[ARC REVIEW] ‘The Universe Is Expanding and So Am I’ By: Carolyn Mackler

**The following review will contain spoilers for ‘The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things’, because it is a review of the sequel!!  Please read at your own risk.

*Check out my review of ‘The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things’ first!

Official Synopsis:

Virginia Shreves’ world implodes again in this long-awaited follow-up to Printz Honoree The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things.

Sixteen-year-old Virginia Shreves’ life is finally back on course: she’s accepted who she is inside and out and is rebuilding her relationship with brother Byron, whose date-rape charge shattered everything.

But just as she adjusts to her new normal, her world turns upside down again. Sparks with boyfriend Froggy fade, her best friend bombshells bad news, and then the police arrest Byron. As Virginia struggles to cope, she meets Nate, an artist with his own baggage. The pair vow not to share personal drama. But secrets have a way of coming out, and theirs could ruin everything.

Just in time for The Earth, My Butt, and Other BIg Round Things’ 15th anniversary, Virginia’s hope-filled story of love, friendship, and the beauty in imperfection continues, by acclaimed author Carolyn Mackler.

Rating: 4/5 Stars


I liked this one a lot more than the first one.  The characters felt more well rounded, and I got to see more of who Virginia is when she’s not so concerned about her weight because her weight isn’t who she is as a person.  Also, I must say, I’m a huge fan of the cover change.

I liked the parallels that were drawn between the first chapter of this book and the first book.  I’m a sucker for anything parallel, so I definitely appreciated that.  I also liked that although it’s a sequel, it stands on its own.  While I would definitely recommend reading the first book first, you wouldn’t be totally lost if you just picked this one up.  Although this one is being released 15 years (!!!!) after the first one, it picks up just 5 months after the events of TEMBAOBRT.  I kept reading and looking for little tidbits that would make it obvious that this one was written in our present day (ish) time, and not 15 years ago like it takes place in, but there wasn’t too much.  I couldn’t remember how much they used their cell phones in the first book, but that would be about it.

Virginia is still dealing, understandably, with the information that her brother date raped a girl at Columbia.  We get to see that situation continue to play out throughout the book, and there’s a pretty solid conclusion to that at the end.  I’m not sure if I totally agree with it, but it’s definite, so I like that it’s not open-ended.  Carolyn does a great job of making me care about Byron and not painting him as a static ‘bad’ character, but as a character who made an awful decision.  She never tried to justify his actions, which is obviously good.

I totally guessed who Sebastian, her new love interest, was from pretty early on.  It was a good plot twist.  Slightly predictable, but good nonetheless.  I felt that at the end they moved a bit fast but other than that, they were super adorable.  Virginia says what we’re all thinking, and it’s super cute.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book.  It comes out on May 29, and will be released by Bloomsbury.  I’ve included preorder links below, and buy links for the first book too if you’re interested.


Connect with the author!

You can follow Carolyn Mackler at @carolynmackler!




Barnes and Noble




Barnes and Noble


5 thoughts on “[ARC REVIEW] ‘The Universe Is Expanding and So Am I’ By: Carolyn Mackler

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