Friday, May 20, 2016

Review: Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

Title: Not If I See You First
Author: Eric Lindstrom
Year Published: 2015

Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 310
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2016 Google Reading map)USA (??)

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library

Summary (from the back of the book):
 The rules. Don't deceive me. Ever. Especially using my blindness. Especially in public. Don't help me unless I ask. Otherwise you're just getting in my way or bothering me. Don't be weird. Seriously, other than having my eyes closed all the time, I'm just like you only smarter.

Parker Grant doesn't need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That's why she created the Rules: Don't treat her any differently just because she's blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart.

When Scott reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there's only one way to react--shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that's right, her eyes don't work but her legs do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn't cried since her dad's death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened--both with Scott and her dad--the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken.

Review: I had a fabulous day and read this book in one day! Boy does that feel good. This is a good YA book in terms of character and story, but there seemed to be something else, another level, that really added to it and has meant that I keep thinking about it.

Going blind at the age of seven means Parker has memories of sight and can remember what her friends and family looked like when they were younger. She remembers rainbows, flowers, and smiles even though she can no longer see them. She is bold, speaks her mind (to a fault), and is extremely independent. I think the author did a great job of showing someone who refuses to let a disability stop them from doing whatever they want while still exposing how we all put up barriers when something is scary. Parker definitely holds people at a distance so she can't be hurt again, not a surprise after losing both parents and worrying that people will take advantage of one's blindness.

However, near the end there is a scene with Parker and her best female friend. It has really stuck with me. They are raw and honest with one another in a way I haven't seen in a YA book thus far. They don't just tell each other how they feel and what they want. I can't really explain it, but I loved their conversation.

I think students will like this one and I hope it would make them think about how all of us are with our expectations of ourselves and others.

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