Body Grammar by Jules Ohman
published June 14th, 2022
A coming-of-age queer love story set in the glamorous but grueling world of international modeling—a “terrific debut … roiling with deep questions of identity and art, love, and the irrepressible need for meaning in life” (Jess Walter, bestselling author of The Cold Millions)
By the time Lou turns eighteen, modeling agents across Portland have scouted her for her striking androgynous look. Lou has no interest in fashion or being in the spotlight. She prefers to take photographs, especially of Ivy, her close friend and secret crush.
But when a hike ends in a tragic accident, Lou finds herself lost and ridden with guilt. Determined to find a purpose, Lou moves to New York and steps into the dizzying world of international fashion shows, haute couture, and editorial shoots. It’s a whirlwind of learning how to walk and how to command a body she’s never felt at ease in. But in the limelight, Lou begins to fear that she’s losing her identity—as an individual, as an artist, and as a person still in love with the girl she left behind.
A sharply observed and intimate story of grief and healing, doubt and self-acceptance set against the hyper-image-conscious industry of modeling and high fashion, Body Grammar shines with the anxieties of finding your place in the world and the heartbreaking beauty of pursuing love.
I really enjoyed this vibrant, complex book about teenagers growing up and coming of age and discovering who they are and who they are going to be. The main character, Lou, is very good and well-voiced, but I also enjoyed all of the side characters and the people she comes across; they’re complex in ways that don’t always relate back to Lou. This book is evocative and transgender and explores the nature of the body versus the self, which relates back to the title of BODY GRAMMAR. This book gets four and a half stars from me, rounded up for NetGalley. Booksweet link here.