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Look Past

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  213 ratings  ·  56 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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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  213 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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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
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
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
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
- ̗̀  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
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
La La
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
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Did not like this as much as many of my friends. I think I had a bit of problem with intended audience. It is listed as young adult, but was a bit gruesome, plus the message needs to be addressed to older adults, most teens already accept transgender people
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was another surprise book that snuck up on me. Another in the pile of me trying to find comp titles for my own book for query (this one wasn’t a fit), I started reading it and wasn’t that into it, but eventually I found myself devouring it. The voice was less of a draw than what was actually going on in the plot and it was the plot that really kept driving me forward. I wanted to know what happened.

I think LOOK PAST might be the first book I’ve read from a transgendered individual’s POV and
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt, 2016-read
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
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
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
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
Jul 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: jri, 2017-reads, 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
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. ...more
Rachel Kass
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Please see full review at:

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.
May 26, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tracie Gutknecht
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned
General Fiction - Mystery

I just did not like this book.

Avery is a transitioning teen. Her first love is killed and there are indications that she/he may be next if he doesn't see the error of his ways and repent - meaning start acting like a girl, dressing like a girl, etc. Avery's uncle is the lead officer on the case and she and her friend Charlie take forensics, which is the reason they think they should be allowed to be involved in the case. This made me feel like I was reading a Nancy Drew
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
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
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.
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.
Rachel Ste.Croix
Apr 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book was a great quick read. Detailed murderous bits, and constant changes that left me on the edge of my seat. It honestly was a book that was hard to put down.
This book was full of emotion. It dove into the world of a trans teen without making it about their transition and focusing on the murder mystery which I loved.
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. ...more
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book held my attention so much that I didn't want to put it down. I would read it whenever I had spare time. If you like murder mysteries, this is a great book to read. If you have a great dislike to transgenders, it may not be for you. Great book and easy to follow the storyline!! ...more
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult, fdr
Avery is a transgender boy whose close friend, Mary, has been murdered. Avery and his girlfriend try to uncover the details of the crime and become ensnared in solving it. Stiff dialogue and overwrought emotions give this a forced feel. Teenagers don't talk like this. ...more
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The narration of the beginning was a a bit confusing because we didn't get to know who the character was or anything for a few pages, but once it got cleared up, the book got sooo good. Full of suspense and well written. ...more
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." ...more
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Crazy for Young A...: Look Past, by Eric Devine → Start Date: March 14, 2017 16 17 Apr 15, 2017 08:17PM  

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Author of fearless fiction: One in Ten (4/21/20), Look Past, Press Play, Dare Me, Tap Out.

English teacher, husband, and father of two girls.

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