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Look Past

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3.56  ·  Rating details ·  152 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Someone brutally murdered Mary Mathison, daughter of a prominent and very conservative local pastor. Whoever it was is now taunting Avery, a transgender boy, with disturbing messages, claiming that Mary’s murder was revenge for her relationship with Avery. The killer’s demands are simple and horrific: Avery must repent for changing his gender identity, or he will be the ne ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Running Press Kids
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karen
wow, that was fast - we went from having very few books about transgender teens available on the market to having a bunch all at once, and we've already reached the point where we can have a book with a trans protagonist where the main focus of the book is not on his trans status, but on the murder of a girl he once loved.

even more important is the fact that he's pretty unlikeable. it's a big "win" for representation when the "outsider" character is not some saint written to make bigots sympathe
...more
Laura  Hernandez (TheVoluptuousBkDiva/YABkDivas)
This read had me feeling a range of emotions; from heartache to anger to pride. Avery was born in the wrong body and has always identified as a male. That in itself is already hard to deal with as people and his peers are constantly giving him grief and calling him all sorts of things from freak to queer but now he also has to deal with an unforeseen tragedy that has everyone reeling.

This author's gripping tale of lost love, tragedy, bigotry and acceptance captured me from the very beginning wit
...more
Trisha
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
"There's a difference between tolerance and acceptance. "

This is a 3 star mystery wrapped in a well-done portrayal of a transgender kid in high school. This book gets an extra star just for doing such a good job of encompassing the awful side of high school.

I love that Avery is a fiery, fierce, reckless kid. That the murder fills him with horror and fear of the but the texts make him want to protect and provoke everyone. I hate what he goes through, I hate how much it broke my heart but I love
...more
- ̗̀  jess  ̖́-
So a disclaimer before I start this review: I am not trans, so please take my opinions on this book with a grain of salt. I don't know if trans reviewers have reviewed this, but definitely check out their opinions over mine.

I do think this book was quite good, though. While Avery being trans was undoubtedly a large part of the story, the whole plot could have been done with another issue in place. Because this isn't a book about being trans. It's a murder mystery first and foremost, and I think
...more
Max Baker
This is a really, really, really good book. Like, guys you don't even know exactly how good this book is until you finish it and you just have to sit and stare at a wall for a few minutes to let everything digest. This book is essentially a sucker punch of emotions from heartbreak to anger to loss to fear. I'm seriously impressed with Look Past and I'm pretty sure I don't posses the language skills to fully express my love of this book.

I think what everyone should know before getting into this b
...more
Kiersten
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-read, lgbt
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my review.

It's tough finding books about transgender or LBGT kids that isn't focused entirely on their gender identity or sexual orientation. That is most likely because it is hard to find a good balance of plot and plot device. We are so much more than our private parts and who we love, so much more than what is most important to those who can't see past us. What I probably enjoyed most was that the whole of this plot focused on the
...more
La La - Everyone's Crazy Aunt
2.5 on the blog.

I loved Devine's book Press Play. I believe I gave it 5 stars. Therefore, I was ready for this story to hit it out of the ballpark, too, and the first half of the book was doing just that.

At 49% the ineptness of the police was ridiculous. People with no law enforcement training would have done a better job. Plus a lot of improbable events and situations started happening at the MC's home and school. The author also had a disconnect when it came to Protestant religion. He had them
...more
Alice Lemon
I feel a bit bad for not liking this book: I think the author did legitimately try. And, for a cis author, he did a pretty good job of presenting some of what it's like to be trans. That's not my issue with the book.

My issue with the book, honestly, is that it just isn't very good. It is at best a mediocre young adult novel, one that is written from the point of view that good writing isn't important to kids. The characters are flat, and the plot...just doesn't seem at all realistic. The murdere
...more
Chiara
A copy of this novel was provided by Running Press for review via Net Galley.

Disclaimer: I’m cis, and the main character in this book is trans. I encourage you to find reviews from trans readers in addition to reading my review of this title.

I have … complicated thoughts on Look Past. On the one hand, the fact that it’s a queer mystery/thriller YA is incredibly exciting. On the other, I wasn’t the biggest fan of quite a few aspects – some of which were just passing things, and some of which were
...more
Amber Garabrandt
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I want to thank Netgalley and Running Press. I fear I lost the email for this one and don't know if I am supposed to wait on the review. If I step on any toes doing it now I am sorry and will be more careful in the future. I will start by saving the instructions that come with my link!


That said, let's get started. Mary, a beloved daughter of the town reverend and friend to all, has been missing for a week. No one knows anything and it is eating the town alive. Things like this, they just don't
...more
Alicia
May 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Switching it up and adding more mystery, Devine packs a thriller with contemporary topics like religion and beliefs alongside living transgender in a community that isn't accepting. Avery has received numerous threats during his transition, yet there have been constants with some of his friends. These relationships sustain him, yet it's rocked to the core when at the start, they are searching the woods around their community for one of Avery's friends, Mary. Soon readers learn that Mary's body h ...more
Elizabeth Chesak
Apr 14, 2016 marked it as to-read
On the one hand I am always "!!!!" about LGBTQ+ genre fiction but on the other hand this could end up being so horrible and trope-y so... yeah. :/ I'll just have to wait and see, I guess.
Rachel Kass
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Please see full review at: http://basicbookblog.com/look-past-by...

This book tells the difficult story of love, loss, grief, and the trauma of being sought out by a deranged killer.
Mark Syron
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt-fiction
Avey is trans and that the reason why he is being targeted through the murder of someone he loved, Mary Matthison, is for the reason he needs to repent from his transgender condition. He needs to live as a girl again to prevent any more harm. It's graphic, gripping, and leaves you guessing to see which religious nut has committed the ultimate sin: murder (but do the flock think that's the case?)

