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Not If I See You First

Not If I See You First

4.6 8
by Eric Lindstrom

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In the tradition of novels of Gayle Forman and John Green comes this extraordinary YA debut about a blind teen girl navigating life and love in high school.

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


In the tradition of novels of Gayle Forman and John Green comes this extraordinary YA debut about a blind teen girl navigating life and love in high school.

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 Eric Lindstrom's Not If I See You First illuminates those blind spots that we all have in life, whether visually impaired or not.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Not If I See You First:
A Top Ten Winter 2015 Indie Next List Selection
An Amazon Best Books of December 2015 Selection
A Kirkus Best Teen Books of 2015 Selection
A 2016 CCBC Children's Choice
* "Lindstrom's immersive portrayal of the dimension Parker's blindness adds to both atypical and everyday angst imbues his protagonist with mature complexity...An unflinching exploration of trust, friendship, and grief."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"

The byplay between Parker and her friends is believable, and in creating a heroine whose drive for independence brings both risks and rewards, Lindstrom adds a note of complexity to his gripping depiction of how Parker learns to trust and forgive."—Publishers Weekly"

[Not If I See You First] possesses crackling wit, intense teen drama, and a lively pace that pulls readers in, as do the everyday details of Parker's world: spoken-word texts, clever methods of finding her way, and a guide runner who helps Parker when she considers joining the school track team. This unique coming-of-age tale is off and running from the start."—Booklist"

Characterization is fantastic-very few high school stereotypes, and lots of challenged expectations about mean girls, pretty girls, blind girls, fat girls, jocks, and coaches. Parker has just the right degree of acerbic wit to be likable even when she's bitchy, and when she falls apart, her insight into her own character is heartbreaking. And Scott?-oh, Scott, may your tribe of boys who respect boundaries and learn from mistakes increase. This will have broad appeal for readers who need to learn a thing or two about how to shepherd themselves and their friends through difficult times."—BCCB"

Lindstrom's realistic and humorous dialog breathes life into an eclectic cast of characters. Parker's relationships, including the one with herself, do not sugar-coat the mental struggles familiar to many teenagers. Readers will laugh through tears, with the novel ending on a note of hope and maturity."—School Library Connection"

Bursting with complex, lovable, and, best of all, real characters, Not If I See You First is a beautiful story about love, loss, friendship, and the difference between looking at and truly seeing. Parker Grant feels like a friend now — a friend I want to laugh with, to cry with, and especially...to run with."—Jennifer Brown, author of Hate List"

This book is fierce, funny, and honest. And get ready for some of the most likable characters you've read in years."—Deb Caletti, National Book Award Finalist"

Parker Grant is unforgettable: vivid, feisty, and absolutely loveable. This book broke my heart, but left me smiling."—Fiona Wood, author of Wildlife and Six Impossible Things"

Not If I See You First is thoughtful and honest, with characters that made me laugh, cry, and surprised me at every turn. It's a book I'll recommend for years to come."—Kody Keplinger, New York Times bestselling author of The DUFF and co-founder of Disability in KidLit

