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Saturday, July 21, 2018

You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner

You're Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner was an incredibly fun read.  This is a story about friendship and self-worth and determination.  It is a novel about being who you are and finding a way to always keep that.  As a reader, you will find yourself rooting for Julia throughout the novel.  You will be hoping for her success as she navigates not only the complicated world of high school, but also the complicated world of street art.  This was a thoroughly enjoyable novel by Whitney Gardner.

This is the story of Julia, a teenage girl attending the Kingston School for the Deaf.  That is until she covers up a slur about her best friend with a beautiful piece of street art.  When her best friend snitches, she is expelled and forced to enter a public high school where she knows no one.  And even though she got in trouble for her artwork, she can't help but put up new pieces whenever she can get her hands on some paint.  But someone in these suburbs is tagging on top of her work, not so much ruining it as making it even better.  And with this new art war comes the self-doubt.  Julia wonders if her work isn't good enough and if it is worth trying to continue.  But through a new found friendship, Julia finds who she is and decided to believe in herself and her art.

From Amazon:

A vibrant, edgy, fresh new YA voice for fans of More Happy Than Not and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, packed with interior graffiti.

Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award!

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 mural.

Her 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 up.

Out 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.

Told with wit and grit by debut author Whitney Gardner, who also provides gorgeous interior illustrations of Julia’s graffiti tags, You’re Welcome, Universe introduces audiences to a one-of-a-kind protagonist who is unabashedly herself no matter what life throws in her way.

"[A] spectacular debut...a moving, beautifully written contemporary novel full of quirky art and complicated friendships...this book is a gift to be thankful for."—BookRiot