A queer story taking place in Brazil focusing on Felipe, a fat teenager that struggles with self-love and confidence. When his school break is crashed by the attractive neighbor who is staying for the whole week, Felipe must figure out how to not only talk to Caio, but also make him his friend (or maybe more????)
Felipe is a really shy, unconfident character. He really struggles with his weight and how people treat him. Trigger warning for bullying and fat shaming as Felipe deals with that a lot. You learn about all the ways that his weight affects his mental health and his relationship with society. It was really relatable and at some points he reflected thoughts that I have had. Felipe desperately wants to have happiness in his life, but finds it to be really difficult since he is embarrassed by his appearance and has extreme difficulty talking with people. The journey he goes on is this book isn’t dramatic in the sense that his personality and character change to make him this 100% confident, happy, outgoing person. It’s more subtle and realistic. He goes slow, he takes chances and builds up his relationship with Caio piece by piece so that when something happens, it seems so real and genuine that you can’t help but smile and cheer him on.
I really love Felipe’s relationship with his mother. She is so sweet and attentive and cares so much about how he is feeling and that he knows that he is loved and cherished. We see this through the words she says, but also, and more importantly, in the actions that she takes. When Felipe came out, she loved and accepted him. She also got him a therapist to help him with his emotions and his struggles that he’s having in his life. She supports his interests and does things to help bring him out of his shell without disrespecting his boundaries. It’s just really great and it made me really happy.
Each chapter of the story is a day of the vacation so as you read through, you’re following the relationship between Caio and Felipe and you’re seeing where they are by the end of each day. I think it was a really effective form of storytelling. While you could kind of figure out when big events might happen, you had no real way of knowing just how fast or what exactly would happen. I think the best part of this is that you show just how much Felipe and Caio change over such a short period of time. Caio brings Felipe into his life by introducing him to his best friend, Felipe shares his love for Lord of the Rings with Caio, they both share secrets with each other, and they come together in such a sweet way that your heart just melts.
For such a short story, there is so much in here and none of it seems rushed or stretched out. I think Martins did a great job of telling this story and I’m interested in picking up whatever he comes out with next.