Book Review: You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner


Published by Knopf

Genre – Young Adult, Contemporary


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.


What I Thought:

  • The first thing that caught my eye about the book was the synopsis. An American-Indian artist as the main character in the a story about friendship? Sign me right up.
  • The cover of the book is a beauty and appreciably accurate in reference to the story.
  • The book had great representation with diverse characters ranging from a Deaf MC with 2 Deaf moms, one of whom was an Indian and another character with an eating disorder. It doesn’t get much better than this. Although I can’t say as to how accurate all the representations were.
  • I really wish that the eating disorder had been talked about in a more direct manner rather than just the vague references.
Youre welcome universe Quote-01
― Whitney Gardner, You’re Welcome, Universe
  • I also would’ve loved to know what Yoga Pants aka YP’s real name was. On that note I got to know lots about the Deaf community that I’d never get to otherwise know, like the name sign that only a Deaf person can give you. The diversity in characters was one of the main highlights of the book for me.
  • The identity of the other artist did not sit that well with me mainly because
  1.  I did not see it coming and
  2.  I feel that not enough foundation had been laid for them to be the artist.
  • Another big plus for me were the art illustrations throughout the book. It gave a deeper insight into Julia’s character I think, even though I didn’t like her very much.
  • Elaborating on what I said right above, in my opinion, Julia was annoyingly bratty and unnecessarily mean to Casey, her interpreter. I liked that she wasn’t flawless but I sure didn’t like her flaws.

All in all, You’re Welcome, Universe was a fantastic read and one that I’d definitely recommend.

3.5 Stars



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