Title: Look Past
Author: Eric Devine
Genre: YA suspense
Part of a Series? No
Publish Date: October 4th, 2016
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 happen here- especially not to good Christians. Avery and his girlfriend Beth have joined a search of the woods with his best friend Charlie. Before we go any further there is something you should know. Avery is transgender-meaning he was born a girl, but connects with the world as a man- this is how I see Avery and how I will be doing this review.
Now, Avery and Mary have a past. She was the first to be nice to him and accept him. She loved him, and he loved her back. Loosing Mary hurts deeply, especially since his family and two friends are now the only ones that understand him and accept him for how he is.
When they find Mary, she is dead and has been mutilated. Eyes, ears and lips are gone and there is a bible passage in her mouth about sinners repenting. That same night an unknown number texts Avery, tormenting and threatening him that he will be next. As evidence keeps being brought to the reverend’s doorstep (literally), Avery is getting more and more threats from this unknown person. Repent or you are next. This murderer sees Avery as an abomination and affront to God. Become as God made “her” and she may be spared. The demands are ridiculous and sometimes juvenile. Dress like a girl for school, pray for forgiveness. As Avery and his uncle Tom (a cop) puts the clues together along with his friends he has to decide how far he can go to bring the killer out, what he can endure.
This book was seriously twisted to me. I loved the characters- Charlie and Beth especially. Knowing a transgender individual and knowing what he had to endure in his life, I know it isn’t easy. There will always be those that do not understand. Those that cannot accept. Those that hate. I did, though, take issue that it seemed in this book to be the entire church community. It casts the religious people in this book in a very unflattering light that, while true for some, is not the norm. I felt like they typecast the church goers a bit, and Avery really. He is strong, opinionated and doesn’t always think his actions through; but he has a large heart. Sadly there is also a large chip on those shoulders. Even with these issues, though, I still loved the book and highly recommend it- just be ready for the stereotypes.
As far as the Adult Content Scale goes, there is a lot of language, violence and bigotry that may be hard for a younger reader to handle…. I mean, it was seriously hard for me to handle at times and I am an adult. I would recommend it for teens, but only if the parent understands the topics and approves. The hate is hard to stomach.
The book comes out 10-04-2016. Be ready!
Link to Book: