Our Own Private Universe


“Talley realistically explores first love and first sexual experiences against a backdrop of faith, family, prejudice, and social justice.” – Publishers Weekly

Fifteen-year-old Aki Simon has a theory. And it’s mostly about sex.

No, it isn’t that kind of theory. Aki already knows she’s bisexual—even if, until now, it’s mostly been in the hypothetical sense. Aki has dated only guys so far, and her best friend, Lori, is the only person who knows she likes girls, too.

Actually, Aki’s theory is that she’s got only one shot at living an interesting life—and that means she’s got to stop sitting around and thinking so much. It’s time for her to actually do something. Or at least try.

So when Aki and Lori set off on a church youth-group trip to a small Mexican town for the summer and Aki meets Christa—slightly older, far more experienced—it seems her theory is prime for the testing.

But it’s not going to be easy. For one thing, how exactly do two girls have sex, anyway? And more important, how can you tell if you’re in love? It’s going to be a summer of testing theories—and the result may just be love.

Our Own Private Universe was released Jan. 31, 2017, in the U.S. and Canada from Harlequin Teen. It will be released Feb. 9, 2017, in the U.K.

Praise for Our Own Private Universe

“A diverse story of first times and finding oneself. … An important and heartfelt contribution to contemporary teen lit about queer women: hopeful, realistic, and romantic, Talley’s newest is sure to satisfy.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Talley has a knack for writing really complicated, authentic characters. Readers will appreciate the obvious respect for teenagers as smart, thoughtful, complex, sexual, and politically-aware beings. A great story about first love and a growing awareness of both self and the greater world.” – Teen Librarian Toolbox

“Talley realistically explores first love and first sexual experiences against a backdrop of faith, family, prejudice, and social justice.” – Publishers Weekly

“This pitch-perfect romance is all heart, touching on serious issues but never becoming too heavy, and will be a strong addition to any teen collection.” – School Library Journal

“Reminiscent of Sara Ryan’s Empress of the World (2001), Talley’s latest is a sweet love story about discovering who you want to be with and, more important, who you want to be.” – Booklist