You Look Something: an indigenous coming-of-age novel

Jessica Mehta (Author)


College is supposed to be the best years of your life, a time when you "find your tribe." But what does that mean for a first-generation, urban, indigenous young woman who stumbled into her freshman year to escape an abusive relationship? Armed with nothing more than piles of students loans, this is one indigenous girl's journey through the most challenging set of obstacles yet ... and finding herself in the process.

YOU LOOK SOMETHING is somewhat of a prequel to the author's award-winning debut novel THE WRONG KIND OF INDIAN (2017). When Julia breaks into college life as an indigenous, first-generation, low-income freshman dubbed "independent" by the FAFSA office due to being homeless as a teen and abandonment by both parents, she enters a world that was never meant to belong to her. Aware of the delicacy of the situation, and the guarantee of a complete fallout if she fails, she grabs onto a façade and goes all-in from joining a sorority to indulging in all of the vices tempting college students at the turn of the century.

"You Look Something" is what Julia has heard her entire life. Aware of her ability to "pass" as white, and as the only Native American child in her small, homogenously white southern Oregon hometown, she had always dreamt of getting out and making it to Portland. She just never thought it would happen by getting kicked out of her house when her parents divorced. Getting mixed up in an abusive relationship didn't help, but it did help her get to Portland.

Escaping a lifetime of dangerous relationships is just the start. YOU LOOK SOMETHING is a coming of age story about what it means to risk it all for the unknown, and the tenacity required to slowly start understanding and being yourself.

Product Details

Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing
Publish Date
April 28, 2020
5.25 X 8.0 X 0.56 inches | 0.63 pounds

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About the Author

Jessica Mehta is a multi-award-winning poet and author of over one dozen books. She's currently a poetry editor at Bending Genres Literary Review, Airlie Press, and the peer-reviewed Exclamat!on journal. During 2018-19, she was a fellow at Halcyon Arts Lab in Washington DC where she curated an anthology of poetry by incarcerated indigenous women and created "Red/Act," a pop-up virtual reality poetry experience using proprietary software. As a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and native Oregonian, place and personal ancestry inform much of Jessica's creative work. Jessica's novel The Wrong Kind of Indian won gold at the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs). Jessica has also received numerous visiting fellowships in recent years, including the Everett Helm Visiting Fellowship at the Lilly Library at Indiana University at Bloomington and the Eccles Centre Visiting Fellowship at The British Library. Visual representations of her work have been featured at galleries and exhibitions around the world including IA&A Hillyer in Washington DC and The Emergency Gallery in Sweden. Jessica is a popular speaker and panelist, featured recently at events like the US State Department's National Poetry Month event, "Poets as Cultural Emissaries: A Conversation with Women Writers," as well as the "Women's Transatlantic Prison Activism Since 1960" symposium at Oxford University.