Not If I See You First
by Eric Lindstrom
Published on December 1st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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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.
From the moment I read the title of this book I knew I was up for a rollercoaster of emotions. Not If I See You First is the story of Parker Grant, junior high school student who has been blind since she was a little girl after a car accident. With both parents dead–one for years and the other recently deceased–Parker still isn’t used to the idea of not having her dad around. She has to get used to new routines with her aunt and her family living all crammed up in Parker’s house, plus the immersion of a high school from the other side of town mixing with her own. Nothing should come out of that, except that Parker discovers that the one guy whom she trusted enough to love but betrayed her is going to be there as well.
I loved Parker. She has a dry and witty sense of humor, sass, and constant sarcasm in the things she said as mostly a result of being blind. She tells the truth as it is and once you lose her trust, it’s better to not even approach her. Even with her blindness, she has great friends who treat her like anybody else and that care for her through all her weird things. However, said blindness would get to her head sometimes that whatever people felt towards her was for a pity of her being blind, and often would think that things revolved around her handicap. And other times, Parker would be blind to things with or without her eyes about the people she cared about and the things around her. In the beginning of the book we have this impression that she is the center of the universe. But as the story develops more, so does she in acknowledging these other things, thus showing great character development.
At first I thought this would be a story about love and how it was all a misunderstanding. And while it does deal with this, it is not the main problem here. Parker also deals with understanding her family through her grief, come to terms with her own past, and get over her big head. It touches topics such as how people can be blind without actually being physically blind, striving for the things you want even if everyone else says that you can’t, and second chances.
“It’s amazing how people can be so blind to what’s good for them and what isn’t, what’s truth and what’s not, or the difference between secrets and things just not yet known.”
It slightly touches the topic of depression and how it can take over your life if you let it, and how emotions can get out of control.
But what really got to me was that this was a blind character. I have seen and met people who are blind, but I’ve barely gotten myself to think what it’d be like to be on their shoes, to experience the world without seeing it. Parker here talks exactly about that, how blind people have learned to cope, how they go about their day, and many other things that really get to you if you don’t personally know a blind person. You really empathize with this peculiar character and all the hardships she goes through feel like your own. I felt the urge to cry from the first page, a person who doesn’t cry easily over books.
“My view never changes, but other than different people and cars on the street every day, I don’t think their view changes much either.”
Not If I See You First really opens your eyes into appreciating the things you have, to remember the ones whom we’ve lost not only for their flaws but the good things they’ve done in their life. We all make mistakes for one thing or another, but everyone deserves to be heard and be given second chances. And that there is no goal hard or far enough to reach if you put your mind to it. Not If I See You First is a story that is sure to capture readers with its fantastic main character, and I can’t wait to see what else the author writes in the future. Definitely worth the read.
Addicted reader, and lover of books. I’m a full-time college student majoring in English Lit with aspirations of becoming an author and doing a double major in languages. Oui.
I’ve loved books since before I was a year old. My reading list consisted of children’s books raging from Dr. Seuss and Charlotte’s Web to Clifford the Big Red Dog and Joody Moody. Much later, after reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, I got sucked into Young Adult books with a whole new world of fiction at my grasp. I spend most of my time either reading, writing, or watching series on Netflix, such as The Vampire Diaries, Doctor Who, New Girl, or anything else that is fantasy, paranormal, or sci-fi.
As for my writing career, it is currently limited to brainstorming and sharing my endless ideas mostly with my co-blogger, Marianne, with the hope of one day all those ideas clicking together into a novel. In the mean time, I just keep practicing to get better. When not writing (usually about vampires) or watching Netlix, I can be found doing crochet, drawing, and acquiring more books than what I can read at once, or trying to study.