December 1, 2015

Review: Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom
Publication date: Dec. 1, 2015
Publisher: Poppy
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Received via Netgalley from publisher (Thanks!)
Summary: 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 & 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, Parker knows there's only one way to react -shun him completely. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that's right!), 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. (greads.com)

The Good
Not If I See You First hit me in a way I didn’t expect. It’s raw, unflinchingly honest and written extremely well. I was swept in to experiencing Parker Grant’s world as she does. She’s blind and has very distinct rules not only for how she approaches life, but for how she expects to be approached. They’re pretty straight-forward. Don’t deceive her (especially in a way that’s humiliating or uses her blindness to do so). Don’t treat her differently. Don’t touch her without asking. And in light of everything that’s happened to her recently — her father died three months ago and her aunt, uncle and cousins moved into her house — she refuses to cry or change her routines. Parker has been determined to handle things in a very black and white way and this book is about how she learns to embrace the shades of gray in life. It’s a very internal journey but that makes it no less moving.

What I loved is that the author doesn’t strive to make the reader feel bad for Parker or show her in a sympathetic light. We find out that she loves to run on her own, which given her blindness, is just unbelievable. But the running and her every day moments consists of constantly counting steps, memorizing the route, and feeling out what’s in front of her. As we’re in her shoes, we’re given insight into little things like how startling a touch can be if you don’t see it coming. On the flip side, Parker inability to see allows her to speak freely since she can’t gauge reactions (which was awesome especially because she and her best friend have turned this into a special service where they give advice to classmates). But going further, we see how her strict rules and worry over how she gets treated sometimes makes her less aware of how she treats the people in her life. We pretty get much the good, bad and the ugly of Parker and I loved that. Eventually she can’t sustain these rules and as these walls get broken down (either by friends, family or otherwise), she grows as a person and instead of shying away, she approaches every realization straight on. There are beautiful moments and conflicts with her best friend (loved those scenes; one in particular made me cry!) and also with Scott, a former someone special. Everything was just handled so well. I can’t say that enough.

(No) Reservations
Even though the ending put a smile on my face, I did want just one more page! If you read it, you’ll totally get why.

Do I recommend?
I do! I very much enjoyed the story, the characters and how it was all written. I haven’t heard much from anyone else about this book yet so I feel like it’s flying under the radar. Definitely worth checking out.

3 comments:

  1. Ah, now I really want to read Not If I See You First! I think I'd enjoy it, since our reading tastes are so similar and you seem to have really liked it. It would be interesting to read about a blind main character too, as I don't think I've read a book with a blind MC before!

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  2. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this one! There's often a surprising lack of blind protagonists in YA so it's a relief to hear that this one handles that aspect well.

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