Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstom

Publisher: Poppy
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
Pages: 320
Source: BEA
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
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. --Goodreads
Parker Grant is a high schooler who doesn’t let anything get in the way.  And if they are in the way, her friends have her back or she taps louder with her walking stick.  No, she is not Gandalf; she is blind.  Parker is a runner, wishing to join the track team but dreading trying out.  Coping with her father’s death, she runs faster and by herself.  When she has a date with a senior, it brings back memories of a boy from middle school—a boy she used to love.  It is one thing to be blind on the outside but blind on the inside is something else entirely.

Eric Lindstrom is the coolest.  Can we have more YA books with blind protagonists? It was really a different reading experience with one of the main character’s senses gone.  I read Soundless by Richelle Mead which presents a whole village who lost their hearing.  While reading, the protagonists will think differently, will act differently but it doesn’t mean they are not relatable.  Parker Grant doesn’t let her blindness stop her and readers will love that about her.  She treks through high school, blind, but fully capable of anything.  Her voice is magnificent, strong and fierce.

Not If I See You First is an incredibly emotional but inspiring ride through Parker’s high school life.  Sure, you are going to run into drama, especially boy drama, there’s bullying, but there’s also friendship.  Parker’s friends definitely make reading Not If I See You First’s emotional rollercoaster bearable.  They are the type of friends I wish I could have.  These characters, though not in-depth, are balanced and developed well-enough to understand the bare minimum from each one.  Still, it’s Parker’s story.  

I don’t usually read books like this one.  There is a limited plot, in which it is the life of high school-- the biggest conflict is Parker's qualms about Scott.  I'd much rather read books when there is a balance between plot and characters.  In this case, Lindstrom decided to focus on Parker’s characterization, rather than a plot.  Being blind and having the desire to run is one of the main focuses of the book.  The romance aspect of the book didn't really struck me as romance because Parker's conflict was Scott was only mentioned when he happened to be near by.  

I was hoping for more.  The book opened with the death of Parker's father, the body having been found by the daughter herself.  I thought we were in for a real treat like a mystery of who killed the father.  Instead, I am a bit disappointed.  Parker’s journey doesn’t really concern her dad, except to cope with his death, rather understand and survive high school.

Overall, Not If I See You First is a wild, emotional ride which presents the life of a blind girl going through high school.  It wasn’t spectacular but it was amusing with some spunky characters.  Eric Lindstrom knows how to create a fantastic cast of characters to develop the mood but he needs to work on his plots.

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  1. Ooooh this one sounds great. I'm curious about that senior lol