Review: At the Edge of the Universe – Shaun David Hutchinson

At the edge of the universe
Book cover: Ozzie stands in the middle of the road. He is blurry while the road is not.

Tommy and Ozzie have been best friends since second grade, and boyfriends since eighth. They spent countless days dreaming of escaping their small town—and then Tommy vanished.

More accurately, he ceased to exist, erased from the minds and memories of everyone who knew him. Everyone except Ozzie.

Ozzie doesn’t know how to navigate life without Tommy, and soon suspects that something else is going on: that the universe is shrinking.

When Ozzie is paired up with new student Calvin on a physics project, he begins to wonder if Calvin could somehow be involved. But the more time they spend together, the harder it is for him to deny the feelings developing between them, even if he still loves Tommy.

But Ozzie knows there isn’t much time left to find Tommy–that once the door closes, it can’t be opened again. And he’s determined to keep it open as long as possible.

At the Edge of the Universe was the group read for Prideathon, which is why I ended up reading it.

It’s #ownvoices for homosexual representation.

I haven’t read We Are The Ants but I think there was a reference to that book in this text and I thought that was a pretty cool idea of connecting stories with each other.

The writing style is very confusing because Ozzie himself is confused about the situation. This feeling of confusion is conveyed very well to the reader.

I wasn’t happy about the ending at all. Highlight for spoiler: I felt like I had read the entire book just to find out that none of it really happened, kind of like the it-was-a-dream trope but it wasn’t a dream but something similar. Just quite disappointing for me after investing all the time in the book. The ending really made me feel like I need a few more chapters to understand the new dynamics between the characters. I truly think that the last chapter made this book more of an overall negative reading experience because it just wasn’t nice. I would have preferred the open ending of the second-to-last chapter.

The characters ask for consent during sex but one of them is sex-shamed by the other afterwards. There is also one passage where Ozzie wants to know more about one of the characters having sex with a teacher (which is rape, since the character is a minor) and this was very difficult to read through. He does stop asking after the other person asks him to stop several times – which is realistic, since many people will not stop right at the beginning.

There’s some ableist language, which wasn’t called out or reflected.

At the Edge of the Universe just wasn’t my type of book at all. It might still be the right fit for you but I didn’t enjoy the reading experience.

Trigger warnings: sex-worker antagonistic language, sex-shaming, rape, other people are told that a person has been raped, ableist language, self-harm.

1 star

Have you read At the Edge of the Universe? Are you interested in reading it?


4 thoughts on “Review: At the Edge of the Universe – Shaun David Hutchinson

  1. I read WE ARE THE ANTS and honestly? It wasn’t much better. There was a lot of ableist language, but basically the entire plot was curing the main character’s depression with a relationship, and then there was also a lot of blaming being slung around about another character’s suicide. It was just overall toxic, and a completely unnecessary sexual assault at the end that was really glossed over was just a slap in the face.

    I was considering reading Hutchison’s other books, but seeing this review has honestly erased any hesitations. I don’t think I’ll be reading any more of his books.

    Great review though!


  2. This honestly really helped, because I want to read Shaun David Hutchinson’s writing, but wasn’t sure where to start or if it’s really my cup of tea. Head’s up though: the spoiler you set to highlight to reveal actually is visible to anyone reading; no highlighting is necessary for the spoiler!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s