Book Review: Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

Parker Grant doesn’t need perfect 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.

When Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart, suddenly reappears at school, Parker knows there’s only one way to react – shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough to deal with already, like trying out for the track team, handing 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. 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.

What I Thought:

I was pleasantly surprised by Not If I See You First – hands up, I downloaded it so long ago that I’d forgotten quite what it was about, so when it turned out to be a unique YA book, I was pretty happy!

Having read quite a bit of YA, it was great to read something that deals with the heavy topics that are such a feature of YA but – great news – more reliance on the power of female friendships than romantic relationships.

Parker is not really a likeable character at first – I’ve seen many reviews saying that this is a bad thing – she is blind and assumes she is ok with it, but the signs are there that she’s kidding herself about that and about her ability to deal with the sudden death of her father. Her father’s death has led to some huge changes in her life, but it’s really interesting to see Parker navigate her life after that point with no consideration that the lives of others have also been rocked – seeing her come to this realisation throughout the course of the book is rewarding, as the book ends on a hopeful note for everyone.

The female friendships in this book are really powerful – even at Parker’s lowest point, her friends are there for her. She doesn’t have to put on a show for them and can be her worst self around them. Maybe that’s ‘being an asshole’ to some, but it seems to me more like a part of learning to be a grown up and knowing who has your back.

Overall, I thought this was a great book. I would be interested to hear about the research that went in to creating a disabled main character, but it was definitely a winner for me…

About the Author:

Eric Lindstrom enjoys writing Young Adult novels, including his debut novel Not If I See You First in 2015 followed by A Tragic Kind of Wonderful.

English publication of both in the USA is by the Poppy imprint of Little, Brown for Young Readers, and in the UK and the rest of the world by HarperCollins Children’s Books.

He has worked in the interactive entertainment industry for years as a creative director, game designer, writer, and combinations of all three. As Editor and Co-Writer for Tomb Raider: Legend he received a 2006 BAFTA nomination for Best Video Game Screenplay. As Creative Director and writer for Tomb Raider: Underworld he received a 2009 BAFTA nomination for Best Action Adventure Video Game and a 2009 Writers Guild of America (WGA) nomination for Best Writing in a Video Game.

He also raised children, which led to becoming first a school volunteer, then a substitute teacher, then a part time kindergarten teacher, then getting a credential to teach elementary school, and most importantly the discovery that Young Adult books are awesome. It’s pretty much all he ever reads, and now writes, in his house near the beach on the west coast, with his wife and, yes, cats.

You can find Eric Lindstrom online at www.ericlindstrombooks.com.

Please note: I received a copy of this book via Netgalley for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.

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