Our Own Private Universe
Publish Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher Harlequin Teen
One of the things I loved about Our Own Private Universe is the many topics it touch upon. Bisexuality, safe sex, social activism and all the diverse characters made this book a fun and important read.
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.
There was a lot of good things this book tried to do and even though I enjoyed the plot of a young girl trying to find her own sexual identity there were things that annoyed me. The number one thing being some of the characters. I just couldn’t like Christa and I really didn’t want her with Aki. I found Christa a little annoying and judgmental. I understand that these are 15 year old girls and maybe this is a true representation of how 15 year olds act but I just couldn’t deal with her.
Another aspect that I didn’t like is the fact that the author never addresses the homophobic comments made towards Aki. I really wish that was touched upon but nothing was done with those comments and the characters never had any consequences. Another important topic that wasn’t address and I feel it should have been is religion. Now I appreciate that religion wasn’t push down our throats but I feel that Aki coming from such a religious background never once talk about the issue of being bisexual and Christianity. I feel it would have been a natural reaction to question what it means to be a bisexual christian. I think if any of these topics were addressed it would have made for great discussion amongst young teens.
Overall I enjoyed this book and everything it tried to do. I believe this is an important book for teens.