My Review:A new state, a new city, a new high school. Mike's father has already found a new evangelical church for the family to attend, even if Mike and his plainspoken little sister, Toby, don't want to go. Dad wants Mike to ditch art for sports, to toughen up, but there’s something uneasy behind his demands.
Then Mike meets Sean, the new kid, and "hey" becomes games of basketball, partnering on a French project, hanging out after school. A night at the beach. The fierce colors of sunrise. But Mike's father is always watching. And so is Victor from school, cell phone in hand.
This is such a hard book for me to review. I don't generally set out to read books that are devastating emotionally but this one did make me so sad with its intolerance. Mike's parents and some of the kids at school were so awful that it was hard to get past their actions and find any joy in reading this book, even if it is telling a very necessary story. The writing is very simple; I believe that it is meant to be a conversation/diary form from 15 year old Mike and it fits but there were times when I found myself longing for this story to be told with a bit more finesse or awareness. On one hand, there is such need for a story like this from the 15 year old's perspective and language but, on the other hand, the lack of context leave me reeling. This was well done but something was missing for me -- I feel such empathy for Mike and his situation but I cannot articulate why I didn't fully connect with him or his story.
For a realistic take on growing up gay without parental support, I highly recommend this. While my heart may not have fit exactly with this one, it was well done and is certainly a documentation of a tragedy that goes on every day for gay children and teenagers. It Looks Like This came out earlier this month on September 6, 2016, and you can purchase HERE.
I turn back and Sean is looking at me. For the first time I notice little flecks of orange in his eyes, around the inside of the irises. Only a few but they're there, like the first gold leaves in a brilliant green forest, the first gold leaves of fall. I watch the orange flecks disappear as his pupils dilate, just a little. All at once I realize how close he is.