IT LOOKS LIKE THIS

Rafi Mittlefehldt

In spare, understated prose heightened by a keen lyricism, a debut author will take your breath away.

A new state, a new city, a new high school. Mike’s father has already found a new evangelical church for the family to attend, even if Mike and his plainspoken little sister, Toby, don’t want to go. Dad wants Mike to ditch art for sports, to toughen up, but there’s something uneasy behind his demands. Then Mike meets Sean, the new kid, and “hey” becomes games of basketball, partnering on a French project, hanging out after school. A night at the beach.

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In spare, understated prose heightened by a keen lyricism, a debut author will take your breath away.

A new state, a new city, a new high school. Mike’s father has already found a new evangelical church for the family to attend, even if Mike and his plainspoken little sister, Toby, don’t want to go. Dad wants Mike to ditch art for sports, to toughen up, but there’s something uneasy behind his demands. Then Mike meets Sean, the new kid, and “hey” becomes games of basketball, partnering on a French project, hanging out after school. A night at the beach. The fierce colors of sunrise. But Mike’s father is always watching. And so is Victor from school, cell phone in hand. In guarded, Carveresque prose that propels you forward with a sense of stomach-dropping inevitability, Rafi Mittlefehldt tells a wrenching tale of first love and loss that exposes the undercurrents of a tidy suburban world. Heartbreaking and ultimately life-affirming, It Looks Like This is a novel of love and family and forgiveness—not just of others, but of yourself.

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  • Candlewick Press
  • Hardcover
  • September 2016
  • 336 Pages
  • 9780763687199

Buy the Book

$16.99

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About Rafi Mittlefehldt

Rafi Mittlefehldt has worked as a reporter for a small-town newspaper in central Texas and has freelanced as a theater critic for Exeunt magazine. This is his debut novel. Raised in Austin, Texas, he works in book publishing and lives in New York City.

Praise

“It Looks Like This looks to be the debut novel of the season. Mike and Sean’s discovery of their love for each other is told with such exquisite tenderness, I could not put the book down, even when I knew that something dreadful was going to happen. Despite many obstacles, Mike comes into his own with the help of understanding friends, a few kind adults, a faithful dog, and Toby, the greatest little sister since Phoebe Caulfield. This is an extremely powerful book.” —Lesléa Newman, author of October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

“It Looks Like This perfectly captures the buzzing static that hits your brain the second you realize you’re not the person your parents expect you to be. A painful, poignant story about choosing compassion over anger.” —Maggie Thrash, author-illustrator of Honor Girl, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist

“The first-person narrative is easy, casual, and calm and indicative of Mike, whose quiet perceptiveness can be misconstrued by outsiders as passivity (no speech marks make the dialogue feel direct and intimate)…A haven of understanding for readers who have felt the foolish hand of ignorance trying to prevent them from knowing, being, and loving who they are.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Debut author Mittlefehldt’s direct style of writing cuts to the heart of Mike’s struggle to embrace his true self and to take control of his life, bringing freshness to a familiar plot. The story is propelled in small, quiet moments that steadily build toward much-deserved hope and acceptance.” —Publishers Weekly