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  • Helen

Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

Parker Grant has a set of rules to get her through life. These rules go from number 1 (Don't deceive me. Ever) to number infinity (There are NO second chances), and they are non-negotiable, due to the fact that Parker is blind.

Struggling to come to terms with her dad's death and relatives moving in to live with her, Parker's routine is interrupted by the merging of her school with another. This means there are loads of new people who don't know her rules, as well as someone from Parker's past who once not only broke Parker's rules, but also her heart. Parker is determined to continue to shun Scott, but that seems to get harder and harder as he keeps appearing. Could it be that what Parker thinks Scott did wasn't quite the entire story?

Throw in track try-outs (her sight may not be there but that doesn't mean this girl can't run like the wind), a before school emotional advice service ('the doctor is IN'), awkward and grumpy cousins, and a friendship group that is wonderful and supportive as well as flawed and disjointed (in the best way) – this book has it all.

Something I loved about this book was the way the characters and their friendships were written. I really liked Parker as an individual – even though she could be selfish and painfully honest at times, she felt realistic and had a lot of character. The romance in the story almost seems to take a backseat, allowing the narrative of Parker and her friends to be in the foreground, which I loved. I don't tend to enjoy many contemporary YA books due to the way friendships either get cut for the romance, or simply remain flat, boring and unrealistic. It was so refreshing to read a story with a healthy balance between friendship and romance, and with fleshed-out characters for friends. I really enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading more by Eric Lindstom.

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