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HERE THE WHOLE TIME by Vitor Martins


by Vitor Martins ; translated by Larissa Helena

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-338-62082-5
Publisher: Scholastic

Seventeen-year-old Felipe’s winter break takes a turn when neighbor Caio’s parents go on a trip and he comes to stay.

What was supposed to be three weeks of sitting at home in his apartment in a small Brazilian town surfing the internet becomes a nerve-wracking ordeal for Felipe, who’s had a crush on Caio since childhood. It doesn’t help that Felipe is shy and self-conscious about his weight, both of which make him a target for school bullies. His therapist encourages him to initiate interactions, but the thought of Caio’s attention being directed toward him makes Felipe incredibly uncomfortable. And yet, as the days pass, awkward small talk transitions into casual late-night chats, leading to genuine conversations that allow the boys to open up to one another, including sharing their respective coming-out experiences. The novel, narrated in the first-person, expresses  Felipe’s internal turmoil as he endures living in close quarters with a boy he finds irresistible and who, it turns out, also enjoys reading Tolkien, makes delicious brigadeiros, and is happy to join in the daily themed activities planned by Felipe’s supportive single mother. Felipe’s struggle with body image and self-perception is presented thoughtfully, and the frankness with which he tells his story is at turns hilarious and heart-wrenching. All characters are Brazilian; Felipe’s therapist and Caio’s best friend are Black, and the impact of race is discussed in the story.

An uplifting, body-positive story about finding courage and love.

(Romance. 14-18)