Fanna's Reviews > At the Edge of the Universe

At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson
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At The Edge Of The Universe is a science fiction that focuses on an young adult who’s the only one feeling the universe’s shrinkage while the story revolves around diverse sexualities and wrecking emotions.


I don’t know if I can actually sum up everything I felt after (and while) reading this book because I dived into this one without any idea of the story and haven’t read any of Shaun David Hutchinson’s works before, so this one unexpectedly impressed me.

This story has peaks everywhere, and by everywhere I mean there isn’t a single place that feels like filler and doesn’t intrigue me. The main idea revolves around Ozzie who’s boyfriend, Tommy, went missing. Or at least he thinks so because others don’t even hold the slightest clue of this Tommy—he went missing even from everybody’s memories. But Ozzie remembers him clearly, still feels the emotions he has for the one person he was with from forever, and isn’t giving up on finding him. Which then leads to Ozzie coming up with theories to somehow explain the absence (and possible reappearance) of Tommy. And one of these unbelievable theories was: the universe is shrinking.

Apologies in advance for any abrupt sentence wrapping or details being left out because I’m looking for this review to be spoiler free and I don’t want to give away anything that might save you from the heart and mind wreckage that this book would definitely possibly bring to you.

While the story continues to impress me throughout, the characters don’t fail to make me fall in love with them either. I would say the diverse sexualities contributed to this: Ozzie is gay, Tommy is gay and black, Lua is genderfluid, and Dustin is asexual (though it isn’t clearly stated and am assuming). And the best part? There aren’t specific reasons being discussed for each character’s sexuality. I mean, they’re just who they are and are neither overly-highlighted nor left to speak for themselves. Ozzie mentions in the start about Lua’s preference to not belonging to a particular gender and from there on, Lua is automatically assigned either ‘he’ or ‘she’ pronouns according to who she feels like being that day. They’re all normal which is exactly what I expect from my queer books. Speaking of normal, each and every character is flawed. Each one has their own problems that become evident even when Ozzie’s journey is under the lights.

The romance between Calvin and Ozzie was another good aspect of this story. There’s the whole coming-together-for-a-school-project trope but it’s intertwined very well with Calvin’s past and Ozzie’s possible future. Their relationship develops gradually, and it’s sad how Tommy keeps roaming around in Ozzie’s head all this while, thereby stopping Ozzie from taking any huge leaps...until the end. Which brings me to the ending: what the hell? It was amazing because it actually made sense but it still didn’t make sense because it’s fiction at the end of the day and I’ve no idea if this is possible but I think this might be and...sorry for the rambling.

While I’m continually praising each and every facet of this story, can we take a minute to acknowledge how fascinating the whole universe-is-shrinking theory is? I’m not a huge physics enthusiast but that didn’t make me any less interested because well, I’m a part of this universe and nah, I don’t want it to shrink. So everytime Ozzie dwelled over this supposition, I would straighten up and read it very carefully so as to understand and somehow relate it to reality. And of course, now I think the universe is shrinking. Can you see the stars?

During this voyage of Ozzie while the universe is shrinking, there are realistically dark issues dealt with, too, because they matter. Right from depression to self harm to rape and physical abuse, scenes and sequences are so subtly brought to light that it makes more impact than it possibly can. The book isn’t all rainbows and neither is it all black clouds, but it blends both the good and bad possibilities extremely well. All this couldn’t have been feasible if it wasn’t said through the ingenious lyrical writing. There aren’t overt descriptions or flowery prose but when the author wants to draw our attention to a specific situation or thought, he does it too easily. Then there are thousands of quotes I can pick from this book because almost every chapter ends with a bang but it’s one of those subtle bangs where you realise a second later how much sense the line actually made.

Overall, if it isn’t already obvious, I loved this book! I would recommend it to all those who are looking for a young adult science fiction with characters who are diversely oriented and a writing that beautifully hurts.


Wow, probably the longest time I've taken to read a book and not because I wasn't enjoying the book, but because it was too good to just finish off. I wanted and still not want to know how it was all gonna end and now that I'm finished, I've no clue what I was expecting because this wasn't anything what I was expecting and now my mind is blown!

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Quotes Fanna Liked

Shaun David Hutchinson
“A couple of customers interrupted [...] who wanted to know if we had some YA book about ants and aliens I'd never heard of.”
Shaun David Hutchinson, At the Edge of the Universe

Shaun David Hutchinson
“Don't get so focused on where you're going that you forget the people you're travelling with. There's no point reaching a destination if you arrive alone.”
Shaun David Hutchinson, At the Edge of the Universe

Shaun David Hutchinson
“Life's truest horror is a door that slams shut that can never be opened again.”
Shaun David Hutchinson, At the Edge of the Universe

Shaun David Hutchinson
“But two people can love each other and still not belong together, even if neither of them wanted to admit it.”
Shaun David Hutchinson, At the Edge of the Universe

Shaun David Hutchinson
“It's impossible to let go of the people we love. Pieces of them remain embedded inside of us like shrapnel. Every breath causes those fragments to burrow through our muscles, nearer to our hearts. And we think the pain will kill us, but it won't. Eventually, scar tissue forms around those twisted splinters like cocoons. They remain part of us, but slowly hurt less.”
Shaun David Hutchinson, At the Edge of the Universe

Shaun David Hutchinson
“The funny thing is,' Calvin said, 'I thought I'd been breathing underwater this whole time, but I guess I've been drowning.”
Shaun David Hutchinson, At the Edge of the Universe

Shaun David Hutchinson
“The only thing in life that's forever is death. You can change your mind about everything else.”
Shaun David Hutchinson, At the Edge of the Universe

Shaun David Hutchinson
“...before we leave, she asks if we know where we're going. We tell her we don't. She says the only way to figure it out is to stop searching.”
Shaun David Hutchinson, At the Edge of the Universe

Shaun David Hutchinson
“I think people who believe high school was the greatest only remember their triumphs. [...] The real world is a disappointment to them because their past burned so brightly.”
Shaun David Hutchinson, At the Edge of the Universe

Shaun David Hutchinson
“My life would keep going on until the day it didn't, and I could either make the best of it or waste it wishing for what I didn't and might never have.”
Shaun David Hutchinson, At the Edge of the Universe


Reading Progress

January 29, 2018 – Shelved
January 29, 2018 – Shelved as: definitive-tbr
February 1, 2018 – Started Reading
February 8, 2018 –
25.0% "I wish our lives were black and white, the solutions to our problems readily available—but I don't even know the questions. "
February 11, 2018 –
47.0% "I know I'm going super slow with this book but I genuinely can't help it. It's interesting and I don't want to finish it~

"don't get so focused on where you're going that you forget the people you're travelling with. There's no point in reaching a destination if you arrive alone.""
February 13, 2018 –
74.0% ""before we leave, she asks if we know where we're going. we tell her we don't. she says the only way to figure it out is to stop searching,"

This is proving it to be so much better than I'd ever expected it to be."
February 16, 2018 – Shelved as: lgbtq
February 16, 2018 – Shelved as: science-fiction
February 16, 2018 – Shelved as: 2017-releases
February 16, 2018 – Shelved as: action
February 16, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
February 16, 2018 – Shelved as: male-protagonist
February 16, 2018 – Finished Reading
February 17, 2018 – Shelved as: mental-health
December 25, 2018 – Shelved as: read-on-rivetedlit
December 25, 2018 – Shelved as: read-in-2018
December 25, 2018 – Shelved as: male-author
December 25, 2018 – Shelved as: will-recommend-till-my-last-breath

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