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read online Prime Youre Welcome, Universe Author Whitney Gardner –

Loved it This book has a complex and completely compelling central character, and I loved spending time in her world The artwork offers another fascinating layer to the story, almost as good as the lovingly detailed descriptions of the passion and preparation Julia puts into her work At its heart, a story about art and friendship that inspires. I really, really liked this One of the best debuts I ve read this year.Representation includes a main character who is Indian American and Deaf, she has two mothers who are both also Deaf, and a side character who is fat What I liked There was very minimal romance The main character mentions a crush and there is one kissing scene, but romance was never really explored This was nice and refreshing There was a large focus on friendship and hobbies The hobby was street art, which I don t see in a lot of books It was unique and interesting to read about I personally really enjoyed the fat rep The character s weight is viewed as healthy for her and she is portrayed as athletic and beautiful There are scenes that mention her being bullied by other characters or feeling like she was, but this did not take over her storyline and was always combated by the main character when it was brought up There is a very brief mention of an eating disorder and I can t really speak to that, but I appreciated that it also did not take over her storyline She was a very well developed character with very real experiences related to her weight, but wasn t defined by it Loved the illustrations I m hearing, and I loved how the dialogue showed how lip reading can be so inaccurate When Julia didn t know what a character was saying, neither did we I also liked learningabout the differences between written English and ASL I appreciated that even though this was a very character centric story, Julia had a full character arc There was clear beginning, middle, conflict, and ending to this story The arc was strong enough for me to feel propelled forward and fulfilled in the end.Things I disliked The only thing I didn t like was the amount of girl hate between Julia and her other friend from the start of the book It s not that I think this isn t relateable or accurate to some teenagers, I just grew tired of it personally. When Julia Finds A Slur About Her Best Friend Scrawled Across The Back Of The Kingston School For The Deaf, She Covers It Up With A Beautiful Albeit Illegal Graffiti MuralHer Supposed Best Friend Snitches, The Principal Expels Her, And Her Two Mothers Set Julia Up With A One Way Ticket To A Mainstream School In The Suburbs, Where She S Treated Like An Outcast As The Only Deaf Student The Last Thing She Has Left Is Her Art, And Not Even Banksy Himself Could Convince Her To Give That UpOut In The Burbs, Julia Paints Anywhere She Can, Eager To Claim Some Turf Of Her Own But Julia Soon Learns That She Might Not Be The Only Vandal In Town Someone Is Adding To Her Tags, Making Them Better, Showing Off And Showing Julia Up In The Process She Expected Her Art Might Get Painted Over By Cops But She Never Imagined Getting Dragged Into A Full Blown Graffiti War The last YA book I read with illustrations inside was gorgeous little Everything, Everything, and that was almost two years ago, so I was surprised to find plenty of drawings to admire when I opened this new book.Sadly though, I do believe they weren t exactly necessary They don t add to the story, since the author uses space to describe them anyway It wouldn t have been hard to picture them, had they not been included Regardless, it s one of the things that make this book different from the others The other thing is the deaf non white main character Julia Hooray Diversity And she s not only into art she s into graffiti While she is authentic enough, especially in regards to her disability and culture, I preferred her sidekick Yoga Pants to the lead herself She often appears rather angry, relentless and defensive As much as I tried, I did not see myself in her Not one bit.Yoga Pants, on the other hand, is calmer and farinteresting, interestingly I was curious about her past with Julia s new enemy, her family and her interest in art At some point, I wished she and Julia switched personalities, because YP is the kind of person I could easily see myself becoming good friends with, not Julia Sad face.I m disappointed with the attempted romance theme I say attempted, because there is a love interest, and lots of drama surrounded him, and yet there is not one romantic scene I never did see what Julia saw in Donovan I m glad friendship at least trumps romance in this book.This looks like such a captivating story, doesn t it Well, it isn t It s not extraordinarily written and it definitely lacks in meaningful events Julia s inner rambling can be a good thing if you need a good night s sleep, I ll give her that I did truly enjoy the realistic portrayal