Thursday, October 22, 2020

Every Body Looking

Iloh, Candice. Every Body Looking. digital. 2020. Penguin Random House Audio. 

Moving and lyrical - this coming of age story set in verse is sensational and unforgettable. Burdened with heavy expectations at a young age, Ada struggles to figure out who she is underneath the mask she puts on to appease her parents and her peers. Her father is a Nigerian immigrant and her mother is an emotionally abusive African American woman suffering from many mental health issues. Her father has custody and raises her in the church - setting very high standards for how she should look and behave. All Ada wants to do is dance and draw - but she is an obedient daughter and always puts her elders first. Told in alternating timelines between public school and moving away to college - readers feel the anguish and inner turmoil as Ada struggles to peel back the mask that holds her in place. Flashbacks to painful moments from the past - being molested by a cousin - segue to painful moments in Ada's now -  suffering through a gynecology visit. Culture, sexuality, passion, and inner truth are discovered and fought for. Expertly narrated by the author herself - this coming of age story is one readers won't forget.  At times painful, but ultimately cathartic for Ada and readers alike; impossible to put down. - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN

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