So, growing up my favorite movie was Grease (followed closely by Xanadu—I wanted to be Olivia Newton John!). When I read a review of Only Mostly Devastated, which called it “A sweet and earnest adaptation of Grease that neatly updates its source material”, I immediately put it on hold. But, honestly, I kind of forgot about it will everything that happened this spring. When I got back to work and it was in my cubbie, I didn’t quite remember why I had put it on hold, but was still excited to read it. And, oh wow! What an adorable, kind, and fun read to kick off Summer Reading!
Ollie and Will had a magical summer on the lake. It seemed like they were fated to be together. But as summer came to an end, they had to say good-bye, as Ollie was set to go back home to California. After their last romantic good-bye, Will ended up ghosting Ollie. Ollie can’t get him to respond to texts and begins to feel like he must have imagined how special their time was. Through a sad series of events, however, Ollie’s family decides to stay in North Carolina for the foreseeable future, to help care for his Aunt Linda who has cancer.
One the first day of school, Ollie is immediately friended by Juliette and her crew of girlfriends who all wear rose gold necklaces (get it? The Pink Ladies?) Of course, this ends up being the same high school Will goes to, but when Ollie and Will meet again things are very different. The thoughtful, caring young man from the summer seemingly has a totally different (and definitely not openly gay) persona at school.
How Ollie and Will work to find their way back to each other is sweet, romantic, and totally satisfying. Instead of changing for each other (as in the original musical), both Ollie and Will have to work on their own selves for themselves. And finding out who they are and what they really want in life makes this book on of the sweetest reads I have had in a long time!
Put a hold on Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales today!