Wow. Nothing says let’s recover from Call Me By Your Name like reading It Looks Like This. Also that was a joke. This was also beautiful and tragic but even more so.
It Looks Like This. Never heard of it, or it’s author, didn’t know what it was about, legit just picked up because I needed something. Which I never ever do. Should have read the back.
Not because it was bad, it was exceptional, but it was such an emotionally impactful read it would have been nice to mentally prepare. So to give you the context I was missing, here’s the plot.
Mike, nice kid, moves to a new town with his fam. Little sister who’s a rockstar, mom who is eh at best, and super strict evangelical father. They lead pretty normal middle class lives. School, holidays with family, walking the dog. It’s all pretty relatable even if it doesn’t look exactly like your life.
There are friends at school, some good teachers and some garbage teachers. Bullies are also a thing and in true time relevant fashion, they have access to the internet. But most importantly, there’s Sean. Who’s starts out as a friend and slowly becomes more.
Then the book gets WILD. The last like, third was so painful and realistic. And for the first time in my life, I cried for a book. Yup, this one finally did it. I won’t tell you why, but if you read it and don’t cry, tell me how you pulled it off.
But plot is only part of the reason I’m recommending this read. The writing was also notable for positive reasons. It’s first person narrative and tone are perfect for Mike and it was really nice to read a YA book where the voice didn’t feel forced. The dialogue was consistent and #onbrand for the characters. The story was generally well paced and cohesive.
The end had me torn up into a million tiny pieces but I won’t tell you why, you’ll just have to read it.