Title: Our Own Private Universe
Author: Robin Talley
Genre: Romance, Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQIA+
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia
Fifteen-year-old Aki Simon has a theory. And it’s mostly about sex.
No, it isn’t that kind of theory. Aki already knows she’s bisexual—even if, until now, it’s mostly been in the hypothetical sense. Aki has dated only guys so far, and her best friend, Lori, is the only person who knows she likes girls, too.
Actually, Aki’s theory is that she’s got only one shot at living an interesting life—and that means she’s got to stop sitting around and thinking so much. It’s time for her to actually do something. Or at least try.
So when Aki and Lori set off on a church youth-group trip to a small Mexican town for the summer and Aki meets Christa—slightly older, far more experienced—it seems her theory is prime for the testing.
But it’s not going to be easy. For one thing, how exactly do two girls have sex, anyway? And more important, how can you tell if you’re in love? It’s going to be a summer of testing theories—and the result may just be love.
(Thank you to Harlequin Teen Australia for sending this book my way in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my thoughts or opinions of the book.)
Unfortunately, this book didn’t really capture my attention like I thought it would. I found that some parts of the book kind of dragged and were kind of boring and unnecessary, to the point where I was not really as invested in the story as I should have been. However, in saying this, I may have just read this book at the wrong time, as I was busy moving into my new apartment and so I wasn’t really focused on reading/on what I was reading. So when I did pick up this book I wasn’t as engrossed in the story as I’m sure a lot of other people would be. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed certain aspects of this book, but I just felt as though it wasn’t really the book for me.
Now, I don’t really know why I started with the negatives, but let’s move on to the positives, and what I did enjoy about this book.
I really loved the importance of friendship and family within this story. Aki (our main character) had such supportive friends and family members and I absolutely loved that and wish it was more common in Young Adult novels. I also really enjoyed her relationship with Christa; it was cute and meaningful and they cared about each other so much and it was just so refreshing and lovely to read.
Honestly, I actually learnt a hell of a lot from this book. As a straight woman, I found it really interesting and quite informative as it focuses on a bisexual relationship. As Aki was learning about her sexuality and being in a relationship with another female, I found myself learning a lot, as well. The author didn’t shy away from topics such as sex, or protection during sex, and I really liked that they added this in as I think it’s an important discussion and I honestly think that it could be very educational (in a sense, like it’s not a lecture or anything, I just think it’s good to have these talks/this kind of information in fiction as well) for LGBTQIA+, as well as straight people who may not be as familiar with sexual practices that aren’t heterosexual.
I think this novel is extremely important and definitely think it would be helpful and relatable for others, especially teens or those coming to terms with/figuring out their sexuality. Although it wasn’t really the book for me, I think it will definitely be a very significant book for others.
Actual rating: 3.5 stars
Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?
Until next time,