We Contain Multitudes

Featured
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
505 0
We Contain Multitudes
Author(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
May 14, 2019
ISBN
978-0316524650
Buy This Book
      

Jonathan Hopkirk and Adam "Kurl" Kurlansky are partnered in English class, writing letters to one another in a weekly pen pal assignment. With each letter, the two begin to develop a friendship that eventually grows into love. But with homophobia, bullying, and devastating family secrets, Jonathan and Kurl struggle to overcome their conflicts and hold onto their relationship...and each other. This rare and special novel celebrates love and life with engaging characters and stunning language, making it perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson, Nina LaCour, and David Levithan.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

powerful, heavy read
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
WE CONTAIN MULTITUDES is an epistolary fiction/YA contemporary that will stick with me for a long time. Told in letters written back and forth between Jonathan Hopkirk (Jo) and Adam Kurlansky (Kurl), this is a love story, a story about homophobia, and an unforgettable mix of poetry, discovery, and even healing.

Jo is a little eccentric. He loves Walt Whitman’s poetry and wears vintage clothing, including wool suits, everywhere. The explanation for why he loves such clothing, even when it may make him a bigger target, is beautiful. He is out and has no interest in hiding that he is gay. He lives with his father, Lyle, who plays bluegrass and often is smoking marijuana, and his older sister, Shayna, who is going through her own big questions- primarily about their mother, who died when they were young but whom they know very little about. Jo is tormented by a group of teens at school, whom he calls the butcherboys, but who use homophobic slurs and really bully him terribly.

Adam is a former high school football star, who always seems to be getting into fights (judging by the bruises on his face). He is repeating his senior year and could play football, but he quit for some mysterious reason (which we learn later). He lives with his mother and his uncle (who is also his stepfather) and works at the family business of roofing. He has two brothers who are older and have moved out but are still nearby- Mark, a veteran, and Sylvan, who also works at the roofing company. Adam is a complex character that starts as reticent (not quite the open book that Jo is) and builds slowly throughout the novel.

The romance is beautiful, as are the letters exchanged. Both characters felt so real to me that I felt like I could meet them in real life. While the letters may not be fully in line with something teenagers would write, I could believe in them for the story, and many were needed to fully flesh out the story. Adding to that, the letters became therapeutic for both characters in a way to express themselves more fully than they could while in person or through spoken language, and this has some added value of making them more insightful and reflective/pensive.

This book absolutely captivated me, broke me down, and left me with a massive book hangover. While there were certainly things that were not my favorite, it was a powerful story and sends some heavy messages. I would add content warnings (and some of these might be spoilers) for explicit sexual content, domestic violence, PTSD, drug use and abuse, and hate crimes/violence.

This book. I feel almost incoherent in how I feel about it, but I highly recommend picking it up for yourself. I am still thinking about it and feeling about it, and it’s amazing. I don’t want to give all the details to avoid spoiling it, but I highly recommend if you want a book that will reach your soul. This is an absolutely gorgeous and wonderful book with characters who I would love to know.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Pawns (The Wielders of Arantha)
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Seven hundred years in the future, a powerful alien...
Perfectly Oblivious
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Cameron Bates (Cam) could have almost any girl at...
By Any Means Necessary
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Heart-wrenchingly honest, fans of Brandy Colbert and Nicola Yoon...
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal...
Into the Crooked Place (Into the Crooked Place, #1)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Into the Crooked Place begins a gritty two-book YA...
The Rift
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
As corporate greed is pitted against supernatural forces, two...
The Light at the Bottom of the World (The Light at the Bottom of the World, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the last days of the twenty-first century, sea creatures...
Conceal, Don't Feel (Twisted Tales, #7)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
What if Anna and Elsa never knew each other? ...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bestselling Divergent and Carve the Mark author Veronica Roth delivers...
Bernard Pepperlin
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The drowsy Dormouse from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland...
Vicarious
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Paula Stokes weaves together a series of mysteries and the...
The Bookworm Crush
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This spinoff of The Replacement Crush featuring Amy and Toff...
The Unexpected Everything
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Andie must learn to embrace the beauty in chaos in...
What I Like About You
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Can a love triangle have only two people in it?...
The Kinder Poison
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the magical kingdom of Orkena, Zahru has long dreamed...
Scared Little Rabbits
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
We stand in a tight cluster, high above the lake....

Latest Member Reviews

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (Tristan Strong #1)
 
5.0
"I never wanted to be a superhero as a child, but I wanted to do heroic things. Tristan Strong epitomizes..."
The Light at the Bottom of the World (The Light at the Bottom of the World, #1)
 
5.0
"THE LIGHT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD is a compelling and atmospheric YA fantasy/science fiction. In the future, the..."
Conceal, Don't Feel (Twisted Tales, #7)
 
5.0
"If you adored FROZEN, you need to get your hands on this Twisted Tale which reimagines the story if Anna..."
 
4.0
"THE END AND OTHER BEGINNINGS is the latest from DIVERGENT author, Veronica Roth. The novel is comprised of six YA..."
Bernard Pepperlin
 
4.0
"Bernard Pepperlin is the doormouse from Alice in Wonderland. After being forced into a teapot, Bernard climbs out to find..."
The Bookworm Crush
 
5.0
"THE BOOKWORM CRUSH is an absolutely charming romantic comedy with all sorts of booklover homages. Amy McIntyre is @redheadrecs and..."
Scared Little Rabbits
 
3.0
"SCARED LITTLE RABBITS follows Nora (aka Eleanor, Lowercase) as she sets out on a summer camp adventure that resulted in..."
A Constellation of Roses
 
5.0
"A CONSTELLATION OF ROSES is a beautiful story of familial love and healing. Trix has been trying to make her..."
The Squatchicorns: A Delightful Read
 
4.0
"In this chapter book, The Squatchicorns by Ellen Potter, the third book in a series about a friendship between a..."
The F Word (Redefining Me book 1)
 
5.0
"'Dating My Best Friend' (former title: 'The F Word') by Michelle MacQueen and Ann Maree Craven delves deeply into themes..."
The Cook and the King
 
4.0
"'The Cook and the King' by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by David Roberts, is a cute story that shows how working..."
Santa Mouse
 
4.5
"SANTA MOUSE is a cute rhyme about a mouse who did not have a name but does have a special..."
Pawns (The Wielders of Arantha)
 
5.0
"Pawns by Patrick Hodges is the first book in the Wielders of Arantha series. Complex and creative don’t begin to..."
The Reader
 
5.0
"I devoured The Reader by M.K. Harkins. There’s no other way to describe it. I read it in one sitting..."
Silly Lullaby (Boynton on Board)
 
5.0
"Boynton is a hit with toddlers, and this is another charming book that makes it easy to see why. SILLY..."
Frankly in Love
 
5.0
"FRANKLY IN LOVE is a surprisingly deep and heartfelt read. Although it is described as a rom-com, this is not..."
American Royals
 
4.7
"What if at the end of America’s Revolutionary War, George Washington was offered a crown and what if he said..."
Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray
 
4.5
"Nikki Tesla is an espionage novel for pre-teens. It’s exciting, engaging, and utterly unique. Nikki Tesla is a..."
Take the Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance
 
4.0
"This is the type of book I’d like to see included in school curriculums. The stories are like wide open..."
Penny and Her Sled
 
4.5
"PENNY AND HER SLED is a chapter book for early readers that follows a mouse named Penny. Penny has been..."