Publishers Weekly
An old writing adage suggests that plot boils down to getting a character up a tree and then throwing rocks at him. In Lindstrom’s debut, the tree is high, and the rocks are jagged. Parker Grant lost her sight and her mother in a car crash; as the book opens, she’s coping with her father’s sudden death. A high school junior, Parker gets around well on her own (so much so that she runs at a nearby field in secret) and has some strict rules to keep her life manageable. Some are reasonable (warn her before touching her, don’t assume blind means stupid), some less so (no crying, no second chances). That last rule, inspired by the middle-school boyfriend who broke her heart, is tested when he reappears. The byplay between Parker and her friends is believable, and in creating a heroine whose drive for independence brings both risks and rewards, Lindstrom adds a note of complexity to his gripping depiction of how Parker learns to trust and forgive. Ages 15–up. Agent: Jennifer Weltz, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. (Dec.)
VOYA, December 2015 (Vol. 38, No. 5) - Laura Woodruff
Sixteen-year-old junior Parker Grant has had more than her share of troubles. When she was seven, her alcoholic mother killed herself in a car accident that left Parker totally blind. Even worse, as the story opens, she has just lost her sole support, her loving dad, resulting in a whole new family when her uncle, aunt, and cousins move in to care for her. She finds relief by running every morning before school. By counting steps, she can walk to the field and run safely, and she knows she is very fast. Despite having several wonderful friends, Parker suffers from a secret love for Scott, an ex-boyfriend who “betrayed” her in the eighth grade. She refuses to recognize that she is emotionally overwhelmed and survives by being confrontational, sarcastic, and sometimes dangerously independent. Most of the novel consists of waiting for her meltdown. Lindstrom’s first book introduces a fresh perspective in the character of Parker, a realistic teen with a serious handicap. Although the story is sometimes slow moving and repetitive, protagonist Parker makes this a compelling and satisfying read. Reviewer: Laura Woodruff; Ages 11 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2015-09-16
"Rule #1: Don't deceive me. Ever.…Rule #INFINITY: There are NO second chances." Parker Grant doesn't trust surprises—her blindness intensifies them too much. After she finds her father dead of a drug overdose, she's further disoriented when her overprotective aunt and aloof cousin move in and junior year starts. Disorientation becomes dizziness when she meets Jason, who knows "how to talk to a blind girl," and it escalates to panic when she encounters Scott, the ex-boyfriend who betrayed her in eighth grade. She finds stability in running, but her outward equilibrium is maintained only by the gold stars she awards herself for not crying. Fortunately, she has her best friend, Sarah, and a no-nonsense, dark-humored outlook that she parlays into tough-love peer counseling because she can't see people flinch. But with so many changes and memories, is it enough? Lindstrom's immersive portrayal of the dimension Parker's blindness adds to both atypical and everyday angst imbues his protagonist with mature complexity. Like the Army vest covered in slogans or the colorful blindfolds she wears like a "Rorschach test," Parker's snarky bravado is not only for armor, but for input—a way to gauge other people's capacity for honesty, critical for navigating her world. Parker herself does not escape analysis (or sympathy), ultimately confronting her problems through what others reveal. An unflinching exploration of trust, friendship, and grief. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Product Details

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
15 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Eric Lindstrom is a BAFTA and WGA-nominated veteran of the interactive entertainment industry. He is the author of A Tragic Kind of Wonderful and Not If I See You First, his debut novel. Eric invites you to find him online at ericlindstrombooks.com and on Twitter @Eric_Lindstrom.

