Heartwarming in the End | BookishFirst

Heartwarming in the End

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My Eyes are Up Here is the heartfelt story of a young woman coming of age and learning to accept herself in more ways than one. At first glance this story simply seems to be about the main character, Greer, and her challenges with accepting her body. However, the story evolves from there, showing how a young woman's relationship with her body does not stop there, but can have huge impacts on how she labels herself and restricts her own interests and growth. Greer's journey is highly relatable for anyone who has struggled with reconciling their experience within their body with the ways they'd like to engage with the world. This story of acceptance of coming-of-age is told with a healthy serving of humor on the side, which made the story more enjoyable and provided relief when it was needed.

That being said, there are a few things that brought me to my decision to give this book four stars. For the first fourth of this book, I found Greer to be an enjoyable protagonist and was definitely rooting for her. However, as the story progressed, she began to self sabotage and act unjustly towards people who were in her corner thanks to her own toxic assumptions. While internalized bias and toxicity is very important to discuss in a story like this, I felt that the resolution did not fully round out this message. Her relationship with Jackson also fell a little flat for me, especially as it grew more serious. I found that I was far more interested in Greer's relationships with her female friends and the supportive female role models in her life. Those conversations and relationships felt far more valuable. It is her friends, her teammates, her coach, and other supportive girls and women that help Greer the most. However, these relationships ultimately take a backseat in favor of her romantic relationship with Jackson. A relationship that did not quite feel earned.

I still think this book is important, especially for giving a voice to anyone who has struggled through Greer's situation. Though there are some things I would change about the story, I would also still recommend it as a quick traditional YA read.