Just by looking at him

Just By Looking At Him by Ryan O’Connell was a great summer read for me. I found it really entertaining, but can see why maybe this isn’t for everyone. It comes as no surprise how spot on he is about living in LA and especially working in the entertainment industry that calls this place home. I definitely laughed out loud at certain points as he described this confounding place that swallows you whole and spits you out if you’re not ready. Back in my going out days I remember talking to aspiring actors or writers and always looking at them with this “oh. You poor thing” look. Which sure is probably condescending, but honestly I was just worried about them because that industry takes no prisoners and it is like the abusive lover your best friend keeps going back to and all you can do is stand there and watch. Hollywood for all its glitz, has a seedy underbelly they love to ignore.

Beyond that I thought this was a really good relationship story, and his examination of his relationship was poignant and spot on. I felt called out because as a non-disabled person I definitely need to do better about considering disabled people in my advocacy and especially my job. This book was at its strongest when he was examining those power dynamics in a relationship as a disabled person and his reflections on learning to love himself, by himself. I think it spoke volumes to how we approach our relationships and why even if things are going “well,” it’s a sign of things unsaid or untouched.

Be warned though that this book is RAUNCHY, and it definitely made me blush, hehe. But it was funny and I really think a lot of my LA peeps, especially those that work or have worked in “the industry,” will probably enjoy this one. My favorite quote about my beloved city, “He lived ten minutes away, so we had to take seven freeways to get there.” IYKYK.

[ID: The novel Just By Looking At Him rests at an angle, laying flat by a pool]

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Just by looking at him
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