of a deaf teenage girl struggling to fit in her new school, but it failed to move me Boring emotional experiences Not recommended.Blog Youtube Twitter Instagram Google Bloglovin 3 stars This book started out strong and then midway through kind of fell off for me It s about a deaf teenager named Julia who likes spray paint art When there is a graffiti tag insulting her best friend she covers it up with her own art, and then gets expelled from her school for it Now she s in a new school with no friends, one that isn t for deaf students so she needs an interpreter Julia is having a hard time and doesn t fit in, and doesn t want to fit in.I think Whitney Gardner nailed the portrayal of a perspective from a deaf teen because this book wasn t about that only, the story wasabout fitting in at a new school and her struggles with her art and the illegal side of it I also think Gardner presents interesting ideas and perspectives about graffiti versus tagging, the art side of it and the not so great parts.Ultimately this book didn t work for me because halfway through I was a bit bored, and near the end I felt a lot was unresolved I also stopped caring what happened with the characters which is sad because they started out the book pretty strongAn arc was provided in exchange for an honest review Facebook Blog Instagram Twitter Assigned reading for MLIS 7421 Multicultural Youth Literature.Ironically enough, I had removed this book from my TBR in a blog post just a couple of weeks before receiving my assigned reading list for my course, and lo and behold there it was I wasn t terribly excited about reading it, but Regina swooped in to offer to buddy read it with me, thus saving the day Seriously, though, I would ve struggled to finish this book without her help and motivation The rep is fantastic, but the story itself, well I m sure she goes home and talks to whatever friends she has about how brave I am I didn t choose to be deaf I have no idea why it makes me brave Let s talk about the positives first Julia is D deaf, Indian, and has two mothers who are very loving and supportive of her well, besides the whole illegal graffiti habit, which they don t look too kindly upon can you blame them Julia s new friend is overweight, and the rep there is decent not my favorite, but I didn t have any major complaints, either There is a lot of very important discussion about how D deaf people are treated in society, the struggles many individuals face such as Julia s struggle to make out what is being said to her when she s forced to rely on lip reading, or the harassment she undergoes at the mainstream school I might be burning bridges, but they re my bridges to burn Unfortunately, the positives for You re Welcome, Universe pretty much stopped there for me The storyline drags a lot, and I frequently found myself losing all interest in Julia s goals, or desires, or whatever else you re supposed to connect with in a plot Most of the characters aren t terribly enjoyable and are very simplified especially YP, her friend, who I felt like was treated asof a prop than anything else, most of the time Also, though there was a novelty in the idea of this story involving graffiti and tagging, but it got old kind of fast It s all Julia talks or thinks about for most of the book, and I found myself rolling my eyes a couple of times.All in all, this book isn t a waste of time the rep is fantastic, and if you re interested in the plot, I really, 100% recommend checking it out I just couldn t connect with the characters or storyline much, so it was just a meh read for me overall.Buddy read with Reg I loved YOU RE WELCOME, UNIVERSE Deaf culture Graffiti artists Words and artwork combining to tell the story Intersectionality All of these things made me so so so excited to read this book, and they did not disappoint I wanted them to be awesome, and that s exactly what they were.What made the book even better than I hoped was the complexity of the characters The main character, Julia, doesn t always make good decisions She s not always nice I loved her to bits, but also sometimes wanted to smack her Similarly, her friend, YP, was sometimes so sweet I wanted to hug her, and sometimes so oblivious I wanted to shake her In other words, they felt like real people Wonderful, imperfect, flawed, magical people I also loved loved loved the way dialogue was done Dialogue was heavy with communication barriers, done in a way that felt authentic and insightful and at times beautifully frustrating YOU RE WELCOME, UNIVERSE was everything I wanted it to be andDefinitely pick this one up strangesummerreading No 4 You re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner Julia is an aspiring street artist who gets kicked out of her school a school for the deaf for vandalism, and has to move to a mainstream school and find a new normal My biggest issue with this book was just that I felt the author could have done so muchwith the topics she addressed She chose to go the typical teen