Book: My Eyes Are Up Here
Genre: Contemporary/Coming of Age
Rating: 5/5 Stars
This book was one I knew I would like right away from the description. What I wasn’t expecting was how much I actually loved this book. Just a few things off the bat before I give the Goodreads synopsis… I adored the characters (especially our lead, Greer), I loved the body positivity message and I really loved the family aspects of this book.
Okay here’s the Goodread’s summary:
A “monomial” is a simple algebraic expression consisting of a single term. 30H, for example. Fifteen-year-old Greer Walsh hasn’t been fazed by basic algebra since fifth grade, but for the last year, 30H has felt like an unsolvable equation – one that’s made her world a very small, very lonely place. 30H is her bra size – or it was the last time anyone checked. She stopped letting people get that close to her with a tape measure a while ago.
Ever since everything changed the summer before ninth grade, Greer has felt out of control. She can’t control her first impressions, the whispers that follow, or the stares that linger after. The best she can do is put on her faithful XXL sweatshirt and let her posture – and her expectations for other people – slump.
But people – strangers and friends – seem strangely determined to remind her that life is not supposed to be this way. Despite carefully avoiding physical contact and anything tighter than a puffy coat, Greer finds an unexpected community on the volleyball squad, the team that hugs between every point and wears a uniform “so tight it can squeeze out tears.” And then there’s Jackson Oates, newly arrived at her school and maybe actually more interested in her banter than her breasts.
Laura Zimmermann’s debut is both laugh-out-loud funny and beautifully blunt, vulnerable and witty, heartbreaking and hopeful. And it will invite listeners to look carefully at a girl who just wants to be seen for all she is.
Okay, first things first, I want to talk about the characters. Zimmerman does a fantastic job of creating a book with a huge cast of characters, but making it feel manageable. Sometimes I read books with this many people mentioned by name and I feel overwhelmed trying to remember who’s who, but that wasn’t the case with this book. Each person in this book is so unique and special that you can’t help but remember and know each and every one of them. The star of this book and our main protagonist is Greer. She is quirky and smart and beautiful and athletic and deals with some major body positivity issues. I thought this was so perfect and relatable.
Moving into that body positivity it was handled and addressed so well! I honestly related to this story for so many reasons because of its message. Greer deals with body positivity in regards to her large boobs, but by the end they address all these people and how different they all are. I love how Zimmerman opens Greer’s eyes to the various shapes of people and how going through life tucked into yourself because of how you think you look isn’t worth it. Greer has a long way to go still at the end of the book, but she embraces who she is and I love that so much!
The final thing I loved in this book was the look into family. The two main families in this book are Greer’s own family as well as her love interest and new boy, Jackson’s family. Both of these families are different and have very different dynamics, but I always love when authors show the role or lack of in the characters every day lives. Sometimes I think this role gets left to the wayside and we end up with these books or shows where family is absent. Whether the family is supportive or not, I think it’s important to show how they are influencing our characters and their actions throughout the book. In regards to Greer and her body changes, we see how her family failed to help and support (**cough cough**) her. With Jackson we see how the constant moves with his family has put his parents out of touch with how this is affecting their children. Zimmerman does a great job of showing these families and their affect on their children.
This book is such a solid 5 stars for me. In my Goodreads review I said I wish I could give this book to every 8th grade girl going into high school. I see so many kiddos dealing with this positivity issue and knowing they’re not alone is sometimes exactly what they need. I highly suggest you check this book out, as a 29 year old woman, I think the lessons in this are not only applicable for teenagers but also adults as our bodies go through changes as well.