Publisher: HarperCollins Children's
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic
Release Date: May 5th 2016
Buy The Book: Book Depository
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.
I’m always looking for books that break the mould and tell a refreshing, important story. Not If I See You First is definitely one of those books. Following Parker, who lost her sight in an accident which claimed the life of her mother, we see how her life changes after the death of her father. Parker now has to live with her aunt’s family, who have moved into the house so that she doesn’t have to leave. Also, her high school has merged with another one in the same town, bringing Parker face to face with her former best friend and, for a short while, boyfriend Scott.
I adored everything about Parker. She was cynical and honest and believable and utterly hilarious, basically everything I want in a character. This isn’t a story about a blind girl, this is a story about a girl who just happens to be blind. Parker doesn’t let her lack of sight define her or hold her back, and this story focuses a lot on her love of running and how she learns to not let her blindness stop her from being the best she can be.
This story explores Parker’s relationships with her friends, old and new. What I especially found interesting was the variation of different personalities in this friendship group. Parker and Sarah have been best friends since they were kids, and still stick by each other even now. Then there is Faith, who has also been friends with the girls for years, but has changed as she’s grown older. Faith is in a different social circle now, a more popular one, but still has a strong bond of friendship with Parker regardless. This is something I really appreciated because in a lot of stories, Faith could have easily been written as the cliché ‘bitchy’ character, but that wasn’t the case in this book.
The rocky relationship between Parker and Scott was interesting to see unfold, and I was rooting for them to sort out the mess between them throughout the book. Parker also finds herself a romantic interest in Jason, a fellow runner at school. I enjoyed the romance in this story because it didn’t overpower the plot. Whilst a lot of contemporaries focus heavily on romance, it was only a small part of Parker’s overall story, and not the majority of it.
Not If I See You First is a moving story that deals with grief and acceptance in a beautiful way. The characters were fun and interesting, and the plot left me hugely satisfied. Parker’s journey is as important as it is entertaining and I’m very much looking forward to the stories Eric Lindstrom plans to tell in the future.