Little Universes

Heather Demetrios. Holt, $17.99 (480p) ISBN 978-1-250-22279-4
Seventeen-year-old sisters Mae and Hannah narrate the tumultuous year following their parents’ death by tsunami in this overlong tale of sisterhood and survival by Demetrios (Bad Romance). Both sisters enter into the event with existing trauma: Mae was adopted as a three-year old “after my biological mother officially chose drugs over me,” while Hannah struggles with an opiate pill addiction and unresolved grief over an abortion. Uprooted from California to an aunt and uncle’s Boston home, they resume familiar patterns, with poetic, tarot-card-loving Hannah using and contemplating suicide, and analytical, aspiring astronaut Mae willing to sacrifice her dreams to help her sister. Both wrestle with feelings of worthlessness: Hannah thinks she’s a “loser piece-of-shit junkie,” while Mae’s fear of abandonment (“Everyone I love leaves me”) leads her to control rather than trust. While the sisters’ extensive self-analysis and parallel romantic problems (each finds a doting potential boyfriend whom they hold at arm’s length) can feel repetitious, Demetrios skillfully illustrates the pain of addiction and challenge of recovery for a whole family, as well as the emotional turmoil that follows a sudden death. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jess Regel, Foundry Literary + Media. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 03/05/2020
Release date: 04/07/2020
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-1-250-62272-3
Show other formats
Discover what to read next