October 16, 2015

Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

Young Adult
Pages: 320 pages
Publisher: Poppy 
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Goodreads / Amazon

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 suddenly 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 still 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. 

Wow. This was a surprising change from all that's out there in contemporary YA. Parker's voice was strong and fierce. She breaks the mold for the poor, sweet disabled kid, and breaks it with a bang! I absolutely adored getting to "see" the world through her "eyes". This novel made me think about SO MANY things we seldom think about when it comes to blind people.

The plot was honestly, quite original and different. There were many points while reading when I thought I knew I could predict what would happen next and it feels good to announce I was wrong every single time. I'm glad this is one of those novels were the (disabled) character realizes HER flaws and how she's screwed up instead of just being the damsel in distress that needs to make a stand or find her voice to be heard.

Friendship was another STRONG point in this one. I love stories that remind me vividly what it was like to have a BEST friend in my teen years. A friend that you thought of as a soul mate, as your other half, because that was what I experienced. Even more, SEVERAL friends that are so close that become much more than your own family. It's bizarre, and it's a bond that can only be made in childhood. At least, that's what I believe.

And then there is the love interest. Scott could not have been more perfect. Not even if he did what I thought he would the whole time. I love how the story unraveled in an unusual manner yet had the perfect ending. If only there were more of these rare contemporary gems!

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