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Book Review: Just By Looking At Him by Ryan O’Connell

Title: Just By Looking At Him

Author: Ryan O’Connell

Publisher: Sphere

Length: 292 pages

Synopsis: Elliot is a TV writer with a perfect-penised boyfriend. He’s living the dream. But behind the glossy veneer he’s been papering over the cracks, and they’re starting to show. He’s creatively stifled, he’s drinking a little too often and his cerebral palsy makes him feel like gay Shrek. When River walks in, Elliott’s life is turned upside down in the best way. River is funny, charming and makes him feel seen. But maybe that’s part of the deal when you hire a sex worker. Elliott is lost and he needs someone, anyone, to point him in the right direction. After all, it’s a long limp towards redemption.

Smart. Funny. Sexy. Poignant. But enough about me let’s talk about Just By Looking At Him.

There’s so much to love about this book. 

It’s a look a queer culture, and what it’s like to grow up queer wondering if you’ll ever have what you’ve grown up seeing and that really resonated with me.  The main character, Elliot, also has Cerebral Palsy and it’s really interesting and touching look into growing up wondering how life will turn out. 

It’s also a really funny, of course you’ll know Ryan is funny if you’ve seen the show Special on Netflix. Elliot is a brilliant main character to follow as he struggles to realise how to make himself happy and whole. There’s so much depth and nuance to him that’s a real testament to Ryan’s writing. 

And damn, it’s hot AF. That’s all I’m gonna say on that front. 

Just By Looking At Him is a difficult book to put down, with its short and sharp chapters, that will ultimately leave you with a full heart.

Thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out today!

Until the next review