About My Book Reviews

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

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Title: Not If I See You First

Author: Eric Lindstrom

Published: 2015

Genre: Contemporary

Grade Level: YA

-Trigger Warning: Grief

-Movie Rating: R-rated for vulgar language

-Features: Physical Disability (blindness)

Blurb (from goodreads):
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, doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naïve 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.

My Scores:

Writing Style: Top Notch

As you can tell from the title, this book is full of dark/witty humor. 

Simply the fact that the MC is blind it provides the reader with a very unique perspective on the world. She doesn’t see all the non-verbal ques those around her give off, so she is forced to make her best educated guess. She also isn’t privy to the judgement people have of each other based on the color of their skin or their body shape, which is intriguing.

I love the way the MC’s emotions are shown in the writing style. Many times, the MC would have spiraling thoughts that got way out of control and the author would use run-on sentences to convey that.

For example: "I remember something like this from when I was little kid, running downstairs, feet in a rhythm in time with gravity’s pull as your body drops down, down, down—thump thump thump—and then suddenly you think about what you’re doing and something changes…Your brain was controlling your feet automatically but then you’re suddenly handed the controls and now you’re aware of needing to execute every single step one at a time, like thinking about your breathing and then your body stops doing it and you have to take over and do it yourself and you wonder how you can stop doing it and give control back to whatever part of your brain normally does it when you’re not paying attention, but your brain just hands you the steering wheel while you’re running down the stairs and suddenly you’re driving but incapable of handling this speed and in that moment you either manage to slow down, you stumble, or you fall."

I am seriously impressed by this, because I have literally felt this way before but I’m not sure I could have managed to put it to paper any better than this.

Characters: Absolutely Amazing

The MC, Parker, has most certainly stolen a piece of my heart. I loved the first-person voice of this character. She was sarcastic, bold, outspoken, and independent to a fault. Nothing and no one was going to stop her from doing what she wanted, no matter how reckless it happened to be.

I related to her on so many levels and I simply adored her dark/witty sense of humor.

Other reviewers have commented that Parker isn’t the most likable of characters. However, my interpretation was that she wasn’t supposed to be. Anyone who has gone through trauma or grief knows that you’re not the most likable person afterwards. You build walls, shove people away, and over-objectify other people’s problems because none of them could possibly compare to the ones you’re going through. So, to me, Parker was a wonderful character to root for as she worked though her grief and interpersonal relationships.

I do have to say, though, that I missed having the non-verbal ques that every other book has. Not having them gave off a very disjointed feeling. However, again, I think that’s exactly what this book is trying to get the audience to acknowledge about the difficulties of being blind. I truly didn’t grasp that particular struggle until reading this book.

As for all the side characters, such as the two friend characters, the family, and the love interest, I felt like they were real people. I felt about them the same way the MC felt about them. I missed having the typical description of them, but again that is part of the perspective we were given.

I think it would have been interesting if this book had been duel-perspective, so that I could get a better sense of how other people viewed Parker, especially the love interest. Although, that is less of a ‘con’ and more like a ‘want.’

Plot: Absolute Page Turner

The plot for this novel is based around the MC dealing with her past. The loss of her father. The betrayal of her boyfriend. The pity and isolation she receives from those around her since she went blind.

There is a side of romance, but it’s not the driving force of this book.

I found it to be well paced, heart-wrenching, and unbelievably inspirational.

Overall: Totally Obsessed

If you can’t tell, I loved this book! It was my first book with a blind MC and now I can’t wait to find other books with similar perspectives. I’m dying to see what else this disability has to offer.

-Treat people with disabilities like people. Period.

Goodreads Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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