*I received a free copy of Not If I See You First from Little Brown Books for Young Readers via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on 1 December 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2017 Blogger Shame, COYER Blackout
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.
Not If I See You First was both delightful and sad. Very real, and with a dash of drama thanks to Parker and the way she thought about herself first – like many other teenagers tend to do.
I’m not sure why I kept Not If I See You First for so long on my kindle without reading it – it was as if it was hiding in plain sight! Parker was a very prickly heroine, and some might not enjoy her at all. I found her to be refreshing in some ways, though, because not only was she brutally honest, she was able to deal with the aftermath of her honesty as well. Her life was not an easy one, and I guess that is partly why I was indulgent with her. Also, I think a lot of teens are quite self absorbed and somewhat unable to put themselves in someone else’s situation. This is especially true for Parker, as her own situation was so complex it was impossible for her to imagine that other people had their own pains and their own drama.
It’s not the first time I read a young adult story with a blind heroine, but I think Not If I See You First made a greater impression on me for several reasons. Parker did her very best to be independent and follow her own dreams. From running in the morning to navigating school mostly on her own. And I found the fact that she was able to ask for help when she really needed it good, too – even if she could be abrupt to the point of impolite when shutting people down when she didn’t need their help.
Not If I See You First is a multilayered story, it deals with Parker’s disability. And it also deals with grief. And it definitely deals with trust and forgiveness, too. Parker’s prickliness could even be a good thing, because her abrasive personality shows that not everybody has to be people pleasers, as she still had friends who stood by her. And those friends were more numerous than she had anticipated when she really needed them. Thus dealing with several important moments in Parker’s life, and seeing her coming to the realisation that her friends and acquaintances have feelings too was something I really enjoyed!
Written in first person point of view, from Parker’s perspective, and in present tense, I really discovered things alongside Parker. This made me sometimes come to the same conclusions as her, even if I have more experience and should have been able to see things from a different angle. I guess I got so immersed in her I wasn’t able to take that step back and be more analytical, and that’s a good point in Not If I See You First’s favor.
It’s a common belief that losing your sight heightens your other senses, and it’s true, but not by magnifying them. It just gets rid of the overwhelming distraction of seeing everything all the time. On the other hand, my experience of sitting with Marissa consisted almost entirely of hearing everything her mouth and nose were capable of in sticky detail. That’s what unrequited love sounds like to me. Disgusting.
“I only want to help,” she says. She sounds like she means it. Like I’m hurting her feelings. But if someone’s feelings get hurt when they insist on giving me something I don’t want, I don’t see how that’s my fault. It doesn’t get us anywhere, though.
Faith and I don’t hang out, mainly because we have almost nothing in common anymore. We cat like we don’t get along but we’re the opposite of frenemies; we’re friends who pretend to be enemies. I guess that makes us enemends.★★★★★ #Review Not If I See You First was both delightful and sad, and quite realistic! #COYER Click To Tweet