Review: Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley

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June 19, 2017 by Zoë

In Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley, Aki and her friend Lori go on a church youth group trip to Mexico. Aki didn’t expect to find herself falling for someone on the trip, but she does and soon her summer gets a lot more complicated. But how will things end and why have things with Lori gotten so complicated?

The Good
Back in high school, I read a lot of books trying to get advice on relationships. This is the kind of book that I turned to then, except it’s for bisexual girls. In other words, this is a super important book, so even though I’ll get into some things that I didn’t like about it, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to teenagers. The messages it sends about sex are healthy (confusion, safe sex, embarrassment, it’s all normal) and the messages it sends about sexuality are also really affirming.

This book also gets into the complicated relationship between Christianity and bisexuality/homosexuality, which is something that I personally like to see in books. While overall the message was that teens shouldn’t be as worried as they are, I think that some of the issues inherent in Christianity’s stance on homosexual actions were dealt with at least a bit.

The Bad
Sooo much instalove. Aki and her love interest look at each other across the room on the first day and suddenly they are obsessed! And they start hooking up! And everything is amazing! I get that teenagers are full of hormones, but come on. At one point Lori points out to Aki that she’s moving really fast and Aki pretty much brushes her off. But Lori was right. Aki did move really fast and I honestly don’t believe that her relationship can last, though the author might argue otherwise.

Also, what was up with the whitewashing on the cover? Really really bad–but that’s not the author’s fault.

The Verdict
This is the YA book about bisexuality that I’ve been looking for. Now let’s have more! (But maybe with more believable relationships.)

“I understood. The truth was awesome, but it was also terrifying.”



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