Skip to main content

My Eyes Are Up Here- YA Book Review

My Eyes Are Up Here book on Harry Styles Treat People With Kindness Hoodie

My Eyes Are Up Here by Laura Zimmermann
Overview: Greer's life has been governed by body insecurity. She hides in XXL sweatshirts to try to take her chest out of the conversation. It doesn't stop the cruel jokes, the pain, the logistical nightmare with sports, and the impossibility of finding a dress that feels made for her. Over the course of her sophomore year, she starts to test the self-imposed limitations as she gets closer to the new guy, tries out for the volleyball team, and takes her voice back from society and her body image constraints. Overall: 4

Characters: 4 Greer is such a fun main character to follow. She is sarcastic and has a worldview that really matches my own, so we clicked quickly. She's a realist with a streak of idealism. A lot of identity comes from her braininess as she leads all her classes, and she uses it as a way to compensate for trying to pretend her physicality doesn't exist. This emerges for a wide variety of societal pressures that is unpacked throughout the entire book. Some of these, Greer doesn't even realize until she reflects back on them. She pushes herself out of her comfort zone consistently and is generally rewarded for it. A lot of these characters share a similar level of relatability.
Greer has two main friends in the book, Maggie and Jessa, that help shape her journey. They have very different outlooks on the world than Greer because they've faced different sets of experiences, even though they agree on the same basic principles. Maggie is vocal about social justice to a degree Greer finds a touch performative, but she's always trying to be on the right side of issues. She pushes Greer to love herself and step out more boldly, but she also isn't able to see some issues from Greer's perspective. Jessa is a new friend from volleyball. Jessa leads the team, and Greer admires her confidence and leadership skills. She also loves how Jessa equates her body to power and celebrates it for what it can do instead of how it looks.
Siblings and family also play a big role in this book. Most of the plot points involve the Oates family, who Greer meets through her mom's job as a relocation consultant. Greer gets to know Jackson by helping him adjust to school, but because her mom is helping his family figure out the town, they're at Greer's house a lot.
Greer has a super realistic love-casual hate relationship with her brother, Tyler. She also gets to know Jackson's 8 year old sister, Quinlan. For me, Quinlan was a bigger, more impactful part of the story than Jackson. She starts out seeming like a completely menacing, emerging kleptomaniac, but as she attaches herself to Greer, Greer comes to understand that her behavior is a manifestation of her deep loneliness and urgent craving of permanence because they move so often. In a weird way, I related to Quin most of all. Her storyline was one of the most compelling parts of the book, and these moments were shown with some of the most poetic scenes.

Plot: 4 A lot of the book revolves around Greer thinking about her boobs. She's even named them. This is a huge part of the start of the book and comes up very directly in almost every scene. I found it interesting but hard to relate to personally. There were moments that fit slightly awkwardly into the plot at the beginning. I also originally struggled with reading about a fifteen year old, which is weird cause I'm only two years older, but the more I read, the more the book opened up and captured an increasing level of nuance.
You come away from the book understanding the intersection of misogyny, body image, and the true repercussions of certain things you can't control in your life. Body wise, I am the opposite of Greer. I haven't honestly given my boobs much thought, which is a privilege in itself. I have dealt with debilitating health issues that half the population won't ever have to deal with because they're male. I have dealt with trying to use baggy clothes to erase my body from the narrative. I have gotten dress-coded and targeted for what I was wearing when I chose to dress differently. I've had what I was wearing eclipse my excellent standing as a student to the school administration.
There was one scene that particularly got me that Greer reflects on when she was 4. She was at a store playing with an engineering toy where she was intellectually excelling far beyond the boys that were there, but the adults only wanted to talk about her outfit and how pretty she was. That the day she stripped fashion and appearance out of the equation by choosing to wear baggy, bland clothes. There are lots of conversations about how clothes factor into how women are perceived, and this was a very poignant addition. If you're reading this, just reaffirm for yourself that short skirts and straight As are not mutually exclusive, as much as people want to push that divisive narrative.
 I inherently get a lot of Greer's struggles, even though I don't share hers specifically. This just shows how far reaching these issues are and how much mental space and time so many of us lose to fighting or contending with our bodies physically and within society's expectations. Most women will find some of this inherently relatable, even if not directly. It also pushes the idea that body image issues go so far beyond weight. If you've been lucky enough to not have to deal with any of these things, these super specific scenes make it impossible to ignore how intense and life shaping of an issue it is. It might make you a little more empathetic and aware.

