might be a hard sell with my high schoolers because it is super long, but the story was so well fleshed out that it is justified. Highly recommend!
  • Kerry Beth
    January 1, 1970
    I won a copy of this novel from a Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you, Goodreads!A deep story about loss, grief, who we are at our core and how we connect with others, Little Universes follows the story of two very different sisters of the same age. One is adopted, one not. One a genius nerd who doesnt connect well with humans, but does well at school. One connects with others, believes in the metaphysical and feels and responds deeply, often burying her feelings in pills. At the beginning of the I won a copy of this novel from a Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you, Goodreads!A deep story about loss, grief, who we are at our core and how we connect with others, Little Universes follows the story of two very different sisters of the same age. One is adopted, one not. One a genius nerd who doesn’t connect well with humans, but does well at school. One connects with others, believes in the metaphysical and feels and responds deeply, often burying her feelings in pills. At the beginning of the story, both sisters are sober and hopeful. Then, while on vacation in Malaysia, their parents are swept away by the tsunami. They learn that their lives were not perfect, they learned more facts about their parents, and had to learn to live with their aunt and uncle in a new city, new environment and how to manage their grief, learn and grow. Switching between the voices of the two sisters, often nerdy and science-y, often dark as they struggle with meaning and the future, the novel was compelling and real, but it didn’t really grab me in the way I might have wished. I didn’t laugh or cry with Mae and Hannah, but it was a quick read and certainly made me think.
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  • Mere
    January 1, 1970
    I got this ARC at YALLFEST 2019. Thank you to the publisher for the arc.First off, this story is intense. Hence the reason I am sticking warnings at the very beginning of my review here.WARNINGS: addiction, suicide, death, abortion, rape and a whole host of other things. Those are the main ones though.This book was very good -- I feel that there was a lot going on in this book, however. There was nothing lighthearted about it. It was supremely dark, and there is very little light or hope in this I got this ARC at YALLFEST 2019. Thank you to the publisher for the arc.First off, this story is intense. Hence the reason I am sticking warnings at the very beginning of my review here.WARNINGS: addiction, suicide, death, abortion, rape and a whole host of other things. Those are the main ones though.This book was very good -- I feel that there was a lot going on in this book, however. There was nothing lighthearted about it. It was supremely dark, and there is very little light or hope in this book. While most of that is due to Hannah, Mae also experiences some things as well. This book was a lot to take in. I read it over the course of two days, and I still feel...uncomfortable, itchy after reading it. It is very hard to put into words how I felt while reading this book. There was a lot of emotion, starting with the death of their parents. And it doesn't get much better from there. I felt the book was really poignant. It felt so hopeless -- and it was really, really depressing. I will say this, I had trouble connecting to the characters only because I don't think I have experienced the type of pain they did. However, I think it was done really well, and it made me cry. So I did feel for them, very, very intensely. There was really not any action plot, other than the character's stories themselves. It was a slow paced book, that gave out information a little bit at a time. There were multiple strings all connecting things together. It showed how everything was linked together. There was some romance in this book, for both the girls, and it was a part of their story, and I will admit that I'm still not totally sure how I feel about it. I liked it for some reasons, and disliked it for others. It's complicated.This book showed the broken side of people, and it was intense. I wouldn't recommend this book for anyone who may even be a little uncomfortable with the subjects in my warning, because this book deals heavily with them. This book is dark, heavy and deep.
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  • Kym's Open Books
    January 1, 1970
    What is the most important thing? To love yourself and the world. In that order. Yoko Ono This. Wrecked. Me. I connected a lot with the story and have felt or experienced similar situations. Because of this, I probably felt more than most. At the same time, it is so well written, I think its impossible not to feel what the author wants you to. The grief and pain was so real it was tangible.Part of me wants to give this 5 stars. Part of me wants to give it 2. It was difficult to read. Its heavy, “What is the most important thing? To love yourself and the world. In that order.” Yoko Ono This. Wrecked. Me. I connected a lot with the story and have felt or experienced similar situations. Because of this, I probably felt more than most. At the same time, it is so well written, I think it’s impossible not to feel what the author wants you to. The grief and pain was so real it was tangible.Part of me wants to give this 5 stars. Part of me wants to give it 2. It was difficult to read. It’s heavy, but it’s beautiful. Heartbreaking isn’t a word that describes it well enough. I feel like my heart was beat on multiple times but I also feel I’m better for reading it. There is insight for everyone to grasp and apply to their own lives. I wasn’t fully prepared for it, it puts you in a place of self reflection and brings deep thoughts about life.The writing is amazing and almost poetic. It was definitely the best part of the book. Demetrios has an incredible talent that should only be used for books with profound, thoughtful content. “Love is the constant.” was the underlying theme of the book and I respect and admire the author for being able to do that so well.The content was very high for language, drugs and had very mature situations. A lot of the content, in my opinion, is not YA appropriate. Because of that, I don't feel I could give it 5 stars. There are many triggers such as abortion, suicide, addiction, infidelity and death. Check my website (link in bio) for the full details on content.Thank you Henry, Holt and Co and Heather Demetrios for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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