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Our Own Private Universe

by Robin Talley

'new gen' - Great Fiction for Young Adults eBooks of the Month Modern and Classic Literary Fiction Relationship Stories

LoveReading View on Our Own Private Universe

In a Nutshell: Personal awakenings on a transformational summer trip  |  An insightful coming-of-age story about a bisexual teenager’s first experience of love in all its dizzying bliss and complexity.

Fifteen-year-old Aki is determined to stop putting things off, and determined to stop living hypothetically: “If I wanted my life to change, then I had to do something. Or at least try.” With that firmly in mind, Aki and best friend Lori make a pact “to have a fling” during their summer trip to Mexico with her dad’s church mission. And that’s where she meets Christa. While Aki’s known that she’s bi for a while, she’d “never known it was possible for a person to look as cute as Christa did”, and the attraction is mutual. But, as the hypothetical starts to get very real and very intense, the young women have some serious complications to deal with, not least the fact that Christa might just have a boyfriend back home, and very strict parents she’s terrified of coming out to.

Alongside its elegant portrayal of sexual awakening and safe sex, the novel also explores Aki’s inspirational political stirrings (she oversees a big debate at the summer camp, and becomes passionate about health care issues). As Aki remarks near the end of the tale, “I could do anything. All of us could. We were only as limited as we let ourselves be”, which is a rather wonderful message of hope to come away with. ~ Joanne Owen

Joanne Owen

Our Own Private Universe Synopsis

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's theory is that she's only got 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 her friend Lori set off on a 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 something tells her its not going to be that easy...

Our Own Private Universe Press Reviews

Praise for As I Descended;
... A devastating marriage of the stunningly unexpected with the maddeningly inevitable. This adaptation s bewitching intrigues and enthralling deceptions will whet the daggers of any reader s mind. --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


Praise for Robin Talley;


‘The main characters are terrific in what is a moving YA novel. And an important one’ – The Daily Telegraph


‘This is so thought-provoking it almost hurts to read it, yet every word is needed, is necessary and consequently this is a novel that lingers long after you’ve finished it’ – Lovereading


‘This is an emotional and compelling read that I did not want to put down. It is […]beautifully written and the tension just simmers on the pages’ – Bookbabblers


‘This book packs a very powerful punch’ – Historical Novel Society


‘With great characterisation, tough issues covered, and a plot which had me guessing right up until the last pages, this is a must-read. Massively recommended!’ – The Bookbag


‘This exceptional novel of first love and sexual awakenings is set against a backdrop of shocking racism and prejudice. It is incredibly well written as the tense, riveting story seamlessly combines fiction with historical fact’ – Booktrust


‘Every now and then a Young Adult book comes along that I want to push into every reader’s hands both young and old and Lies We Tell Ourselves is that book for 2014’ – Jess Hearts Books


‘Talley has mixed two controversial topics together to create a firecracker of a story’ – Cheryl M-M’s Book Blog

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781848455030
Publication date: 09/02/2017
Publisher: HQ an imprint of Harlequin (UK)
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781848455030
Publication date: 9th February 2017
Author: Robin Talley
Publisher: HQ an imprint of Harlequin (UK)
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 384 pages
Genres: NewGen - YA Fiction, eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction, Relationship Stories,
Categories: Romance & relationships stories (Children's / Teenage), Personal & social issues: sexuality & relationships (Children's / Teenage),

About Robin Talley

Robin Talley grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, writing terrible teen poetry and riding a desegregation bus to the school across town. Robin lives in Washington, D.C., with her fiancée, plus an antisocial cat and a goofy hound dog. When Robin’s not writing, she’s often planning communication strategies at organizations fighting for equal rights and social justice. See Robin Talley on Instagram   Click here to read our 'Ask the Author' feature with Robin Talley.   Click here to read a Q&A with Robin Talley.

More About Robin Talley

More Books By Robin Talley

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