22701879Not If I See You First 
by Eric Lindstrom
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Publisher: Poppy
Source: NOVL newsletter
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

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.  – Goodreads

Review:

Parker is my favorite type of character: snarky, takes no shit, she’s outspoken, she’s often selfish and she happens to be blind. Parker hates when people considers her the blind one, even though she doesn’t go out of her way to hide the fact that she’s blind. By wearing scarves over her eyes she draws attention to it, but loves to make a fashion statement.

I’m struck by the oddness of how this outing is so ordinary and yet so remarkable. I see friends every day, and we talk and text a lot outside of school — through mostly Sarah and I — but we hardly go out to do anything. — page 123

What I love about Parker is she is not the “typical” likeable character. And while I could go on a rant about likeable characters that tends to come out around my friend Aaron, the thing is, Parker is awesome mostly because she’s not likeable. I know a lot of people who loathe Parker because she’s not what they were expecting. Parker breaks a lot of molds, who happens to be blind.

Something’s shaking loose inside me. I feel angry but definitely sad that Sarah and I aren’t as close as I thought…–page 163

What’s also important about Not If I See You First is the fact it’s not a romance. There is romance in the story, but it’s more about growing up, learning to really listen and my favorite thing: diverse! female! friendships

It hits me, clear as ice-cold water how for three months I’ve had almost no physical contact with anyone — page 149

Throughout this book I had those high school feelings and I loved that. I felt that Lindstrom really understood high school emotions and how complex high school can be. It’s nice that the focus wasn’t about a blind girl, it was about a selfish teenager who happens to be blind. My heart went out to Parker throughout this novel.  Her parents are both gone, she’s living with her aunt, uncle and two cousins, she’s lost and confused and by the end of Not If I See You First she finds out she wasn’t really ever listening either. Throughout Not If I See You First, Lindstrom covers a wide range of emotions and topics that has me excited to see what comes from him next.