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Non 1001 Book Review: Not If I See You First Eric Lindstrom

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Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom
Published in: 2015
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: ★★★
Find it here: Not If I See You First

This ARC was provided by Harper Collins UK (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

Combining a fiercely engaging voice with true heart, debut author Erid Lindstrom’s Not If I See You First illuminates those blind spots that we all have in life, whether visually impaired or not.

Book Worm’s Thoughts: I have given this book a solid 3 stars. It is a good read, but for me it lacked that extra something that makes a good read great.

Parker, the narrator, is blind and she makes it into her trademark rather than letting it hold her back.  Being blind is both good and bad for Parker.  On the one hand she can speak her mind without having to worry about what people think because she can’t see how they react. However the lack of visual information also puts a barrier between herself and others and allows her to live in an enclosed world. As Parker is not aware of the subtle visual clues that we all take for granted. She decides how to interpret everything she cannot see and sometimes her interpretation is entirely wrong — something she is just beginning to realize.

I enjoyed the dynamic between Parker and her friends and I liked seeing how things would work for her at school, especially how the school buddy system allowed her to maintain her independence. I really liked the section where she starts running track and the solutions for how to allow this to happen, and her method of shopping to avoid being ripped off. I also appreciated the fact that Parker could be and often was a bitch.

This is probably my favourite moment in the whole book as I could just visualize it and it would be hilarious;

“The show begins. For the next eleven hours it’s the Lord of the Rings trilogy with Descriptive Audio turned on. It’s hilarious. Listening to the narrator quickly and dispassionately give deadpan descriptions of Frodo’s weepy expressions, arrows penetrating eye sockets, Arwen’s soulful looks of immortal love and the decapitations of countless orcs have us roaring with laughter one moment and shushing each other the next”

So who would enjoy this book? This is a young adult book and I think the target audience will really enjoy it. Among those of us who left school several years ago it will appeal to readers who like a good tear jerker. It doesn’t meet the weepy standard set by The Fault in Our Stars but there were a few moments when I felt myself tearing up. It will also appeal to those who like strong female characters, friendships-focused books and romantics who love a happy ending.

Added Bonus – This fulfills my scavenger hunt item #21: a book with no images on the cover.

Want to try it for yourself? You can find a copy here: Not If I See You First

We want to hear from you! Do you think this book is for you and do you plan to read it? Why or why not? 

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. What an interesting premise for a book, and I love the cover design with the Braille in there too. Parker sounds feisty but also a little vulnerable, with her rules to hide behind. I just looked at the author’s website to see if there was anything on there about how he researched the book and apparently the Braille isn’t the same as the title, it’s a sub title based on a theme in the book. Clever!

    Did the book give you a sense of what it might be like to be blind, Bookworm?

    Like

    January 27, 2016
    • Wow thanks for hint about Braille on cover will have to find out what it means. Each chapter also has a Braille character I assumed they were numbers but maybe not.

      In terms of getting a feel for blindness we don’t learn how Parker feels about it as its just who she is however it gives you an idea of the practical challenges like how you what you are wearing or what you are buying and things like getting about I really appreciated the insight

      Like

      January 28, 2016
      • I guess that’s it, isn’t it? If you’re blind, that’s just how it is. A blind person doesn’t know any different, just like a seeing person doesn’t know how to not see. We did a training session at work with a local charity that supports blind people in work and communities. We took it in turns to wear a visor that took away our vision, and be guided around an exhibit by our partner. It was interesting, but when someone was doing descriptions I couldn’t not ‘see’ the things because I knew what they looked like and could visualise them. It made me think about words differently and how I attach images to them, which would have no meaning for someone who couldn’t visualise them. I suppose words might have touch associations for someone blind.
        The thing I read said something about the cover being Grade 1 Braille, but the Braille inside the book is Grade 2 which has contractions. I didn’t even know there were grades of Braille! Good luck translating it, if you have a go!

        Like

        January 28, 2016

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