Hardcover, 416 pages
Published December 31st 2015 by HarperCollins Children’s Books (first published December 1st 2015)
I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
"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.
Not If I See You First illuminates those blind spots that we all have in life, whether visually impaired or not."
Parker Grant is a really strong character who leaps off the page. She is not always likeable, as she's sometimes selfish but I admire her for her tenacity and determination. There are also a lot of funny moments in this book as she always says what she thinks and she quite enjoys getting a reaction out of people from her blindness; even if she doesn't want to be treated any differently from anybody else.
I also found it interesting to read about what life is like for someone who is blind, it definitely made me think about how much harder some things would be.
The story follows Parker as she navigates high school and tries to live as normal a life as possible with her blindness. She has a few close friends but they go through some difficult patches through the novel and Parker learns a lot and grows up a lot. These were some very emotional scenes in the book that made me cry.
Parker also has a set of rules that she wants people around her to follow and Scott is one person who broke her rules who she has vowed never to forgive. I enjoyed finding out about their history as Parker begins to think more about how reasonable her rules are.
This is an excellent debut novel. 5 out of 5 from me.
About the Author
In addition to writing Young Adult novels, Eric Lindstrom has worked in the interactive entertainment industry for years as a creative director, game designer, writer, and usually combinations of all three. As Editor and Co-Writer for Tomb Raider: Legend he received a 2006 BAFTA nomination for Best Video Game Screenplay, and then as the Creative Director for Tomb Raider: Underworld he received a 2009 BAFTA nomination for Best Action Adventure Video Game and a 2009 WGA nomination for Best Writing in a Video Game.
He has also raised children, which led to becoming first a school volunteer, then a substitute teacher, then a part time kindergarten teacher, then getting a credential to teach elementary school, and most importantly the discovery that YA literature is awesome. It’s pretty much all he ever reads, and now writes, in his house near the beach on the west coast, with his wife and, yes, cats.