Not If I See You First
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Poppy
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Parker lives by a specific set of rules. She expects to be treated like everyone else. Judgment comes swiftly for anyone who takes advantage of the fact that she’s blind. One betrayal, and you’re cut from her life. Scott, the boy who was once her best friend and became her boyfriend learns this lesson the hard way.
Only now he’s back, transferred to her school, and Parker has no choice but to make the best of it. She prides herself on the ability to know the people around them, to read them even if she can’t see them. But as she grapples with unresolved feelings about Scott in the wake of her father’s death, she learns she may not see others as clearly as she thinks. In fact she may be dead wrong about the most important people in her life.
One of the random but very cool things to me about this book is that I constantly kept forgetting that the author is a man. Parker is so believably female and complex that I honestly checked several times because I thought maybe I’d misread the author’s name. (Not that I think men can’t write believable women or vice versa, but it’s always awesome when you find someone who does a spectacular job of it.)
As far as the story, I loved the unpredictable elements. I was surprised by the revelation about facts surrounding Parker’s dad’s death. I thought even the way their relationship worked seemed very real and definitely fit in with the larger story about how Parker doesn’t always peg people close to her as accurately as she would wish to believe.
I felt like there was a good balance between attention given to her blindness without the details about her daily life overtaking the story. I didn’t feel a lack of setting details despite the fact that they were not given through visual cues.
I loved the romance and the quick, witty dialogue. Great lines like that in conversation always make me want to be a better writer myself and feel a lot of admiration for the author who created them.
Other than the use of profanity (there was quite a bit), the story is pretty clean. I enjoyed reading it.
Extreme profanity used with moderate frequency. Also some crude language.
Kissing. At one point Parker reflects on feeling starved for physical contact with people and how that makes her want to go further with a boy than she would normally feel comfortable.
Parker spends time thinking in long monologues to her dad after his death. She says she doesn’t believe he’s watching over her or seeing everything going on in her life. The conversations are her way of staying close to him.
Parker hears a scuffle when a boy tackles two other boys who have been picking on her.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.