REVIEW: Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

Hello, Universe

“Crying is good for the soul. It means something needs to be released. And if you don’t release the something, it just weighs you down until you can hardly move.”

Every now and then, you stumble upon a book that just makes you stop and say, “Wow!”  that was this book for me.  I listened to Hello, Universe on audio via the Playster app.  (On a side note, if you love audio books, Playster is a great source for them.  It’s the same price as Audible a month, but allows unlimited listening to a huge catalog of book, including a good number of new releases.  It’s been a great investment!)  This is one of those books that is best listened to on audio.  It was so well done, and the readers were fabulous.  I loved every single minute of it!

Hello, Universe tells the story of four middle grade students who find their lives interconnecting during the first few days of summer break.  It’s a story of friendship, and finding yourself through the loneliness.  It’s a story of standing up for yourself and facing down the bullies.  It’s a story about finding your voice, and I loved every minute of it.

Kelly’s writing is quick and full of wit.  She really captures the voice of 11 year old kids, especially with Valencia.  Valencia has a hearing disability, and struggles with loneliness.  Her chapters were my favorite!  The narrator added to the story and I felt like I was back in my own middle school head, listening to her talk about her family and her parents, especially her mom.

My second favorite character was Virgil, and his pet guinea pig Gulliver.  Virgil was so sweet, and his shyness felt familiar to me.  I really related to his struggle with the school bully and feeling like he didn’t belong.  Watching him grow into himself in so many ways really brought the story full circle.

This definitely won’t be me last book by Erin Entrada Kelly, and I look forward to seeing what else she has published!


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