Review: Here the Whole Time by Vitor Martins

It's not often that I have the privilege of reading a YA novel that is set in Brazil but fortunately, Here the Whole Time is one of those novels. This sweet novel tells the story of Felipe, an introverted and sensitive seventeen year old who is struggling with body image--he's, well, a little overweight and the bullies at his school are always making a thing of it. Filipe also knows that he is gay, but fortunately he is okay with that and so is his mother, an artist and part time teacher. Filipe is very much looking forward to his school holidays, where he can just be himself, but his plans are soon turns around when he discovers that Caio, his very attractive neighbour will be staying with them for fifteen days while his parents are away on holiday. It's obvious that Caio would never want to be around someone like him. Then, slowly, everything begins to change ...

This was a lovely story about blossoming relationships and how everyone has their own struggles, no matter how supposedly attractive or fortunate they may be. The relationship between Filipe and Caio develops slowly, as they soon discover that they have more in common than what they expect. The whole thing is written very gently, and handled with a lot of sensitivity. I found it to be a very enjoyable, light read. Filipe was a great protagonist and very easy to relate to.

A sweet romance that will probably find a huge secondary audience thanks to its universal themes of body image, self acceptance and teenage relationships.



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