Not If I See You First

Not If I See You FirstNot If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this ARC Copy from NetGalley in exchange for my review

Writing:

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It’s hard to describe but a lot of descriptor words come to mind. Honest, tragic, appropriately angsty, coming of age, relationally messy, realistic, and bittersweet.

It was a surprisingly deep book with huge nuggets of truth about the nature of co-dependent relationships and coping in a healthy way with life’s tragedies.

I really liked the perspective of the story. Because it is written from the perspective of a blind person, I feel like I was at times discovering things with her. I’ve never had the opportunity to have a close relationship with someone who is blind but I feel like this book gave me peek into what that might look like.

Cover:

I liked the cover and title. Ironic and revealing about the posture of the book and it’s characters, one of which is a snarky blind girl. Main Characters:
Parker Grant: I like Parker. I found her to be a very deep and relatable characte despite her tough and sassy exterior. Angsty, yes but also very typical as a teenager. Mood swingy, ego-centric and non-sensical. I wanted to shake her like I’ve wanted to shake many people I love who are being self-destructive and not realizing it. I love watching her transformations and discovery’s about herself. I love her messy friendships and how they teach her to pursue relationships with patience, love and kindness. Her inability to see with her eyes contrasts sharply with the inability to see with heart and yet she still has the chance to regain her sight in the most important way. There’s a very powerful message in her journey.

I love her astute observations about humanity and her own awkwardness in navigating socially.

Scott: A powerful yet mostly ‘unseen’ driving character in the novel either by his own choice or by Parker’s physical circumstance. I found it ironic that he was both intentionally and unintentionally kept unseen to Parker.

Jason: What a great catalyst character for helping Parker’s character discover things about herself in the story. I really liked him and didn’t like him. I felt REAL emotions about this character because his responses were so appropriately believable. I didn’t feel like he created a typical love triangle like in most YA books. I felt like he was used well to sharply contrast the differences between him and Scott.

Sarah and Molly: These are the faithful sidekicks that add depth to Parkers ego-centric, world-crumbling plight and validate the degree of Parker’s heartbreak. They help the reader determine what is teen angst and what is the heavy stuff that life throws at us.

Plot and pacing:

This book is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster but well paced. I feel like the author delivered relevant bits of context at the perfect time and and wrapped all the loose ends really nicely.

Honestly, I can’t think of a more perfect ending.

Inconsistencies:
None.

Romance:
Moderate. The honest hesitancy and tension of the romance in this YA novel is what made it so realistic and good. A true romance.

It should also be noted that there is some swearing. Not a deal breaker for me but it may be a deterrent for others.

(See She Would Readfor my romance rating system.)


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