“People are full of things you don’t know but that doesn’t mean they’re secrets; you just don’t know everything yet.” He lets go. “And that’s good, otherwise, you’d have no reason to talk anymore.”
As soon as I saw the cover and found out what this book was about, I knew I had to get a copy. As far as I know, there aren’t many books with a blind main character out there (the only one that comes to my mind right now is All The Light We Cannot See) and this story by Eric Lindstrom sounded more than promising. As soon I started reading Not If I See You First I was hooked. The prose is really engaging, the pace is fast and I like the way how the main character’s blindness isn’t displayed as a disability and more as a challenge. There is no doubt that Parker is a strong character, even though I don’t actually like all aspects of her character. It’s easy to say Not If I See You First was well on its way to receiving one of my highest ratings, up until the point one of my biggest fears of reading YA came true… And a love triangle was introduced. I know just about every YA story seems to have one lately and I tend tolerate them if they are not too annoying. In this case though, it’s easy to say the love triangle was quite frustrating and spoiled Not If I See You First for me. I personally think the story would have worked just as good or even better without a second love interest… But that’s just my humble opinion. The rest of the book is entertaining though, so I would still recommend it if you like the genre.
Parker Grant didn’t only lose her mother in an accident many years ago, she also lost her sight. She has been learning to live with her blindness ever since, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be seen as weak. She created rules for the people around her: don’t treat her any differently just because she’s blind and definitely never take advantage of her or her blindness. She doesn’t believe in second chances either, and her former best friend Scott found out the hard way… And Parker and Scott lost touch after an unfortunate middle grade incident. When Scott suddenly reappears in her life many years later, Parker doesn’t want to do anything to do with him. But it looks like things are not always as they seem, and sometimes rules are meant to be broken… And it seems like Parker will find out the hard way things are never that simple and obvious.
There is no doubt that Not If I See You First is a fast-paced, entertaining and well written debut. The main character Parker can be annoying at times, but she does feel real and I liked the message behind her character that blindness by no means stops someone from chasing their dreams and doesn’t mean they are weak either. I would definitely have given this novel by Eric Lindstrom an even higher rating if it weren’t for the annoying love triangle… But the story is without doubt still worth reading anyway.