Howdy everyone, it’s Sarah!
I thought I had read more books by this author, but after double checking GoodReads…that is not the case. However, Land of Forgotten Girls was so good, that I knew Hello, Universe would not disappoint (I already have my next Kelly book lined up to read…Blackbird Fly). This book was nominated for my library’s internal mock Newbery picks, so maybe Kelly will be getting some much deserved recognition.
Summary: Virgil is extremely shy, even his family calls him Turtle. He wishes he could tell his family to knock it off, tell the school bully, Chet, to knock it off and finally say something to the girl he likes, Valencia. While Vigil has a difficult time talking to others, he is extremely close to his Lola (or grandmother) and regularly seeks the advice of local psychic Kaori. Something big is coming his way, which both Lola and Kaori both allude to, but Virgil has no idea what. He just wants to find a way the cute girl. After a prank goes terribly wrong, every character will play a part in the aftermath.
Review: I love these characters. They are so vibrant and realistic. Also, they are diverse and provide a variety of perspectives. For example, Valencia is deaf and Virgil is Filipino. The plot moves quickly. It is interesting to see how the actions of our elders impact the people we become. This is a fun friendship novel that provides a spark of hope.