Wednesday, June 13, 2018
#Review: You're Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner #Deaf #DeafCulture #StreetArt #YA
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.
This YA book is one of the best I have read and that I simply could not put down once I started reading it. The main character, Julia, is a street artist that is Deaf. That alone made me intrigued by the book as there are very few books written with the main character being Deaf.
In addition, Julia has two moms who are also Deaf.
Julia finds great solace in her street art and takes great pains to make her art just right. However, in a new community, she finds that someone had decided to take Julia on, and tags her art by one-upping her. Who is this person or persons? Why have they chosen her? If they are so good, why don't they do their own work?
The book drops hints throughout who the person or persons might be. However, the twist was so well done that I did not know until near the end of the book.
The author does an amazing job of immersing the reader into the Deaf culture as well. She illustrates how people often interact with Deaf people and give a peek into what it is like for the person.
The author also gives a hint what it may be like having same-sexed parents but does not make that big of a deal over it. It could, however, leave open a possible sequel to this book and a continuation of where the book left off.
I highly recommend this book for young adults and adults to read. There is certainly much discussion that could come from this book as well.
Disclosure: I picked up a copy of this book from my local library. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Michelle aka Naila Moon