Title: We Contain Multitudes
Author: Sarah Henstra
Genre: Contemporary Romance (Young Adult)
About the book: Jonathon Hopkirk and Adam “Kurl” Kurlansky find themselves writing letters to each other for an English assignment. They become friends and start to fall for each other, but bullying and homophobia ensue. The entire novel is written in letters exchanged back and forth between the two teens.
I received an advanced review copy from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review.
First impressions: I love the cover and the title. I was excited because I like epistolary novels.
Characters: The characters are great. Jo resonated with me more than Kurl, but by the end, I adored them both. I enjoyed seeing their development. I was pleasantly surprised by the backstories of not only Jo and Kurl, but also the secondary characters like their parents and siblings. I will always love representation of any kind, especially when it’s done right.
“Let’s not be the type of people who are afraid to live because we might die.”
Writing: The letters are short. I didn’t expect Henstra to tackle some of the issues she did, but I appreciate how she went about it.
Final thoughts: So much happens at the end. An epistolary novel has its quirks and limitations, but the author made it work for me. It isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but the format might grow on you. Overall, it’s an emotional, well-written read.
I recommend We Contain Multitudes if you like contemporary romances with a twist.