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Not If I See You First Hardcover – December 1, 2015
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Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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Everyone has secrets Everyone is a secret Parker Grant is a junior in high school who loves to run has great friends and isn t afraid to speak her mind especially when it comes to how stupid some people can be around a blind person like her The only topic to avoid is how Parker feels about the boy who broke her heart in eighth grade who has just transferred to her school And as long as she can keep giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn t cried since her dad s death three months ago she ll be just fine Right Combining a fiercely engaging voice with true heart debut author Eric Lindstrom s Not If I See You First sheds light on the metaphorical blind spots that are a part of life whether you re visually impaired or not In the tradition of novels of Gayle Forman and John Green comes this extraordinary YA debut about a blind teen girl navigating life and love in high school 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 Eric Lindstrom s Not If I See You First illuminates those
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But as I continued reading, I had three epiphanies. I realized not every blind person's experience with the school system has been, or will be, the same as mine. I realized I wanted to know why Parker ran with such wild abandon, both literally and figuratively, and that I related to her need to break free more than I didn't, safety concerns notwithstanding. And finally, I realized that Parker's bitterness was the point of the thing. She was bitter because she didn't allow herself to grieve her dad or Scott. Don't get me wrong--every one of her rules was spot-on, and all human beings deserve to be treated with the same measures of respect, blind or sighted. She was justified in that. But her way of coping with it, I felt, reflected in part that she hadn't dealt with her grief openly or adequately.
Parker is flawed. Very, very flawed. And it's truly beautiful how flawed she is. Many expectations of blind people (or disabled people in general) are polarized--either we're damsels or superheroes--and somehow, Parker manages to be both, whether because of her blindness, or in spite of it, or independently of it altogether. This is because what it comes down to is that her strengths and weaknesses are human. She's human. Being blind is a variation on the human experience. And I give this book a five because of that, because I became attached to the story, to Scott, to Sarah, to Molly, to Sheila, and to Parker's humanness. (There, a little harsh honesty, and a little gentle honesty ... just like Parker.)
Parker has had to deal with so much in her young life. Her mother was drinking and drove the car that caused the accident that killed her mother and caused her blindness when she was just 7 years old. Her father was a wonderful man that helped her and was always there for her until 3 months ago when he died from an accidental drug overdose. He took pills for depression and anxiety (Parker was unaware) and ended up dying. Now her Aunt and her family have moved to the town and into the house to help Parker deal and take care of her. She is very straightforward and honest and she doesn't let her blindness limit her wants and needs. She knows her way around t he house, around the town, and she runs early in the morning in a field. She doesn't stop doing things she wants to do or get people to take care of her. She wants to be able to take care of herself and be independent. She created a huge list of rules and she sticks to them. She had a best friend Scott and then they became more until he did something horrible to her and she cut him out of her life. She was 13 years old at the time and she was broken hearted about it. She has some really great friends and they are there for her. She's getting used to her family. She has two cousins, one is her same age and the other is younger and loves to hang out with her. Her Aunt wants to take care of her more than she wants and tries to do more for her than she wants. Two high schools in their town have now combined into one high school and it's luckily the one that Parker has been going to for years. Now there are students that have to get used to the blind girl and Scott is now back and he's in one of her classes.
Scott is a wonderful guy that made a mistake when he was 13 years and he's paid dearly for it. He still has guilt about that time and doesn't expect her to forgive him. He lost so much from that time. His father passed away when he was a baby so Parker's father was like a father to him in a sense. They were really close and Parker was his best friend and his girlfriend. He also lost friends that were both friends with them both. So he doesn't expect to be forgiven or given another chance with her. But he still cares about her, tries to keep an eye on her, and goes out of his way for her. So many sighted people can see the way he looks at her. Parker broke his heart too by totally cutting him out of his life.
Definitely worth reading. I love Parker's views, wit, and honesty.
I didn't care for Parker even though she had some good sarcastic moments in the beginning. I was glad that she started to see other's point of views but it was still tainted a bit by her own selfishness.
I'd recommend this but I'd also give a warning about tolerating Parker.
Parker Grant, blind from a car accident that killed her mother nine years ago is mourning (or trying not to mourn) her father's recent death is adjusting to her aunt, uncle and cousins moving into her house. Also, the boy who broke her heart and trust is back at her school and she's NEVER going to forgive him.
I loved Parker, in part because she was often unlikable. She was self-absorbed, quick to make assumptions and often unkind to others. The chip on her shoulder was understandable, she had so many losses. I'm not sure why she was never in therapy for all she endured. Eric Lindstrom writes believable, authentic teenage girl characters better most.
While potential romances exist, the best relationships in NOT IF I SEE YOU FIRST are the strong female and male/female friendships. Lindstrom is quickly becoming a must read.
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