Love and First Sight
Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Published January 3rd, 2017
About Love and First Sight
Love is more than meets the eye.
On his first day at a new school, blind sixteen-year-old Will Porter accidentally groped a girl on the stairs, sat on another student in the cafeteria, and somehow drove a classmate to tears. High school can only go up from here, right?
As Will starts to find his footing, he develops a crush on a sweet but shy girl named Cecily. And despite his fear that having a girlfriend will make him inherently dependent on someone sighted, the two of them grow closer and closer. Then an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that could give Will eyesight for the first time in his life. But learning to see is more difficult than Will ever imagined, and he soon discovers that the sighted world has been keeping secrets. It turns out Cecily doesn’t meet traditional definitions of beauty—in fact, everything he’d heard about her appearance was a lie engineered by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed?
Love and First Sight was a fast read for me. I loved getting to view the world through Will’s senses, and get a feeling for what it might be like to be blind from birth. It was amazing how the author described Will’s surroundings and how his day went without ever using sight vocabulary. And when Will eventually gains eyesight, it blew my mind to discover how much of sight we take for granted–for example, learning depth perception and perspective, or what colors are. It was such a unique perspective to read from, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Another aspect of the book I liked was how Will viewed concepts like racism, or beauty. When Will finally gets to see his African-American friend for the first time, he comments that “for all the attention race gets, for all the wars that have been fought over it, all the atrocities committed and hatred based on differences in skin tone over the centuries of human history, I would honestly have expected something…more. The contrast is obvious, yes, but the difference is marginal….What’s the fuss about?” He had similar views about beauty, commenting on how silly it is we base our idea of beauty on the changeable opinion of society.
All in all, I thought Love and First Sight was a great read. While I felt like it did lack a bit of character development, it tackled some issues that are especially relevant to YA readers, and carried them off beautifully. I’m rating this book 4 out of 5 stars (minus 1 for some inappropriate jokes), and recommending it to fans of Kasie West and Amy Clipston.
Most of the characters are described as white. Whitford is African-American. Cecily has a birthmark on her face that most consider to be disfiguring. Will is blind for the first part of the book.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
A character curses once, but the actual words are not given. Characters say “Oh my God!”
One kiss, not described in depth. Jokes about homosexuality, and both male and female body parts. Some pictures the characters run across are described as being X-rated. Will accidentally gropes a girl.
Brief joke about a chicken nugget resembling Jesus.
Will tries to defend someone by beating up a bully, but ends up hurting himself instead. Will breaks stuff and punches things in his bedroom in a fit of a despair.
Anesthesia and immunosuppressant drugs are used.