drama path instead of choosing to give a greater lesson, bigger picture of beautiful message Things I liked The beautiful diversity in this book culturally, racially, lifestyle, and a unique representation of the deaf community My struggle that this wasn t an ownvoice book by someone who was actually deaf was overpowered by her research and incredible writing The art I loved that we got to SEE the art It was beautiful Julia s tag HERE I love how this means so many things I AM HERE See me I might not be able to hear but I AM HERE I have always been a huge street art fan and followed Banksy so closely I think I might die of happiness if I ever saw one of his pieces live I love that he offers and inspiration to Julia and even gets a cameo in her story. I really struggled to finish this book At less than 300 pages it should have been a breeze, but it took me so long to push through.One problem, perhaps, is that I chose the wrong kind of story for me I like it when art is a subplot in a book used for expressing oneself or for escapism but I am often bored by books that focus almost entirely on art I have no personal interest in different types of paint and the techniques required to turn them into something beautiful I don t get anything out of art lessons about still life, or wheatpaste I need something .And there isn t really anything More, that is You re Welcome, Universe s plot is about a graffiti war between the Deaf protagonist, Julia, and some mystery artist who keeps painting over her work I guess it all depends on how interesting a graffiti war sounds to you as a reader.As far as I can tell as an able bodied individual, the author has done a lot of research on d Deaf culture and spent time with a number of Deaf beta readers Also consider checking out this review by a Deaf reader What Julia is unable to realistically lip read is shown by blanks in the dialogue, and Gardner gives consideration to details, such as when Julia tries to determine what kind of music Beatles songs are by the lyrics, and everyday microaggressions.But I think my problem with this book was how bratty, petty, and selfish Julia was I couldn t stand her And not only that, but the way her actions are so easily swept under the rug without consideration She goes around vandalizing other people s property, slut shaming a girl for being easier after she apparently stole Donovan , lying to everyone, and stomping around when she doesn t get her own way.Julia is horrible to everyone in the book I couldn t understand why so many people continued trying to befriend her Sometimes people are moody and they screw up, but it was never treated like Julia did actually screw up And I was horrified by that scene where view spoiler Julia makes out with Jordyn s boyfriend and snaps a photo of the two of them to send to her WTF hide spoiler Silence is the loudest sound It s been a really long time since I ve read a book that has, chapter after chapter, taught me so much about a world I knew so little about Actually, make that two worlds.Julia is Deaf, and when her best friend rats her out for spraying graffiti in the school gym, she has to leave the Deaf school that she goes to and attend a Public school where no one knows how to communicate with her What follows is a frustrating and eye opening experience for Julia and me I learned so much about being Deaf things I never could have even guessed The fact that Julia can t speak perfect English because ASL is a language, not a translation of English How she has to find visual cues for things like the school bell ringing, how important cellphones have become for communication in all sorts of settings, and how terrifying it can be to try and communicate with cops if they can t communicate with you There were big themes and little intricacies that this book opened me up to But like I mentioned, I learned about two worlds This book is also massively about graffiti About how territorial it is and about what it means to the people that do it I was so into the awesome illustrations that are sprinkled throughout.You might be wondering, then why only 3 stars Well, I just couldn t connect with the writing It felt like a classic example of telling instead of showing It felt so straight forward that it lost any subtlety,like a means to an end instead of powerful writing There were even moments where I had to go back and reread a few paragraphs because something would suddenly be happening and I was left thinking wait what what did I miss On top of that Julia could get over the top angsty Frustration, confusion, and yes, even anger, were going to be a part of her story, but at her petty vendettas and misplaced immaturity would grate on me So was it a perfect book No But was I glad I read it Yes I m grateful to Whitney Gardner for writing this and educating me.PS I don t understand the title It s not part of why I took off stars, but srs I don t get it It has no connection to the plot This book was sent to me by the publisher for possible review.