Writing: 5 Laura has a voice that is striking from page one. I immediately latched onto it because it was a lot like my inner monologue. This is a very internal book. Greer has a ton of thoughts, and I want to hear them all, but if you're not a fan of that, this might not be the book for you. All the interactions between characters (especially within families) are so hyper realistic in a way books don't normally capture to that degree. The voice was the biggest treat for me.

Links of Interest:


  1. I love that sweat shirt in the picture and that book sounds fantastic. Follow me at


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Halsey's I Would Leave Me If I Could Poetry Review

  I Would Leave Me If I Could  by Halsey  I've started this review a couple times and scrapped all of them. I've written hundreds of reviews before, and this is the first time I have absolutely no clue how to review a book. It's not just because it's poetry. And it's not because I don't have thoughts on every single poem. I've read the book twice and scrubbed a million notes around her words and highlighted every poem on my second read through. I have so many favorites, and my heart feels like it's going to burst after finishing each poem. Halsey exceeded every expectation I had set to the high bar of her music. I almost feel like this book is too good for my review to remotely do it justice, so I don't even know where to begin.  This book is extremely vulnerable. Halsey has never held back on telling the ugly truth in her lyrics, but the poetry takes it so much farther. She has space to tell the entire story, fewer constraints than what will fit in

Swimming Lessons By Lili Reinhart Poetry Review

  Swimming Lessons  by Lili Reinhart  Overall: 5 This is the first poetry book I've ever read in its entirety outside of Shel Silverstein, so I've checked off one of my reading goals for the year with this one. I've now read a graphic novel and a book of poetry. I've been anticipating Swimming Lessons  so long that I can't believe it's actually in my hands. I've been a fan of Lili since Riverdale, and I've continued to be a fan of hers even when the show got a bit too ridiculous for me to keep watching every week. I've been excited for the chance to get to see something completely created a controlled by Lili.  I'm not sure what I expected from Swimming Lessons . I think I had almost no idea what it would be like or the topics it would cover. After the first couple poems, I was completely hooked. In the intro, Lili prefaces the collection by noting that poetry has always given her solace in knowing other people felt the same specific emotions tha

Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon: YA Book Review

Super Fake Love Song  by David Yoon Overview: Sunny Dae is sick of his California neighborhood where everyone pretends to be something they're not to keep up with all the other rich families. He's happy in his own world, LARPing with his friends, even if he gets made fun of for it at school. That is until Cirrus comes into the picture. She's undeniably cool and he's undeniably a loser in everyone's eyes, so he finds a new personality. He borrows a life from the coolest person he used to know, his older brother Gray, who's on his way to becoming a rockstar. Of course, lies like that always fall apart, and the music industry is unforgiving. It's a long fall from the top. Overall: 3  Characters: 3 This is the weirdest book I've ever read, which I'll get into more later. One part of that is the book is basically only told in details. You'd think this would help with characterization, but so many characters are left completely flat. Sunny is unashamed

My Most Anticipated of 2021/2021 ARC TBR

  A few days ago, I put out a list of my favorite books of the year that I couldn't stop talking about all year long. Now I'm here to introduce you to a brand new slate of books that I'm predicting will make my favorites list next year. These are the books I can't wait to get my hands on because they sound absolutely amazing! I've decided to separate the list into an ARC TBR so far for 2021 of ARCs I have and then to make a wishlist section below that with ARCs I hope to get or books that I'll splurge to buy. I'll include preorder links to the books that are already up for preorder so that you can easily grab a couple surprise gifts to show up throughout the year if any of these books look exciting! These will be affiliate bookshop links which means shopping the links support the blog at no cost to you. Also, if you're looking for even more 2021 books, Rachel and Vicky made the most amazing database/spreadsheet/blog to collect all the 2021 debuts togethe

The Best, The Brightest, The Totally Biased List of my Favorite Books of 2020

 Welcome to my big list of 2020 favorites! Usually, I do this award show style and give out different awards in a variety of categories I made up. This year is a little different because it's 2020, and I'm out of brain power to think of categories. These books appear in no particular order, and I selected them purely based on which books are still in my head months after I read them. I didn't read nearly as many books this year as usual, but I think I managed to read more books that I fell head over heels for than ever. Publishing a book this year is a major accomplishment in itself, so these authors all deserve extra rounds of applause for launching their books into an uncertain world, and even if a book from this year doesn't make a list, it's still incredible for existing. Even though I've already talked everyone's ears off about these books all year long, I'm going to do it one more time because they got me through both a hard and hectic year and pro

evermore book tag!

