Here the Whole Time
by Vitor Martins
YA Contemporary, LGBTQ
What would you do if you had to spend the next 15 days with your lifelong crush?
Felipe gets it — he’s fat. Not chubby. Not big-boned. Fat. And he doesn’t need anyone to remind him, which is, of course, what everyone does. That’s why he’s been waiting for this moment ever since the school year began: school break. Finally, he’ll be able to spend some time far away from school and the classmates who tease him incessantly. His plans include catching up on his favorite TV shows, finishing his to-be-read pile, and watching YouTube tutorials on skills he’ll never actually put into practice.
But things get a little out of hand when Felipe’s mom informs him that Caio, the neighbor kid from apartment 57, will be spending the next 15 days with them while his parents are on vacation. Felipe is distraught because A) he’s had a crush on Caio since, well, forever, and B) Felipe has a list of body image insecurities and absolutely NO idea how he’s going to entertain his neighbor for two full weeks.
Suddenly, the days ahead of him that once promised rest and relaxation (not to mention some epic Netflix bingeing) end up bringing a whirlwind of feelings, forcing Felipe to dive head-first into every unresolved issue he has had with himself — but maybe, just maybe, he’ll manage to win over Caio, too.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an early copy in exchange for an honest review, and for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour!
Here the Whole Time was a short, quick read – but the length did not take away from the importance of this story and just how lovely it really was! This novel follows the story of Felipe, a fat, gay kid who’s been waiting relentlessly to be able to relax over the winter break away from the bullies in his school – but he’s left super disappointed when it turns out his neighbour/ex-friend Caio who he sort of has a crush on will be staying with him and his mom for 15 days. *Cue a lot of pining and angst*
This was incredibly wholesome, and super romantic. I’m loving recently how they are even more diverse LGBTQ reads with representation that’s going to be so important for so many people. It was amazing to see fat rep tackled so well in this book, and it’s definitely going to be a conversation-starter that a lot of people need, or the wake-up call that society demands. It was great to have such a mix of characters in this, I really loved the main two boys, but my personal favourite was Becky – an openly sapphic and body positive icon. I also loved Felipe’s mom, and I honestly think she deserves an entire book for herself.
There was a lot of humour that translated really well from the page, but beneath that humour if you’re willing to look for it enough, there’s quite a lot of vulnerability and sensitivity in this novel. What I also loved about Here the Whole Time was that it was really refreshing to read a book set somewhere that isn’t the UK or US, because this is set in Brazil. After reading this and immersing myself in a culture I’m not too familiar with, i definitely want to make it my own personal mission to expand my reading even more and start reading books set in countries I want to learn more about.
Overall this was a joyous read and I definitely think it’s perfect for fans of the likes of Heartstopper and any David Levithan books!