Review: We Contain Multitudes

Title: We Contain Multitudes
Author: Sarah Henstra
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universemeets I’ll Give You the Sun in an exhilarating and emotional novel about the growing relationship between two teen boys, told through the letters they write to one another.

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.


I loved this story! I couldn’t put it down!

This story begins with Adam and Jonathan writing letters back and forth to each other as a school assignment, but it quickly blossoms into a friendship. I think this way of developing a relationship, which was basically orchestrated by the teacher, could be realistic. Sometimes teachers can see things in students that they can’t see themselves, so they can pair up students who would work well together. I’m curious to see the teacher’s perspective on their relationship and to know if she ever read their letters.

I loved the way that the letters told the story. The boys would recount things they did together. They often had a different perspective of events, so the letters weren’t repetitive. The letters would give two sides to the same story. This demonstrated the way that two people can see the same event in different ways.

This was an incredibly moving story.

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Have you read We Contain Multitudes? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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