July 27, 2018

Book Review: Hello Universe by Erin Kelly Entrada

Title: Hello Universe
Author: Erin Kelly Entrada
Copy Obtained: Bought

Book summary from Goodreads
In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his loud and boisterous family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister Gen is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just act normal so that he can concentrate on basketball. They aren’t friends -- at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. This disaster leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find the missing Virgil. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a rescue is performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms.

Short Version: I have mixed feelings.  In the end, I liked it better than I thought I would as I was reading it.  

Long Version: So as I was reading this book I was really up in the air about how much I liked it or not.  The characters, for me, were a bit hard to buy into.  I'm around middle school students all day long, so I feel I have a pretty good idea what typical middle schoolers are like.  The characters in this book didn't always strike me as kids I would see walking the halls of my school.  The biggest would be Kaori.  I know some students don't fit the stereotype, but they actually almost fall into a different stereotype.  She really went outside this, so I had a hard time buying into her being the age she was supposed to be.  

That aside! - I did really like Valencia.  She was great!  She was confident, kind and pretty typical.  I also felt that Virgil was pretty typical, and liked him too.  I felt for him when Chet bullying him.  That felt real to me, so my heart hurt for Virgil.  I also liked how the relationship because Chet and Virgil ended.  It was realistic.  I didn't become the everyone-loves-each-other event, and I liked that! About Chet - I wanted to shake his dad! Wow! It helped us understand Chet more.  

Now, in the end, I liked the book because I liked how much Virgil and Valencia grew! How they changed was good.  It was interesting because Virgil's growth comes out in the smallest way once he gets home, but I think that was realistic.  That's what a kid that age would do! It made sense to me! So, like I said, I wasn't sure as I was reading if I'd end up being able to say I really liked this book BUT I can say that I did. 

Best stick-with-you image: Chet with the snake! You'll have to read it for yourself. 

Best for readers who: Feel picked up and alone.  

Library Thoughts: Yes I will have it.  I'm hoping word-of-mouth will help it gain traction. And of course, since it's a Newbery I want to include it.  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this review. I hadn't heard of this book before.