As you probably know, I absolutely adore Taylor Swift, and I recently did a folklore book tag, so I figured I should make a version of evermore as well! If you want to read that post, you can find it here . And if you want all my thoughts on folklore, you can watch my original folklore reaction on my YouTube channel here.   I'm so happy to have found an evermore book tag I loved created by  Star Is All Booked Up ! That post is linked (I really enjoyed it!), and those are the prompts I'm using here.  In this tag, I just talked about books for the prompts and didn't get into the songs. If you want more of my evermore thoughts specifically, check out my blog post of favorite lyrics here and my new reaction to evermore here . You can also scroll to the bottom of the post to watch the video as well. If you want to know more about any of the books I mention, all of their titles are linked to my review.  I hope you love the post, and let me know your favorite evermore songs in the

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant: YA Book Review

  Happily Ever Afters  by Elise Bryant  Overview: Tessa gets the writing opportunity of her dreams, but her words run out at the same time. While she can't wait to take a novel writing class at her new school, the idea of sharing her work with anyone but her best friend, Caroline, makes her unable to keep writing, even for herself. Caroline devises a plan to get her to fall in love so that she can jumpstart her creative juices for the romances Tessa writes herself into. Real life inspiration is clearly not the answer, and Tessa is left even further from the answer to all of her problems. Overall: 4 Characters: 4 While I knew this book was going to have a kind of forced dating situation as Tessa tried to get this boy to fall for her, I didn't predict the love triangle till I started reading. I'm not going to fault Bryant for using a love triangle because everyone does it, but I do have to note that these characters fall into the unfortunate side effect of most love triangles

Positions Book Tag

Today, I'm sharing a new book tag created by Cielo over at Bellerose Reads who tagged me in her new Positions book tag. I love working on book tags inspired by pop music, so I was thrilled to get the tag. If I'm being totally honest, I wasn't super into Positions, Ariana Grande's latest album. I'm much more of a Thank U Next fan because that album was far more lyrically focused. Positions reminds me a lot of Sweetener. I do like "POV", the closing track of the album. Still, I'm super excited to share the tag because these are some of the best tag questions I've ever seen. Cielo did a wonderful job coming up with really cool prompts. I had a blast thinking of books that fit them. As always, just click the book title to read my review of any of the books I mentioned. And don't forget to read the original tag here .    shut up – a book you couldn’t shut up about  There are way too many. Honestly, a ton of them are already sprinkled through this po

This Will Be Funny Someday by Katie Henry: YA Book Review

  This Will Be Funny Someday  by Katie Henry Overview: Izzy is sick of being 16. She's sick of being the "easy kid" who never causes a problem for the family or demands attention. Her mom is always busy working at her law firm, and her dad just isn't super invested. School is awful, and her controlling boyfriend makes her question what it means to be in love. And then she stumbles into a bar on comedy night, and suddenly, she finds a world so different from her own- one that's better. Though it requires maintaining more than a few lies, this new life with her college friends is too good to give up. That is, until it all comes crashing down. About growing up, being your authentic self, and navigating intense relationships for the first time, this book is incredibly relatable and quite unique in the way it approaches common YA questions. Overall: 5 Characters: 5 I relate to Izzy on a deep, deep level. From the second I read the synopsis, I knew the book was going to

Wrapping Up 2020: How'd My Reading/Blogging Go This Year

 It feels weird writing a year end post, which is probably why we're almost a week into the new year and I still haven't posted one yet. 2020 was such a hard year for the world and a weird one for me personally, and it still feels far from over. From a reading perspective, there were parts of the year that were super strong and others where I hardly picked up a book. I started the year working at a bookstore which, contrary to popular belief, made me read less than usual. I had a good run during lockdown and through the summer (though that certainly had ups and downs too), and then I started my first semester of college. That created a serious reading slump, though it wasn't like I stopped reading! In one class alone, I had 1,000 pages of reading saved in my class notebook. All the academic reading replaced my fun books, and there were moments where I honestly thought I hated reading. I wondered what was wrong with me and if I was just done with that part of my life. Over b