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Look Both Ways

2.93  ·  Rating details ·  778 ratings  ·  172 reviews
A summer away from the city is the beginning of everything for Brooklyn Shepard. Her theater apprenticeship at Allerdale is a chance to prove that she can carve out a niche all her own, surrounded by people who don’t know anything about her or her family of superstar performers. 

Brooklyn immediately hits it off with her roommate, Zoe, and soon their friendship turns into s
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 14th 2016 by Delacorte Press
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2.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  778 ratings  ·  172 reviews

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Elise (TheBookishActress)
Look, usually I don't publicly call books out when I didn't finish them. Usually I don't write long rant reviews at all. But this book is terrible enough that we'll make an exception.

Look Both Ways is about a girl who has a bi crisis and a cutesy romance with her roommate, also a girl. Sweet, right? Except at the end she decides she was straight all along.

Because originality! :)))))))

This book spends pages and pages reinforcing bi stereotypes. Alison Cherry manages to incorporate BOTH major bi
Jul 22, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Okay. I'm going to attempt at a solid review.

My main problem with this novel is not that it was bad writing, it was quite good. I liked the theatre elements and the key themes behind the novel. What I did not like was the romance. If you can't tell from the cover, Look Both Ways is pitched as a romance starring two bi girls. That is not what happens.

The first 150 pages are total fluff and adorable. But as soon as it hits page 250, things go awry. Our main character suddenly realizes that she was
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
This is not a fun, happy f/f romance. It does nothing but play up every single bisexual stereotype possible. I want to give it credit for how accurate the depiction of theater and the theater world is, but I'm too furious about everything else. Also, I'm upset for the ways in which this book hit very close to home and then just... ruined everything. I'm possibly more upset for how personal some of the middle of the book felt, but I don't think that I'm overreacting considering the over reviews I ...more
Jul 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
What kind of queerbaiting bullshit was I just tricked into reading?

I'll start with the positives. The writing was okay. I thought Alison Cherry really captured the feeling of being involved in theatre; it's a bubble where competitiveness and affection exist alongside one another in weird harmony, and everything that happens, big or small, feels magnified or more important then it would otherwise. I enjoyed reading that and I enjoyed Brooklyn discovering her passion for songwriting and storytelli
Sep 15, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 0-stars
I decided to rewrite this review and make it a bit more eloquent. There's spoilers but I don't care, I don't consider this and LGBT book for a reason.

So this book was pitched as a summery, lady romance so I was excited. Except, that isn't at all what this was.

Brooklyn has never thought of herself as anything but straight, however she ~doesn't think anyone is totally gay or straight~ (which is so fucking contradictory to what happened). Early in the novel, her mother makes a comment that gives t
Jun 14, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could give this book zero stars. With the title Look Both Ways, the cover being two girls giggling and the inside flap describing a friendship turning into something more, it seemed like a cute love story about queer ladies. Oh, how wrong I was. This shouldn't even be categorized as queer fiction. (SPOILERS FROM HERE!) Of the two main characters, we have Zoe, who's attracted to women and in an open relationship with a boy, and Brooklyn, who's Finding Herself. Long story short, we never ...more
When will I read a book where the bisexual girl actually ends up happy in the end? Nope. No. Don't touch this with a ten foot pole if you actually want a happy book that is good for LGBT+ teens
Mar 08, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Hi! I wrote this book. This may help you decide if you'd like to read it.

This book IS:
- about questioning, in all senses of the word—Brooklyn questions her role as an artist, her sexuality, her feelings for her roommate, and her place in her big, messy family.
- great for theater-lovers! Many of the theater-related antics come from personal experience. If something is so weird you think it seems unrealistic, it probably happened to me.
- a repository for funny parody song lyrics.

This book is NOT:
Ann Elise Monte
Apr 23, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nope
Why the hell would you market this book as a fluffy f/f romance only for the MC to be like "lol nah I'm actually straight" later in the book? Do you actually understand genre conventions and the contract of trust you create with a reader? How much do you have to hate queer women to think it's a good idea to dangle rep in our faces and then rip it away? Don't even get me started on the "bisexuals are cheaters" and "bi girls are really straight" stereotypes that are played entirely straight in thi ...more
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some light spoilers below.

As a queer woman, I'm a little perplexed by the vitriol (and lack of reading comprehension) showing up in some of these reviews. The writing in this book is really excellent—sparky, funny, smart, and thoughtful. While I wholeheartedly believe that there should be more writing out in world that supports and affirms gay girls, I don't think that demanding an unambiguous f/f ending to every book with queer girls in it makes much sense.

Queerness is a spectrum, and seeing fe
im literally so disappointed did i just read a book about a straight girl
Jul 09, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sarcasm / spoiler alert. Gee, I'm so glad everybody ends up straight in the end!!!! What a disappointing book. I'm also kind of confused about how a character who goes on and on about how beautiful and amazing her roommate is and who gets thrills from kissing her and thinks about her all the time so suddenly decides she's not into girls.
Quirky Title Card

I had an inkling from reviews that this book might be bad, but this book is literally garbage. I have not read anything I hated more, and I have hated a great many things with a great many passions. I usually try to point out some good things before I rip into something, but this book honestly left my stomach hurting with how absolutely disgusting it is. I don't get bothered much, aside from anger, but this book actually UPSET me.

It's sad because the author has decent talent when it comes to
Seriously, what was the fucking purpose of this shit!!?!

