Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Book #Review: Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

Book Title: Not If I See You First
Author:  Eric Lindstrom |Website| Twitter| Facebook|
Publisher: Poppy/ Little Brown
Genre: Realistic Fiction (YA)
Series/Standalone: Stand Alone
Format: Hardcover
Cost: $18.00
Pages: 320
How I got it: BEA (Book Expo America) 2015
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
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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.

I absolutely loved this book. I cried, I laughed, I was enlightened by this book.  I mentioned before that I have Keratoconus and how it affects my reading and my life (See here if you haven't seen the post yet).  As I read this book I realized how much more of my life will change if I do go blind, I never realized how much of conversations take place with just our facial features and out emotions being read by others.  It's been a while since I have read a book with a female character who is blind.  These books always hit me harder than others and reading this one was so good and so emotional. I highly recommend it because she is such a wonderful character to read, And she had great character relationships and she grows so well and has awesome well rounded friends and even makes more friends as the story progresses.

I totally loved the lead character, she was brash, funny, witty, ballsy and oh so real.  She grieved and she was so raw with what she was feeling and thinking.  I loved that this book had a love interest but it wasn't about falling in love, it was about finding your way in the world when you realize that no matter how independent you think you are, you still rely on the world and it's common decency when you have a disability.  I loved as the character went through the year she realized that her being blind physically was also causing her to be blind emotionally as well as figuratively.  Because she couldn't see the looks others gave her, she just busted into lives with or meaning to or understanding how her words were taken.  She never saw the reactions, she only heard those that were loud and made for her to hear, but the hurt expressions those she never saw, and you understand how she's also excluded by those who want to carry on without her knowing everything as well.  

I loved that she was shown that her rules while they may protect her, they also imprisoned her as well.  I loved the progression of growth for her, her new friendships, the old friendships rekindled, the adults in her life that she has to train to treat her right and her own personal understanding as she realized that she was missing out on so much because she wasn't willing to change a little.  I learned so much about how the blind navigate the world and how different it can be for each person.  I loved the talk about the special Olympics, especially because she is a runner which I was in high school and this made me love her even more.  The scenes where she is running and you realize so much of who we are is tied to sight, and how much we need others to not be there to harm us, especially when she was running in the small park by herself. When the teacher approached her just like her the hair stood up on the back of my neck, because in that moment we realized just how vulnerable she truly was.  And this is when she begins to understand her world wasn't how she knew it.

This story was extremely emotional and yet so good, no crazy high school drama, just the regular student body stuff and yet, it was written in a way that made you feel as if you were their and apart of the student body.   I loved that she had so many great friends, and wasn't just a 'loser' nor the 'special butterfly'.  She was just real and I loved it so much.  I couldn't put it down.

I highly recommend, not just because the characters are diverse, but because they are well written and the story is engaging adn because we finally get to have a character who is and isn't special.  And when you read it you will understand what I mean by that.  I would have totally loved to have been her firend in high school or college, she is pretty kick ass.

This is going on my top favorites of 2015 list, I hope you will read it and enjoy as much as I did, if you've read it why not share your reaction down below, and as always my loves, 
Happy Reading