This was definitely a book that I looked into because of the cover. The black and white with the lines of bright are just visually appealing to me. The simple cover evokes a lot of emotion, for me. And I feel like once you've read the story, you will think this cover is pretty darn perfect.
Sometimes, a book just hits you hard and leaves its imprint on you. Harmless Like You is definitely one of those books. Written in beautiful prose, this book takes you on a journey to the past, to different countries, into different minds.
We follow the story of Yuki whose Japanese family is living in New York. First, we see Yuki as a 16-year old whose father is supposed to head back to Japan. With a lot of fighting, she convinces her family to let her stay in New York with a friend, Odile, to finish out her schooling. Living with her friend opens her eyes and her world to a new sort of life. There's an interesting twist with their friendship and Yuki's path hits some unexpected bumps.
The story also follows Jay, who is a new father and is having a hard time coping with this. Jay's father recently passed away. Jay must now travel across the world to find his mother, who abandoned him when he was two.
This book is slow. It will take you a while to get into it. And you may be like me and you may read it over the course of many weeks. It has nothing to do with the writing or the style, not for me at least. Not in a negative way. Buchanan's writing wove itself into my body, into my mind, into my heart. I would get...weird anxiety-like symptoms when reading this book. Again, not because I didn't want to read it. The writing style really brings you into the story, makes you part of the story, makes you live the story. You feel what these characters feel. And a lot of what these characters feel are uncomfortable emotions. So, I would read, get super involved for a few pages, then have to take a step back.
It has been around 6 months since I finished this book. I still think about it randomly when I am doing other things. These characters...they will stay with you.This is one I will definitely re-read and purchase to put on my shelves. If you are a fan of family relationships, coming of age stories, and beautiful prose, this is a must read for you!