CW’s: (Internalized) Fatphobia, Homophobia, Bullying
Representation 🌷 Brazilian Gay Fat MC who has anxiety, m/m romance
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.
A Funny, Awkward & Relatable MC 💕
I was rooting for Felipe so much! ➽ He’s a fat, gay teen living in Brazil and is excited about his school break, as it means finally being away from the fatphobic bullying he endures daily. Felipe doesn’t really have any friends and doesn’t feel accepted in his small town, so he mostly plans on staying home and relaxing. These plans are disrupted when his cute neighbor (that he’s got a big crush on) needs to stay with them during break and Felipe is immediately filled with anxiety. The writing style of Here the Whole Time was fantastic and Felipe’s funny, sometimes self-deprecating and awkward character voice was so well done! I rooted for him so much and could relate to Felipe’s struggles with anxiety and trying to build friendships/communicate with someone who’s suddenly living in your space. I also loved the positive portrayal of therapy and how he tries to slowly expand his comfort zone by connecting with Caio and his friends. Felipe has a lot of insecurities about not being good enough or anybody’s choice, even though he’s such a kind, nerdy person who is trying his best to be a good friend to Caio. This book was written with so much heart and I appreciated how it discussed fatphobia, homophobia and dealing with anxiety! There were many serious discussions but also some hilarious and awkward scenes that perfectly balanced each other out! 💕
Mutual Pining + Forced Proximity 💗
Felipe and Caio’s growing relationship was so wholesome and sweet ➽ I loved the romantic tropes that were used for their relationship like mutual pining, forced proximity, friends to lovers and a great mix of Felipe having a big crush, but also the romance still feeling like a slowburn. Felipe has been pining after his former childhood friend and neighbor for quite some time, so he’s both lucky but also so anxious to spend 15 days in close proximity with Caio. He has issues communicating with the other boy, so things aren’t always easy, but both of them slowly start becoming friends and confiding in each other. Caio was such a sweetheart, so you could understand why Felipe was yearning for him and hoping to at least be able to renew their friendship, though he’s secretly dreaming of them being together. I loved seeing how they made it work and was so happy for both of them to see them being happy together 🥺
Loving Family Dynamics 💌
I loved the the relationship between Felipe and his mom ➽ Felipe’s mother is literally so supportive of him and I love how she tries her best to give him advice and confidence. It’s always great to see a healthy mother-son relationship where Felipe feel safe confiding in her about his feelings, especially as he doesn’t have a support system in school. His mother is his biggest supporter and you can see how kind she is not only to him, but also to Caio. Later, Felipe begins to grow close to Caio’s friend Becky and her girlfriend Melissa – so there is also a slight found family element coming in besides the family dynamics that I really enjoyed ❤
IN CONCLUSION. ➽ Here the Whole Time was a fantastic book discussing fatphobia, homophobia and dealing with anxiety. Though it had many tough topics there was a wholesome romance full of pining and many awkward, but sometimes hilarious moments to balance this out! The funny, engaging writing style made this really quick to read, so I highly recommend you give this one a chance! ✨
Have you read Here the Whole Time? What are some books with the fat representation that you can recommend? 🧡