Cover Image: Little Universes

Little Universes

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Member Reviews

I really enjoyed Little Universes The characters were really well written and the plot kept me interested. I thought the writing was also really well done. This is not my first Heather Demetrios book and it definitely won't be the last. I also purchased a copy for my classroom and my students love it!
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DNFed. Unfortunately, the story just didn't do anything for me. I like what it was trying to go for, but I didn't feel anything while reading.
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I didn't like this book at all. It was not for me, didn't work. It's like any contemporary released before. Nothing new, sorry.
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First I want to start by saying that I enjoyed reading this book. I liked the writing style and the plot was good as well. Most big events in Little Universes were a little rushed or skipped entirely, so I think it was mostly focused on how it affected the characters afterwards. I usually like this a lot, because this way you can really connect with the characters, but this sadly didn’t happen for me. At the beginning I really thought this was going to be an emotional rollercoaster, but for some reason it wasn’t. I didn’t cry when they cried or hurt when they hurt. 
I did get it, but I didn't really feel their pain.
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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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I'm so happy I had the opportunity to read this as a sister read with my sister! This book is easily 5 stars! I LOVED it. The interlacing of romance, space, family, drama, connection, and humor made it such a great read. I wanted to hug all the characters (and I am NOT a hugger)- that's how REAL they felt.  The writing was so well done. The research this book must have taken is impressive. THANK YOU Heather for writing a book that I can't stop thinking about and will always hold close. Little Universes- BIG HEART.
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This book surprised me in the best way. It had everything I was craving at this moment: siblings, romance, struggles.
I especially loved how closely knitted the characters were. Despite their differences and their own stories, I could really relate to all of them, and I loved seeing their growth.
This book dealt with some heavy topics, and in my opinion, that was done in a good way. I could imagine myself feeling like the characters felt in certain situations, which is not easy as a writer to do, I can imagine.
I can highly recommend this book.
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This book was beautiful. I was very emotional while reading it. I am very close to my four sisters so the sibling relationship really resonated with me. I openly cried over parts of this book. It was just really heart wrenching and moving.
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“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.
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I 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. 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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I loved this book! 
It was such a powerfully moving book and so full of emotion. Definitely one that makes you stop and think about long after you've finished it. 
Thank you NetGalley for letting me read and review this arc.
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You know that feeling that comes over you every once in a while? The one where everything is quiet and calm, but almost shaking with trepidation at the same time - something will happen soon and you aren’t worried. You are ready. Waiting for it peacefully. Maybe it comes on as you walk in the sunny park, or on your morning commute to work. For me, it came on as I read Little Universes by Heather Demetrios, during this chaotic time of COVID-19 and financial stressors. This story of grief, support, and space - outer and inner - is a siren song with which you can distract yourself and come out a little bit older, sadder, and wiser. A person who knows their What and what kind of universe they want to be.
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I have read several books by Heather Demetrios before and enjoyed them all. Little Universes was no exception. I like the way the characters are crafted so convincingly. Will be recommending this to teen readers and adults alike.
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Takes on a tremendous number of heavy issues (parental death, foster care/adoption, infidelity, and drug addiction just to name a few) and manages to handle them with grace and realism and hope. I appreciated how Mae and Hannah's different POVs gave the opportunity for seeing similar situations and interpreting them differently, but how they were both interesting and flawed in separate ways.  I did bump a little on the odd dating convention at the head of Mae's chapters, and some of her dialogue came off a bit stilted, but overall a lovely, and engaging read.
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***TRIGGER WARNING***
death of parents, major drug use, adoption, abortion, suicide

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.
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LITTLE UNIVERSES is insightful, powerful, challenging, and comforting.  Like other favorite Heather Demetrios books (BAD ROMANCE and I’LL MEET YOU THERE), this book has characters so raw and real that you’ll feel like you’ve met them in the real life.  The teen stories, the family dynamics, the struggles, and the romance all rang so true to me.  I love this book and will recommend it to so many people.
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This one was much darker than I was expecting. I had to step away for a while and come back to it but I'm so glad I did. What a powerful story about the bond between two sisters!
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A powerful and compelling story about two sisters and their relationship. The sisters were devastated at the sudden , unexpected loss of their parents. We learn how they deal with their grief and how they will manage their relationship.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Mae and Hannah lose their parents in a tragedy. In the aftermath, they must move across the country to live with relatives uprooting their lives even further. Mae, who is adopted and focused on becoming an astronaut, faces her grief with stoicism. Astronauts must be calm in a crisis. Hannah, a recovering drug addict, spirals into despair at the loss, the changes, and family secrets she discovers.  As Hannah pushes everyone away, Mae struggles to hold on to the only family she's ever known. References to astrophysics, geology, manga, The Little Prince, and Yoko Ono's Acorn intersperse this story of grief and sisterhood. Recommend to readers who like family drama, realistic, dark fiction, and to readers who may need a reminder that their place in the universe is important.
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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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