It Looks Like This

It Looks Like This

Book - 2016 | First edition.
Average Rating:
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In spare, understated prose heightened by a keen lyricism, a debut author will take your breath away.

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. In guarded, Carveresque prose that propels you forward with a sense of stomach-dropping inevitability, Rafi Mittlefehldt tells a wrenching tale of first love and loss that exposes the undercurrents of a tidy suburban world. Heartbreaking and ultimately life-affirming, It Looks Like This is a novel of love and family and forgiveness--not just of others, but of yourself.
Publisher: Somerville, MA : Candlewick Press, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780763687199
Branch Call Number: YA FIC Mittl
Characteristics: 327 pages ; 22 cm

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Apr 13, 2017

SPOILERS INCLUDED:
Don't let the rainbow cover fool you; Rafi Mittlefehldt's It Looks Like This is an extremely dark book. The story of Mike, a closeted gay teenager who falls in love with Sean, a charismatic and charming young man, takes plenty of heartwrenching turns throughout its pages. While the diversity in the book is appreciated - Mike is gay and Sean is a gay teenager as well and mixed-race - the amount of tragedy that happens within the book is almost a negative representation of LGBTQ+ people. Mike is outed by his bully, who films one of his and Sean's sexual encounters, and is sent to a gay conversion camp. Sean is also outed by this event and later commits suicide. For those who have dealt with homophobic bullying before, I would not recommend this book because of the possibility of it being a trigger. For anyone else: it's not groundbreaking.
- @reallylikesmusicals of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

vpl_teens Dec 12, 2016

It Looks Like This is a very sad novel. This contemporary story tells how having a different sexual orientation can really change what people think about you and it's not usually easy. This book is about a teenage boy Mike moving to a new state and having to change school and environment. It’s the journey of him discovering his true self, but having to hide it from his family and peers for the sake of his religion and reputation. What makes the book so emotional is the fact that the horrid things the boy in the book is living actually happen in reality.

I greatly enjoyed the book because the story is well written and all characters have complex and diverse personalities. The author successfully makes you feel what the characters go through, you can easily relate to them, making the story all more engaging and attaching. I would recommend it to anyone who won’t mind a few tears. I would give this book a rating of 4/5 stars and wish the author, Rafi Mittlefehldt, good luck with this novel.

Reviewed by Laury-Ann M, for Teens Read it First - http://teensatvpl.tumblr.com/

LPL_WilliamO Dec 04, 2016

It's the relationships that made this one so great for me. Between Mike and his sister, Mike and his friends, Mike and Sean, Mike and his mother - this is where I grew to care so much about the story. Though themes are similar to a number of other LGBT novels - star-crossed lovers, coming out, bullying, religious parents, conversion therapy camps - Mittlefehldt offers unique characters that defy stereotypes and a modern context. A brilliant debut by an author who knows how to engage with powerful imagery and realistic dialogue.

p
PCCLD_TAB_Teens
Oct 18, 2016

This was a romantic novel that kept me interested till the very end. It was a tragic love story that had connections and people that were obstacles for star cross lovers. It's truly sad that people still face hatred everyday that could actually lead to ending their own life. This LGBT novel expresses the feelings and actions of homophobic people. This book insights the hidden love of two boys; Mike and Sean. Its truly tragic they couldn't express or be proud of who they are just like some LGBT communists in today's society. One of the negative comments I'd have to say is that Sean's death was quick, and I feel like if there was Sean's perspective it would've been more meaningful to see how much pain he was In that drove him to suicide. Or even a more vivid description of Sean's death. This book kept me glued to the pages as I continued to read. The plot twist keeps the book intriguing. By far, this book gave me more knowledge on how Christians or homophobic people are strong enough to even consider kicking out their own blood relative let alone let them be brain washed by a therapist. After finishing the book, I reread the first two pages and I almost felt tears. Additionally, it was one of the most interesting romantic fictional novels I have ever read. It wasn't just a book that talked about two lovers, it was so much more, it gave insights of what people have to face everyday.

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