Parents' Guide to

Every Body Looking

By Barbara Saunders, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Teen explores identities in brave novel in verse.

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Moving and hopeful, this book has the potential to support a reader's substantive thinking about topics like divorce, sex, education, religion, and more. In Every Body Looking, debut novelist Candice Iloh skillfully and economically uses verse to communicate the main character's changing emotional states. For example, Ada uses clipped lines like stutters when recounting a hard conversation with her mother, and a page-long unpunctuated line when describing a moment of ecstasy while dancing. Ada's life is complicated. She's coping with divorced parents, sexual abuse, adjusting to the United States as an immigrant, protecting herself from an exploitative boyfriend, and gingerly considering her attraction to other women. Regardless of these specific issues, she faces the challenge all young people do when they leave home for the first time: finding out who she is beyond the parameters of the family.

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