At The Edge of the Universe is the second book by Shaun David Hutchinson I’ve read and has proved again how underrated his books are.
Tommy and Ozzie have been best friends since second grade, and boyfriends since eighth. They spent countless days dreaming of escaping their small town—and then Tommy vanished.
More accurately, he ceased to exist, erased from the minds and memories of everyone who knew him. Everyone except Ozzie.
Ozzie doesn’t know how to navigate life without Tommy, and soon suspects that something else is going on: that the universe is shrinking.
When Ozzie is paired up with new student Calvin on a physics project, he begins to wonder if Calvin could somehow be involved. But the more time they spend together, the harder it is for him to deny the feelings developing between them, even if he still loves Tommy.
But Ozzie knows there isn’t much time left to find Tommy–that once the door closes, it can’t be opened again. And he’s determined to keep it open as long as possible.
Trigger warnings: self-harm, sexual abuse, physical abuse, bullying, neglect
At The Edge of The Universe has such an interesting premise (like all Shaun David Hutchinson’s books tbh), it’s about a boy called Ozzie, whose boyfriend just disappeared. He didn’t leave or was kidnapped, he was just gone, all signs of him ever having existed were gone. I absolutely loved the premise and the entire story. I just kept thinking, but what happened? How? I needed more answers and that really dragged me into the story and kept me invested.
“I didn’t even need to check my phone to know that the universe had shrunk again, and the stars had vanished.
No. They hadn’t vanished. I’d given them away to someone who hadn’t deserved them, and I’d never get them back.”
What I immediately noticed about this book was how diverse it is. Not only is the main character gay, there’s also a genderfluid/genderqueer side character, one is ace/questioning, another gay character, and basically nearly everyone is queer! Dustin is Chinese-American, Tommy (the boyfriend that disappeared) is black and beside talking about LGBT+ topics, the book also touched upon the racial differences between Tommy and Ozzie.
“I want you to tell me about the future, Oswald.”
“I’m psycho, not psychic.”
This book is dark. It has existential crises, mental breakdowns, self-harm and there’s the same kind of “the world is ending” vibe as in We Are The Ants and I really liked that. Since Ozzie is the only one knowing that the universe is shrinking, there’s a lot of weight on his shoulders and there’s also a lot of hopelessness, though in the end the book still manages to give a hopeful message.
“The world’s going to offer you an endless array of what-ifs over the course of your life, and the only choices that matter are the ones you make.”
I am giving this book 5 stars, because I was blown away by it. Some people didn’t like the ending, but I loved it. The characters were amazing and I loved the story so much. With all its darkness, loveable but realistic characters, science bits and even with the hopelessness, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the story. I’m now sure I need to read everything Shaun David Hutchinson has written and I’m sure as hell going to buy his new book that comes out soon.