Look cover
Look by Zan Romanoff

by Zan Romanoff

Dial, 2020
368 pages

Age 14 and older

High school senior Lulu regularly uploads photos and video to a platform called Flash (think Snapchat). Lulu meets down-to-earth Cass at a party. Although Cass is uninterested in social media and stereotypical trappings of moneyed teens in L.A., Cass’s best friend, Ryan Riggs, is the teenage brother of Flash’s founder. Ryan is renovating a formerly grand hotel built by his great-grandfather as his family “project.” Lulu and Cass regularly hang out at the unfinished hotel, which feels like a refuge. Ryan prohibits anyone else from taking photos there but is constantly framing his visitors through the lens of his own camera. As Lulu and Cass fall for each other, the hotel becomes their intimate, private space—until Ryan betrays them. Lulu, white and Jewish, had already begun thinking critically about media’s treatment of women through reading for her cinema studies class and discussions with Cass. Ryan’s unconscionable violation of their trust and privacy intensifies her reflection on the female body, from her own to Ryan’s great-grandmother’s, a silent film star whose work seeded the family fortune, as possession and commodity. Lulu’s thinking about what she chooses to share on platforms like Flash shifts with her expanding perspective on female exploitation; the relevance and immediacy of these issues in the lives of teens today, along with the complexity and depth of Lulu’s relationships with family and friends, both add to the satisfying substance of this queer romance. ©2020 Cooperative Children’s Book Center