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The Universal Laws of Marco



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About The Book

Perfect for fans of Adam Silvera, this stunning novel, told through the lens of a guy in love with the cosmos (and maybe two girls), explores the complicated histories that bring us together and tear us apart.

In the summer before eighth grade, Marco Suarez kissed his best friend Sally Blake. This was his first spark.

And since then, whenever he’s thought about that moment, he’s traveled through a wormhole—of sorts—to relive those brief seconds when time sped up (or, rather, his view of time distorted) and he kissed her.

And then, at the end of that year, she disappeared, leaving in that way that people sometimes leave—alive and well and somewhere out there but gone, nonetheless. She never even said why.

And now in their senior year, Sally unexpectedly returns and Marco is shaken. Still, he holds tightly to his carefully choreographed life. A life that is full of reasons why first sparks don’t matter:

Reason 1: He has a girlfriend. Her name is Erika Richards.
Reason 2: He’s leaving on a full scholarship to college.
Reason 3: He’s busy with his friends and making money to help support his family.

But as Marco navigates the final days of high school, he learns that leaving home is never easy and a first spark is hard to ignore.


The Universal Laws of Marco

BUT EARLIER THAT DAY, WHEN Erika texted, I was traveling down that wormhole. I was on that journey because that’s what happens when someone reappears after four years. And suddenly that someone, that her, is standing in the middle of your high school cafeteria as if she had never left . . .

You is what you think. You are here.

And for a second you wonder if you’re hallucinating. Because, let’s be real, you’ve imagined this day more than you’d like to admit. You’ve seen it play out in your head hundreds of times. But when it happens, in your cafeteria—man, of all places, the cafeteria—you stand there, watching her with her lunch tray in hand, eyes searching for a place to fit. For a friendly face. And you can’t move because your feet are paralyzed. You’re holding up the lunch line, and everyone thinks you’re acting weird. But what they don’t know is that you’re traveling.

Through time.

You are a time traveler.

On a mission through a wormhole, the past suddenly connected to the present through a not-so-simple bending of the space-time continuum.

Just one-quarter shy of graduation.

Meanwhile, your responsible girlfriend, the one who never disappears, is texting you. Her unheard words circulate through the machine in your pocket. But those words can’t reach you. Because you’re not in the now. You’re in the then.

You’re with a bottle that spins and a girl who kisses you, a girl who hasn’t yet disappeared, taking your heart with her.

And with all that going on, you forget one of the fundamental truths about wormholes.

A wormhole can kill you.

About The Author

Photograph by Suzette DeMatteo

Carmen Rodrigues lives and plays in the great urban wilds of Northern Virginia, where she is a writer by day and an educator by night. She earned her MFA from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. The Universal Laws of Marco is her third young adult novel. Visit her at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (March 17, 2020)
  • Length: 432 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781442485105
  • Grades: 7 and up
  • Ages: 12 - 99
  • Lexile ® 670L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®

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Awards and Honors

  • Kansas NEA Reading Circle List High School Title
  • Green Mountain Book Award Master List (VT)

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More books from this author: Carmen Rodrigues