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Not if I See You First 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book and auprising
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can someone please tell me if this is a good book for me so i can read it and can someone please tell me if there is any bad words in this book becauae i go to church and if you went to come to church with me just let me know
itsraymarie More than 1 year ago
This was quite an interesting story. I was very intrigued and excited when I saw the description, because we definitely need more disability in YA Lit. That said, I had issues with the story, but in the end, I definitely enjoyed it. Parker is not really a likable character. I will flat-out say that. And it wasn't her disability, but just her personality in general. While I realize that some of that stems from her disability, and her feeling that she can't trust anyone or anything because she can't see them, it got exhausting after a while. But I loved reading her transformation. She does realize it and decide that she doesn't to be that person anymore, and makes a real effort to change, and I loved that. But she also keeps that strong, no-nonsense part of her that really maker her Parker. Parker is dealing with a lot, with her dad's death and changes, and just dealing with life in general. I also loved how fleshed out the other characters were, especially for not being able to see them. I had issues with some of the relationships. Parker and Sarah had a huge fight and it just left me...confused? Parker was being quite ridiculous about it, and I just didn't get it. But they did resolve. Also, the romance was a big ????. I don't want to say too much and spoil it, but I did not understand what was going on there at all. Also, I feel the ending was just unfinished. Not open, just incomplete. It didn't really make sense. But other than the romance issues, everything else in this story was well done. Now, I'm not blind so I can't say how well or how correct her disability was represented. But from the perspective of someone not disabled, it was educational and eye-opening, and I think that part was well done. Despite the few issues, I really did love this book.
Caitie_F More than 1 year ago
This book just made me FEEL so much. It isn't a book about a girl being blind and how it affects her. It is about a girl being a teenager...and she is blind so that adds some challenges. Some people may find this character unlikeable, but I adored her. Be prepared to sob as you read this book though.
mollyreads More than 1 year ago
I went into this book with no expectations and was pleasantly surprised. While there was a plot that left you wanting, the characters and Parker’s inner-struggles are what made this story great. It’s insightful and has a lot of meaningful moral lessons you can learn. It’s a story about growing up, learning to let go and learning to listen. If you’re looking for a unique perspective, a not-so-typical female protagonist, and a story less about love and more about friendship, this book is for you.
Archaeolibrarian More than 1 year ago
This is a young adult book with clout! Told in a contemporary setting, our female lead isn't very likeable, although she does have some redeeming features. With a good set of friends around her, she sets out on a normal school year, trying to cope with her blindness and a new influx of students. Unfortunately for her, one of those students is her old best friend, who also broke her heart when she was thirteen. Now Parker can hold a grudge, and hold it well. However, she also has to grow up herself, as she deals with situations beyond her current comprehension and also has that painful lesson to learn that she is not the most important person of all, even is she is blind, and the world does not revolve around her. With a smidge of romance thrown in for good measure, this is a well-told story about a girl maturing into herself, and the strength of friendships. There is a bit of braille at the end which, according to Virginia on Goodreads, are simply two more rules: Rule #11: Don't worry that I won't give you any second chances. I will. I might even need some from you. Rule #12: Don't jump to conclusions. You and me both, but mostly me. * I received this book from NetGalley in return for a fair and honest review. * Merissa Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
ReedsReadsReviews More than 1 year ago
This book is the epitome of all the right feels in all the right places. Honestly, Not If I See You First is an absolutely amazing read that will both rock your socks off and gut punch you all at the same time. In this unforgettable debut, Eric Lindstrom has crafted something that has tethered itself deep into my veins - the very roots of everything I am. I don't know how to describe what this book did to me. At first I thought it was just meh, but as soon as I started to think about it I realized just how much I was connecting to each and every tiny detail this book had to offer. Not If I See You First is a story of navigating heartbreak and redemption. It is a story of love, friendship, loss, and inner turmoil. It was breathtaking. I think I fell in love with Parker, our protagonist, from the very fist page - and by the end of the prologue I was complexly hooked and unable to put it down. I read through more than half of the book on Saturday alone and I finished it early Sunday morning. Guys... I read through the book basically for the duration of Reed Family Christmas - that once a year event that makes my heart hurt and my head go pitter patter - wait, did I put that in the right order? Who cares, you get the picture. I think I sat with my nose in this book for the entire night save for the gift exchange and when I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer - I thought my Nana was going to take the book from me and make me socialize (the horror). Not If I See You First shares an amazing message about the path of healing: the first step towards healing begins with yourself. Nothing about this book is contrived, each and every tiny little aspect on the pages are balanced and illustrated in such a way as to bring about the closest form of perfection possible. This book is satisfying in all the ways a good book should be. If there is one thing to add to your last minute Christmas wish list, this is definitely it.
Madison-s_Library More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Loved. Loved. Loved. I think I'm crying (overwhelming, happy tears). You need to read this book. It is hilariously funny, and yet so very moving. Argh, I don't have words. Just read it. Parker is the most wonderful character I've read in a while. She is the perfect mix of snark and humour. She's smart and super funny. But what I loved most about her was her ability to let things slide off her. Oh she cares, especially about her friends and family, but there is certainly something to learn from her ability to not care so much about what others think when they look at her. This book is written in first person from Parker's perspective. The text has a lot of dialog, as well as Parker's internal thoughts and her descriptions of the conversations and events (as a first-person narration style usually would). What is different is that these descriptions include sounds and smells, but never sights. It works brilliantly. It is amazing how much this affects how you view the story and the characters. I loved every word. The story provides a great insight into Parker's world, as well as her head and heart. And then of course there are all those things that you never even think of, like not judging people because of their looks or colour or size because you can't actually see them. And because Parker can't see them, the reader can't either. It is amazing how this changes how you 'see' a character and the assumptions you might automatically make. Very cool. The sheer joy of this book sits over the darker cloud that lies beneath the surface - the recent death of Parker's dad and the death of her mother in an accident that also destroyed her sight years before. All that trauma is sitting there just under the surface. At first I thought maybe it was weird to seemingly brush over these issues, but then I realised that this is exactly what Parker was doing as her way of coping. As the story progresses you learn more about what happened. I thought it was the perfect balance between light and dark, reflective and hopeful. Now, the romance. It's a large topic of discussion in this book, but it's never really the focus. At the heart of this book is love. Not swoony, insta-love kind of love, but real, honest to goodness love. Friendship, family. The people who are there for you that have loved you every single day. And then how much it hurts to lose that, whether that's through death or change or something else. I loved Scott. And the best thing about that? He wasn't even in the book all that much. What you do get is understandably loveable, but it was more about how Parker feels towards him, and how she learns to closer inspect her feelings and then how to act on them. This is Parker's book and she shines. I loved the ending. Oh, that moment a few chapters from the end - my heart was just soaring. You could probe this book for ever. I could talk about all the wonderful messages, the brilliant writing style that epitomises how a book should show and not tell, or wax poetic about Parker and her strength and resilience. Or I could just say that this is a book that was enjoyable from beginning to end, and all sorts of inspiring in between. The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.