I received this book for free from Bookish First in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My Eyes Are Up Here by Laura Zimmermann
Published by Dutton Books for Young Readers on June 23, 2020
Genres: YA Contemporary
Source: Bookish First
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Barnes & Noble
Insightful, frank, and funny, My Eyes Are Up Here is a razor-sharp debut about a teenage girl struggling to rediscover her sense of self in the year after her body decided to change all the rules.
A “monomial” is a simple algebraic expression consisting of a single term. 30H, for example. Fifteen-year-old Greer Walsh hasn’t been fazed by basic algebra since fifth grade, but for the last year, 30H has felt like an unsolvable equation – one that’s made her world a very small, very lonely place. 30H is her bra size – or it was the last time anyone checked. She stopped letting people get that close to her with a tape measure a while ago.
Ever since everything changed the summer before ninth grade, Greer has felt out of control. She can’t control her first impressions, the whispers that follow, or the stares that linger after. The best she can do is put on her faithful XXL sweatshirt and let her posture – and her expectations for other people – slump.
But people – strangers and friends – seem strangely determined to remind her that life is not supposed to be this way. Despite carefully avoiding physical contact and anything tighter than a puffy coat, Greer finds an unexpected community on the volleyball squad, the team that hugs between every point and wears a uniform “so tight it can squeeze out tears.” And then there’s Jackson Oates, newly arrived at her school and maybe actually more interested in her banter than her breasts.
Laura Zimmermann’s debut is both laugh-out-loud funny and beautifully blunt, vulnerable and witty, heartbreaking and hopeful. And it will invite listeners to look carefully at a girl who just wants to be seen for all she is.
So I won this from a Bookish First giveaway right when all the pandemic hit here in the US. And so I didn’t get an ARC or a copy of the book until right before the publishing date. And by then, my schedule was already off, and I have trouble fitting in extra books. But I made sure finally to find a time to fit it into my blogging schedule, and now here is my review.
Once I did pick it up, I was swept right into the story. The author used great humor to help with this touchy subject. But not just humor, there was also a lot of realistic details and ways that things happened. Of course I totally understood why Greer pushed Jackson away, or at least made sure he knew that she knew that it was only friendliness and nothing more from him. Because I’ve felt that way my whole life. The few times I thought maybe a guy was actually flirting and interested in me, he wouldn’t be, and then I’d get rejected or feel humiliated. So I get it.
What Greer went through physically I kind of get as well. While I wasn’t suffering from the endowments that she had when I was younger, I totally get what she is saying about the bras not being cute when you are a larger size like I am now, not to mention that if you do find ones that are cute, they don’t really fit right, and definitely don’t have any support. But to be a high schooler having to deal with those things would be really sad, when you want to do the same things as everyone else. I can’t even picture what that special bra she got looked like, other than a straight jacket that I pictured in my head.
There were a few very hilarious its. First there was a section where they were in math class and the teacher asked about “number two”. Yeah, my brain is pretty much still stuck in middle school humor from teacher there for about 15 years. So I was laughing along with the boys in her class so much. And then there was the line, “Are you comparing my boobs to a Nazi mole?” I couldn’t stop giggling at that for a long time after I read it.
A great book, I’ll be donating my copy to the library where I work!