Brooklyn, our whiney main character, has an instant, intense crush on her roommate, Zoe. Zoe is a fun, beautiful girl who is just so full of life. She returns Brooklyn's feelings. There are about two hot scenes of them kissing and touching, but they stay on first base (above the waist). It's not for a lack of trying, though. Zoe is bisexual and has a boyfriend long distance. They have an agreement to be open, to see other people while they’
May 10, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was, in one word, harmful over all. I hate to think I payed actual money over this book. LGBT friends, don't bother; I was ready for an amazing book about coming to terms with your sexuality and more help for LGBT youth, but what I got was a face full of heterosexuality trumping the beautiful relationship Zoe and Brooklyn could have had.

The writing to make Zoe seem like she wasn't the one for Brooklyn was awful, and I thought it was leading to a great ending about compromise and findi
Taylor Knight
Looking Both Ways is definitely one of the best books I've read in 2016.
The plot was amazing and so different from any book I've read before.
I loved the setting of a summer theater camp and I really liked seeing how all the characters were very different from each other but they all had one thing in common, they loved theater.
I loved how the story focused on Brooklyn and her self discovery. She was so well written and I loved her character development.
Overall, Looking Both Ways is a super fa
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent look at how complicated attraction is, and about finding your passion in life. This is a book for teens questioning their sexual identity, and is a great exploration of a topic so rarely seen in YA lit--that it is okay to change your label. It is okay to experiment. It is okay to take time to figure yourself out, and you shouldn't be vilified for whatever label you land on.
Mar 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: avoid
okay. so LOOK BOTH WAYS just won a "bisexual book award," which is disappointing because it's not about bisexuality. it's about a straight girl who experiments with a girl and then realizes she's straight.

if this sounds like your thing, go for it. just don't go in expecting a decent portrayal of bisexuality or f/f romance. know what you're getting.
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq
I really wanted to like this.

Unfortunately, I did not.

I give this book a generous 2 stars only because the writing was okay, the book was diverse, and the story was a bit different than your standard YA "finding yourself" storyline.

But I have so many issues with this. First, you have Zoe, the cheating bisexual (but it's okay! because her boyfriend would only care if she was dating another guy! ugh). And she was so pushy about wanting to have sex with Brooklyn -- and I get it, sort of, but it st
Claire Legrand
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This might be my favorite Alison Cherry book yet. (Well, tied with next year's The Classy Crooks Club!) Everything about this story shines, from the vivid setting of summer theater camp Allerdale, to the relationship between Zoe and Brooklyn, to Brooklyn herself--a wonderful, authentic protagonist trying to figure out who she is, who she loves, and how to navigate the changing relationships with her family and friends. Hilarious, heartfelt, and beautifully written.
Sky Declur
Aug 06, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I am so mad, I can't even write a proper review
Jenna Scherer
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Theater camp, sexual identity confusion, lots of quality "Macbeth" jokes… If you like these things—which, who doesn't?—you will like this book. (Written my good buddy Alison.)
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. Just ugh. I did not like this book. Let me start off by saying that I usually don’t rate books so poorly because normally I stop reading them if I dislike them so much. The problem with Look Both Ways was that I was already invested by the time I realized I disliked it. I trudged on.

The story started out so promising. The main character, Brooklyn, comes from a family of musical geniuses. She’s unsure of her place in her family. She doesn’t feel as talented as them. Her second guessing and c
Apr 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-group, ya, a-show, lgbtq
I wonder if this book had spent some time parsing out the differences between romantic and sexual attraction it would have received as many negatives reviews as it has. In general, it seems that people understand being sexually attractive to someone without romantic feelings much more easily than they understand romantic attraction without sex. And the latter seems clearly to me what's going on with Brooklyn in this novel, though she's not given a context to understand it. But it seems unfair to ...more
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
Oct 25, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-ebook
Hmm. I have some very conflicting thoughts on Look Both Ways. While I appreciated some things this book got right, those good things were vastly overshadowed by elements of this book that I find extremely problematic. One of my major issues with Look Both Ways is that it's marketed as an LGBTQ+ read, but I think the portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters in this story just serves to perpetuate negative (and false) stereotypes of an already-marginalized community. THIS IS NOT AN LGBTQ+ ROMANCE.

This book
May 14, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kylie Sparks
Jun 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I enjoyed this story about a girl who tries really hard to be someone she is not. Born into a family of talented performers, to Brooklyn it seems that the only success worth attaining is to be a performer. Only she's really not that great at it, and worse she's been accepted to a prestigious acting camp....because of her famous mother. If you are expecting a lesbian romance novel--this is not it. Instead, it's a story about learning what you want in love and career, and learning how to stand up ...more
Read it in one sitting. It's about relationships--both familial and romantic--that are messy and complicated and emotions that feel like exactly what a 17 year old would experience. Brooklyn is trying to figure out who she is in a lot of different ways. Charming, and also hilarious. Definitely give this one to any teen who loves theater.
Chelsea slytherink
Mar 05, 2017 marked it as not-interested  ·  review of another edition
I'm not interested in reading this book because it sounds incredibly biphobic. You'll find tons of reviews which say so, including this one.
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book, having no idea what it was about, because I like the author. Color me shocked to discover it's about a struggling theatre kid with heaps of impostor syndrome! Could it hit any closer to home?? And I felt SO much of my own biromantic asexual self in her romantic experiences as well. I couldn't put it down!
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Alison grew up in Evanston, IL. She is a professional photographer and spent many years working as a lighting designer for theater, opera, and dance. Now she lives in Brooklyn and writes young adult novels full time. She is represented by the lovely and amazing Holly Root of Root Literary.
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