By the time Lou turns 18, modeling agents across Portland have scouted her for her striking androgynous look. Lou has no interest in fashion or being in the spotlight. She prefers to take photographs, especially of Ivy, her close friend and secret crush. But when a hike ends in a tragic accident, Lou finds herself lost and ridden with guilt. Determined to find a purpose, Lou moves to New York and steps into the dizzying world of international fashion shows, haute couture, and editorial shoots. It's a whirlwind of learning how to walk and how to command a body she's never felt at ease in. But in the limelight, Lou begins to fear that she's losing her identity—as an individual, as an artist, and as a person still in love with the girl she left behind.
The evocative narrative that explores the relationship between movement and self-expression in this title is gripping, nearly transporting readers into the bodies and minds of the characters. At times, the story falls flat and becomes predictable. However, this coming-of-age tale is redeemed by tender moments of queer connection and raw vulnerability ... Lou’s strut through the tribulations of youth and identity will be relatable for those in their late teens, making this title especially enticing for younger audiences. Libraries where queer fiction or coming-of-age stories are popular should consider adding Ohman’s debut to their collections.
Ohman does a commendable job of taking readers inside the world of fashion, including fashion photography, which fascinates amateur photographer Lou, who, increasingly disenchanted with modeling, begins to wonder if there might be a future for her in photography. Ohman’s novel is inarguably well written and, though occasionally frustrating, will surely find a devoted readership.
Perceptive if flat ... Ohman captures the uncertainties of early adulthood and queer love with a clear eye, but the thin plot and constrained emotion hinder the impact. Ohman is a talented writer, but this one doesn’t quite work.