From the author of We Are the Ants comes “another winner” (Booklist, starred review) about a boy who believes the universe is slowly shrinking as things he remembers are being erased from others’ memories.
Tommy and Ozzie have been best friends since the 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 he suspects that something else is going on: that the universe is shrinking.
When Ozzie is paired up with the reclusive and secretive Calvin for a physics project, it’s hard 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.
The universe appears to be literally shrinking around Ozzie Pinkerton: erasing people, obliterating the stars, and reducing the world to little more than his town of Cloud Lake, Fla. Ozzie alone remembers the world as it was, and he's also grappling with graduation, the vanished boyfriend whose very existence is now in question, his parents' divorce, his brother's enlistment in the military, and the secrets he's keeping for his new friend Calvin. As in We Are the Ants, Hutchinson uses a science fiction overlay to explore important topics, including self-mutilation, gender identity, and child abuse. Ozzie's friends remind him that the world doesn't revolve around him, but Hutchinson playfully disagrees, turning the literal shrinking of the universe into a smart metaphor for Ozzie's introversion and alienation. Ozzie's wit and concern for his friends make him a captivating narrator frozen by the changes and choices he faces. The conceit also works as a powerful parable for victimization, as everything Ozzie knows is stolen and the people he should be able to trust constantly undermine him or disappear altogether. Ages 14 up.