I was approved this book on NetGalley last December, and only just got round to reading it! I always like YA novels because I use them to brea up the heavy adult reads, and I know I can whizz through them pretty quickly, and this was no exception. A fabulous twist on the classic YA features…
Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:
About The Book
‘Not If I See You First’ by Eric Lindstrom
Parker Grant doesn’t need perfect 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.
When Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart, suddenly reappears at school, Parker knows there’s only one way to react – shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough to deal with already, like trying out for the track team, handing 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. 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.
Combining a fiercely engaging voice with true heart, Not If I See You First illuminates those blind spots that we all have in life, whether visually impaired or not.
Not If I See You First is a YA novel set in an American high school, typical of the genre. It follows Parker Grant through her school, home and love life as a teenager, and how she copes with being blind. When she finds out her ex-boyfriend is back after a high school merger in the town, Parker tries to avoid him, before realising that she may actually still like him and forgive him for that terrible thing he did all those years ago. Can she gain his trust again? Meanwhile, Jason comes along and throws another line for Parker to follow, and the love triangle sets in, again, typical of the YA genre. The story is told from Parker’s point of view and, due to the nature of the book and the generic conventions we know are connected with YA novels, the ending is somewhat predictable, but there is a slight climax at the end. The novel is steadily paced, faster in places, but everything is logical and well researched into how becoming blind would have an affect on your life, and how you learn to deal with the changes.
I feel like Parker was the easiest character to connect to, or rather empathise with, but I did really like the way Molly’s character was written as well. It was interesting, because the novel was narrated by a blind girl, the characters don’t go much on looks, but more on ways in which they speak and act, their personalities, rather than physical characteristics. In a way, I think this made them feel more real for me, because that’s how it would be if you can’t see, which then made it easier to connect with Parker.
The story did sometimes keep me guessing, but, as I mentioned, it followed so many similar conventions to other YA novels I have read that it was quite predictable. My favourite part of the book was when Parker managed to run by herself around the track, because it really made me feel as though, if she is able to do that, then I can accomplish things too if I am determined and committed enough, which is a big moral in the story. The scenes where Parker talks to her Dad were particularly well written, as it’s difficult trying to communicate with a character who is no longer there, but this is done very well. I don’t seem to remember dramatically laughing or crying, but the book did strike me with some emotion throughout, particularly happiness. When the characters were happy, I was happy. Not If I See You First does teach you a lot of things, not just about coping when blind, but also about trusting your friends and family, and trust in a relationship, commitment and dedication to a thing that you love!
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fan of YA novels, as this is, as I have pointed out in the review, very typical of the genre, but an easy read with a good twist and well developed characters.
My Rating: 4 Muffins out of 5
Where To Buy
If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):
Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)