This Isn't What It Looks Like

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This Isn't What It Looks Like
The U.S. cover
Author Pseudonymous Bosch
Illustrator Gilbert Ford
Cover artist Gilbert Ford
Country United States, England, Ireland
Language English
Series Secret Series
Genre Mystery / Adventure / Fantasy
Publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date
Published in English
September 2010
Media type Hardcover
Pages 423
Preceded by This Book Is Not Good for You
Followed by You Have to Stop This

This Isn't What It Looks Like is a book by anonymous author Pseudonymous Bosch. It is the fourth book in the pentalogy "The Secret Series", and is the sequel to This Book Is Not Good for You, If You're Reading This, It's Too Late, and The Name of this Book is Secret. The book is based on the sense of sight as the other books are based on scent, sound, and taste. It acts as the continued part of This Book Is Not Good For You, starting just after Cass eats the magic "Time-Travel" chocolate and falls into a coma, searching for her ancestor, the Jester, to find out what the Secret of immortality is, as she recently became the new Secret-Keeper of the Terces Society. Meanwhile, Max-Ernest tries to save Cass with a special monocle, as the book centers around the sense of sight.

One of the most major secrets revealed in the story is that Pseudonymous Bosch may possibly be Max-Ernest, as the later described in the story that he saw his future self writing about him and Cass. As it is unlikely Bosch actually went on the adventures Max-Ernest went on with Cass, it is possible he simply based Max-Ernest on himself as a child. He also tells the story of when he nearly drowned in a jar of mayonnaise, describing how when he was a baby an old pea had gotten stuck in the folds of his thigh, causing him to scream and cry all the time. One day, however, at a restaurant, a waitress takes him to quiet him, discovers the pea, and washes him out in a very large jar of mayonnaise to get it out. However, he sinks to the bottom, and she is unable to get him out. However, the head chef rescues him, and squeezed the pea out of his thigh. Ever since then, Pseudonymous Bosch has had a morbid fear of mayonnaise, and a warm affinity for sous chefs.


The story starts off with Cass awakening somewhere unknown to her, in an unknown time (she later finds she is in fact in the Middle Ages), not knowing who she is, where she came from, or what she is doing. She sees a young boy stuck in a tree, and tries to rescue him, only to hear him repeatedly shouting the word "Goat!", evidently frightened. He runs down the road to his father, but neither of them even look at the girl. Confused, the girl walks up to a puddle, only to see that she has no reflection, realizing that she must be invisible, and that the boy was shouting "Ghost," not "Goat." The story then switches to Max-Ernest P.O.V and Cass has been in a coma for two weeks. He has given her the antidote, so she would reawaken. However, he was unsuccessful. Meanwhile, Benjamin Blake arrives from his private school, completely changed.


  • Cass - The survivalist and main character, Cass is ready for any situation. She also has big, pointed ears that turn red often, especially when she's embarrassed or mad.
  • Max-Ernest - Cass's best friend and partner, Max-Ernest is shown to be a devoted friend; shown when he comes to see Cass every day when she's in the hospital. It is hinted that he is the younger version of the author of the series because of his new love of chocolate(he used to think he was allergic to it), and Max-Ernest seeing, with the monocle that he took when Benjamen Blake and Amber were fighting over it, what he thinks is a future version of himself writing the first book of the series.
  • Yo-Yoji - Cass and Max-Ernest's Japanese classmate who spent one year in Japan. He took part of Terces (secret spelled backwards)before Cass and Max-Ernest. He occasionally plays the guitar, which is the only reason they found out the name for Mr. Cabbage Face in the previous book.
  • The Jester(Hermes)- The founder of the Terces Society, Hermes was at first The Jester of the King, but is an eventually jailed, with a bunch of mutts, for helping Cabbage Face free. After breaking out of jail with Cass he goes on to help Anastasia be freed from being captured. Sometime after Cass leaves the past, Hermes marries Anastasia, and learns the secret. Hermes is an Ancestor of Cass, A resemblance being the unusual ears they have.
  • Anastasia- Leader of a band of bandits. Rescues the Jester and Cass from the dungeon. Marries the Jester later on.
  • Lord Pharaoh- The founder of the Midnight Sun, Cass meets him when she's in the past.
  • Cabbage Face- The invention of Lord Pharaoh, when Cass goes to the past she gives food to him and encourages to talk. Cass discovers that the author of the story got facts mixed up in "The Tale of Cabbage Face: A Gothic Tale"
  • Glob- One of the members of the Nuts Table. He has a blog all about food, therefore he receives offers from various food related companies.
  • Amber- The nicest girl in school and the third prettiest.She got her reputation ruined as the nicest girl when she lied to Max-Ernest when,with her "fortune telling" cards, she says Max-Ernest is in love with Cass but Benjamin reads her mind. She and her friend Veronica idolize the Skelton Sisters,who are secretly members of the Midnight Sun
  • Benjamin- Part of the Midnight Sun. Trained with Dr. L in the institution called New Promethean. Comes back to use the monocle on Cass to find out the secret.
  • Daniel-not-Danielle - Another member of the Nuts Table
  • Melanie - Cassandra's adoptive mother. She also goes by Mel.
  • Grandpa Larry- Cass's grandfather, Larry is not her real grandfather. He is an adopted grandfather.
  • Grandpa Wayne- Cass's grandfather, Wayne is not her real grandfather. He is an adopted grandfather.
  • The bandits- a group of people, found in Cass's vision/coma and helps Anastasia steal goods and valuables from the more rich to give to the poor.
  • The Seer (Clara or Cassandra)- A fortune teller/ hand reader/ card reader/ reads Cass's cards.
  • Mrs. Johnson- The principal at Max-Ernest, Yo-Yoji, and Cass's school. Mrs. Johnson is also a descendant of the Seer.
  • The regal beagles-
  • The guards-
  • Veronica- Amber's best friend, but not the nicest
  • Dr. L - Pietro's twin brother and also one of the antagonists along with Ms. Mauvais
  • Ms. Mauvais - The first leader of the Midnight Sun