What I liked about the book is that the main focus wasn't completely on the fact that Avery is trans.
...more
Jennifer
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jadyn Heinz
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Look Past by Eric Devine is about a girl named Mary, who was murdered. Her friend Avery is devastated and he is determined to find out who her killer is. Because Avery is transgender, the murderer comes after Avery and starts to threaten him. The murdered also threatens Avery’s friends and family. Because of that he is not allowed to see his friends anymore, to keep them safe, which makes it a lot harder for Avery to get through everything and keep motivation to find who killed Mary. His life is ...more
Christina
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is about Avery, a transgender boy that is singled out for his choices. Mary, the murdered girl that Avery had a relationship with, was the daughter of a pastor. The killer wants Avery to repent for his change in gender and threatens his life. Avery is tasked with being true to himself or denying who he is to avoid threats from the killer. Avery realized early on in life that he was a boy and was supported by his family in his choices regarding his gender. Everyone is not on Avery’s sid ...more
Alana
Jul 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017-reads, jri, rainbow
This book could be used in a class to teach how a book can be bad without being noticeably bad. The characters are flatter than boards and act and react due to plotonium, not themselves. We are told Charlie is "odd" over and over again, but I could not give one example of it. Not one. Avery makes incredibly bad decisions while also lauding characters for saying vague things like they were deep. Ughhh. Meanwhile, what denomination are the churchgoers? They have a Reverend, but kneel during servic ...more
Haley
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was so much better than I thought it was going to be. I was reading it because of the mystery aspect but this book is so much more than that. It deals with religion, gender, sexuality, and mystery. I never thought I would enjoy a book like this but I thoroughly did. It was well written and just shows the great lengths people will go to for love. No matter what peoples gender, sexuality, or religion is the most important thing is LOVE, and this book is all about it.
Audrey
May 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
I won this book through Goodreads Giveaways.

I don't know... this one had potential and it started off with a really interesting premise but it just all went downhill. Felt too dramatic and not real enough, and all of the characters were just miserable and awful to read about.

I wanted to like this more, but I just didn't.
Jim
Jul 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
I picked this up not knowing the main character was trans. This book went against everything I believe morally and ethically, also it bashes religion and conservative values. I find it strange and disturbing that a "straight" man felt compelled to write this.
Selena
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Gripping Novel!
Jay Miraldi
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
"I've been through so much shit, why not pile on some more. Can I endure? That's all I do."
Kenya Reviews Stuff  (ReviewsMayVary)
3.5 stars. Read for #RocTBF2018. In this book, a girl is dead and her used-to-be-love-interest is being targeted with messages about the death. The used to be love interest in question is transgender and the killer is threatening to target him next if he doesn't start being a girl again.

I'm making it sound sillier than it is, I think. If you're into YA suspense, this isn't a bad pick. The main character is a little annoying though, not really understanding that his life is actually in danger ev
...more
Shadow Ninja
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Perfect Rating 5/5, this is my first book dealing with transgender teen issues and this book was AMAZING, it has teen issues, mixed with murder mystery mixed with crime genre and I'd definitely want to read his other books and possibly other transgender YA fiction/nonfiction. Def a recommend!
Emy
When the body of Mary Mathison is discovered, the community is in shock. Avery, a young trans man who loved Mary and has a healthy interest in forensics, is determined to discover her killer. And then the killer sets his sights on him.

This was a good read, albeit a bit intense for me in places. (I'm working through PTSD and having to be careful what I read, but this was for study.)

What I really loved was that the plot was not about Avery's transition, although the driving force was the fact he i
...more
Danii Allen
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, 2017-popsugar
Read as part of the PopSugar Reading Challenge 2017, to fill 9) An espionage thriller.

(Note: I use the word 'queer' a lot in this review. I use queer to mean either not cis or not hetero, in this case not cis. I am aware that Avery identifies as straight, but I consider him under the queer umbrella as someone who is discriminated against in a cishet society.)

I enjoyed this book on the whole, I thought Avery was portrayed very well, and the story was interesting (although at times a little obviou
...more
Hillary
Feb 10, 2017 rated it liked it
The thing that I most appreciated about this book was that it addressed gender issues in the trans community--an area which is still underrepresented in literature. I can't comment on whether or not Avery's experience is representative of most trans individuals, but it was at least eye opening to the internal and social issues faced by this community.

That all being said, the plot was disappointingly predictable. It was almost like watching Titanic and knowing that's going to sink at the end. Av
...more
Sarah
May 12, 2016 rated it liked it
I received an ARC from NetGalley.

"Look Past" has a interesting plot and main character, but, for me at least, the novel never really reached the point of being really good or standing out. The author's style of writing is good and the character's voice comes through. Still, throughout the novel I never felt that I got a clear picture of Avery's character or that I could relate to him. I think the narrative could have done with more introspective moments and longer conversations between the chara
...more
Lectus
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. I read The trans-fer student by Elise Himes but the issue was portrayed so lightly that I didn't care and didn't like it.

The main issue here isn't Avery coming to terms with her gender but the mustery of a murder and other people accepting Avery as the boy she feels she is.

This book is heavy on religious zealot. The mystery was well developed and the author didn't hold gruesome details back.

What I liked most is that Avery and his friends didn't try to solve the mur
...more
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Author of fearless fiction: Press Play, Dare Me, Tap Out, and This Side of Normal. High school English teacher, husband, and father of two girls.

I am represented by Kate McKean of the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency.
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