Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Year Published: 2015
I received an advanced reader copy of this novel courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Not If I See You First is a young adult contemporary novel that follows the perspective of high school-er and protagonist, Parker. Parker is blind and has recently lost her father, her mother also dead from a car accident that left Parker without sight years ago. Her aunt and cousins move in to live with her, and this book follows what goes on in her life as school begins and new and old loves arise, as well as when friendship issues occur.
The author, Eric Lindstrom, did an excellent job telling the story in the perspective of someone blind. That in itself was a very unique and intriguing concept. Not only that, but we also learn that our main character is a fantastic runner despite being blind. The story of how her mother caused the accident that resulted in her loss of sight and the unsure truth of why her father died is also quite interesting. I desperately wished all of these things were explored further
Unfortunately, all of these intriguing story lines were set aside for the novel to be about Parker and her dating this guy who turns out to be best friends with the boy she was in a relationship with when she was 13. This novel had a lot more potential than what it ended up being. Often, I felt as though all Parker did was complain. I found her to be very self-centered and very dramatic. To say that her boyfriend of 2 weeks when she was 13 could have been her soul mate and falling into deep despair because of that was annoying. I understand that being blind is something that requires a little extra attention from people, but Parker’s whole storyline is revolved around the issue with Scott and other smaller issues that appear between her and her cousin, as well as her friends.
This book had a lot of potential to explore the growth of a young girl who has experienced so much tragedy, yet chose to continue her life and do her best to focus on one of the things she loves to do most, as well as her family, friends, and possible significant other. Perhaps if I was younger (not 21 years old), I would have connected to this book more. But, unfortunately, I am not and I could only see Parker as an annoying, self-centered, dramatic teenager that has an extremely unfortunate disability she must learn to deal with every day.
Because of it’s interesting premise, I’ll give this book a decent rating. But on the whole, I admit I did not enjoy it as much as I was hoping to.