Nothing Like Looking – the witty, YA geek Bildungsroman that your strange little heart has been looking for

Nothing Like Looking – the witty, YA geek Bildungsroman that  your strange little heart has been looking for

If you find yourself enjoying slightly irreverent books that make light of social norms, this book is for you.  I enjoyed it as much as Mothership (where pregnant teens battled aliens), and that is saying a lot.  I thought this was funny and delightful, and if you’ve ever felt like a hobbit in a world of dwarves and elves (or if you don’t even know what that means, but you have felt like you don’t fit in), this is the book for you.

So everyone at her new school thinks Reed is something she isn’t, but it gives her a popularity boost and the opportunity to sidle closer to her new crush, so she rolls with it.  She means to set them straight, but the timing is never right, and once you’ve let a lie go too far, it’s just awkward to admit the truth.  A laugh-out-loud Bildungsroman about a misfit who sets out on a journey of self discovery with just the fiction of J.R.R.R. R. R? Tolkien as her hated guide.  I enjoyed this book with almost all of my heart and gave it five stars because these are my people. If you never befriended a mathlete or gave yourself a (bad) haircut or spent any time within the confines of an ultra conservative religious schooling situation, it might not speak to you as much and you might think it is only four stars (whatever, dwarves).  Reed is flawed and makes stupid mistakes, but they are mistakes that are suspiciously like that time you let those boys believe you were a hardcore gamer girl when, really, even Super Mario was beyond your abilities.  This is what growing up looks like!  The plot moved quickly, and I finished it in a few hours because I couldn’t put it down.  Themes of being yourself, honesty, and friendship add some depth to the comedy.  If you can’t handle someone making uncomfortable social realities funny, you should pass, but if you sometimes see the entire social construct as one big joke – read this today!  I laughed from cover to cover (seriously, read the author’s acknowledgements), and I dare you not to find even the longing for processed foods funny.  While I an still trying to puzzle out the meaning of the title, and I’m slightly unsure if I love or hate the cover, I do know that what is on the inside is what is suppose to count (at least that is what my mom says), and this one has definitely got good guts! It is currently available for 99 cents on Amazon – you know you want it!


I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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