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Only Mostly Devastated replaces the Sandy and Danny musical numbers that we all know and love, with a queer modern-day reimagining of Grease. Need I say more?

While there is no breaking into song or tight leather pants, there is still a good dose of puffed-up jackets, high school dances, summer lovin’, and so many corny feels! Combine this with Gonzales’s razor-sharp wit and loveable characters, and this book will leave you only mostly devastated when it’s over.

Meet Ollie—socially awkward music-fanatic, who has just moved schools.

"Note to self: carry bass around everywhere and break into impromptu solo whenever anyone tries to force you into conversation."
- Ollie

Meet Will—super-chill jock with loads of friends, and the perfect-model smile.

Now these two go together like rama-lama-lama-ka-dinga-da-dinga-dong, except that Ollie is out and Will is thoroughly in the closet. Literally, he pulls Ollie into the school cleaning closet when he needs to d&m! The book kicks off (just like the musical does) after a summer romance between the two boys, when Ollie (very conveniently) finds himself at Will’s high school (due to some family drama that you’ll have to read yourself as *tissues*). So now the boys are classmates—so cue rekindling of their cute summer romance, right?

“He was a dick. So he had to be dead to me. Book the damn funeral, please.”
- Ollie

Wrong (obviously, we all remember Danny breaking Sandy’s heart with his smug face). Will is too preoccupied with his ‘basketball star and class clown’ street-cred, and pulls a ‘Danny’ on poor Ollie. Ollie—who is very comfortable in his identity—isn’t about to pine for Will, who clearly won’t acknowledge his existence in front of his basketball buds.

So cue the modern-day version of the Pink Ladies: Lara, Niamh and Juliette.

You’ve got three sidekicks to support Ollie through it all:

  • Niamh, a plus-sized model who slams body-image stereotypes.
  • Juliette, a clarinetist who feels compelled to call Ollie Ollie-oop
  • And Lara, the ultimate sass-queen, who has a Roz-complex.

You’ll eventually come to love them as much as Ollie, as you go through their own issues with image, expectations, bullying and sexuality.

The year continues at Collinswood High. School life repeatedly throws Will and Ollie together, from music class to the lunch table, and Ollie finds his resolve to keep the-heartbreaking-Will at a distance weakening. So cue all those romantic feels!

This is one of those beautiful books that deals with such important topics, while being an utterly beautiful rom-com at the same time. Only Mostly Devastated is the perfect antidote to the current times.

  • Only Mostly Devastated - Sophie Gonzales

    When Ollie meets Will over the summer break, he thinks he's found his Happily Ever After. But once summer's ended, Will stops texting him back, and Ollie finds himself short of his fairy-tale ending. A family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country - Will's school - and Ollie finds that the sweet, affectionate and comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn't the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, a basketball jock and, well, a bit of a jerk. Ollie isn't going to pine after a guy who isn't ready for a relationship. But as school life repeatedly throws them together, from music class to the lunch table, Ollie finds his resolve weakening. With the noisy drama of their friends as the backdrop - from ambitious Juliette and frosty Lara, to big-hearted Darnell and king-jock Matt - Ollie has a decision to make. The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again. Right?

Emily Lighezzolo

Emily Lighezzolo

Publicist at Hachette Australia. Utterly hopeless at keeping up with my TBR pile. I am known to drop all books for a new historical romance. Best accompanied by a rosé.

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