Hello, Universe by Erin Kelly: "Bullying is never a good thing."

Book Reviews
Title: Hello, Universe
Author: Erin Entrada Kelly
Publication Date: March 14, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition




“Of all the questions you ever ask yourself in life, never ask, what’s the point? It’s the worst question in the world.”

I never imagined that I would finish this book in less than one day. As they say, when you are enjoying a good book, you wouldn’t notice how time flies. Plus, middle-grade books are really my cup of tea, because the story of this genre is so simple yet so empowering. When there were times when I read so many substantial books in the past, I would just grab and read light books like the middle-grade books.

Anyway, today I will give you a brief summary or what you will expect from the book. Don’t worry I will not spoil any beans here, because we don’t like that.

Okay, the story was all about the different lives of four children – Virgilio, Chet, Kaori, and Valencia. Virgilio or Virgil was our main character, he was described as shy, scrawny 11-years old. His parents also called him a turtle because he was so shy that he was like a turtle that always hides in its house. Virgil grew up with no friends except for his little guinea pig and his “other’’ friend Kaori, who was a self-proclaimed psychic.

Chet, on the other hand, was our main antagonist in the story. He always bullies Virgil, and the girl named Valencia. While Valencia was our special girl because she was so kind even though she has a disability in terms of hearing.

These four different persons will make your perspectives on life change.

So, I have already given the brief summary of the book, I hope you will get inspired to read it. *winks

Okayyyy. Let’s proceed. I will make bullet points of all the things I like and dislikes from the book.

Here are the things I like:

  1. The number one is the fact that the author of Hello, Universe is a Filipino-American, and this makes me say, “I am proud to be a Filipino!!”. Well, I’m always.
  2. Number two (two, two). This book has a Filipino taste which made me enjoy it more. The examples are using “Lola” during the conversation with Virgil and his grandmother. “Lola’’ is Grandmother in English translation.
  3. If I’m reading this kind of genre, I am looking for the values I will get after reading the book. And my verdict? Yes, I got it from this book by Erin Kelly. There were so many lessons in Hello, Universe that not only applies to the middle-grade children, but also to the adults like us.

For the dislikes, I think I don’t have any. But, I have three notes I want to share with you.

  1. Bullying is not a good thing.
  2. Always remind yourself that how many times you fall, you must stand up and keep going on with your life.
  3. Disability is not a hindrance to be a good person.

And that’s it, I hope you enjoyed my review of Hello, Universe by Erin Kelly.


In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his loud and boisterous family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister Gen is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just act normal so that he can concentrate on basketball. They aren’t friends — at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. This disaster leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find the missing Virgil. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a rescue are performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms. 


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