Title: It Looks Like This
Author: Rafi Mittlefehldt
Published: September, 2016 by Candlewick
Purchase: The Book Depository
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 little book held me hostage. I went from loving it to wanting to strangle it and break free. With tears threatening my eyes, I read this book during my lunch breaks this week, surprised by how many emotions it managed to bring out of me. Mike’s story, while tragic, gave a refreshing (and angering) view into what it’s like growing up gay in a religious family. I don’t know if I would have wanted to read this back when I was figuring things out in my teens, but I could handle it now.