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"A great photo knocks your heart open. So give some thought to that. What knocks your heart open."
Sixteen-year-old Shana is officially on a Boy Moratorium. After a devastating breakup, she decides it's time to end the plague of Mr. Wrongs and devote herself to her true passion: photography.
Enter Quattro, the undeniably intriguing lacrosse player who slams into Shana one morning in Seattle. Sparks don't simply fly; they igniteand so does Shana's interest. But just as she's about to rethink her ban on boys, she receives crushing news: Her dad is going blind.
Shana and her parents vow to make the most of the time her father has left to see, so they plan a photo safari to Machu Picchu. But even as Shana travels away from Quattro, she can't get him out of her mind.
Love and loss, humor and heartbreak collide in this new novel from acclaimed author Justina Chen.
About the Author
Justina Chen is the author of Return to Me, North of Beautiful, Girl Overboard, and Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies). While the Pacific Northwest is her home base, Justina feels equally at home wherever she goes with her pen, journal, and coconut black tea. Her website is justinachen.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A BLIND SPOT FOR BOYS is a gorgeously written coming home story. I cherish a book that can make me both laugh and cry. A BLIND SPOT FOR BOYS did just that in page after page. Shana, still reeling from a caustic breakup with college boy, Dom, uses her arsenal of pest control techniques to keep perspective boyfriends away. I loved the humorous anecdotes with Shana’s smart boy repellent quips, but beneath it all, Shana hides a damaged heart. Shana’s unsure if she can trust herself around boys after being blindsided by Dom. She pours herself into her beloved photography work, a passion she shares with her father, until her lens lands on Quattro, and she sees something remarkable in his eyes. This beautiful book is all about seeing. About losing vision—her father’s suffering from retinal neuropathy and will be blind within six months —about the fear that shakes us when we’re forced to really look at the truth about ourselves. It’s about traveling far from home as the family takes a life-changing trip to Machu Picchu and nearly lose their lives in a mudslide, and about coming home again to love and truth and the possibility of sharing broken hearts, because Quattro has his own close-kept secret he won’t share with anyone. Not anyone. Unless . . . . Well, I won’t spoil the story’s most private moments, neither Shana’s nor Quattro’s. Because these moments are well worth reading up to as the story tension builds and builds to its perfect conclusion. Now to settle in and wait for Justina Chen’s next book. I hope the wait won’t be too long.
A Blind Spot for Boys is the story of Shana and her family taking a life-altering trek through Machu Pichu after receiving the devastating news that her father, a passionate photographer, was quickly losing his sight. First of all, I've always wanted to visit Machu Pichu, so the adventure side of the story really appealed to me. In the story, Shana's hiking group takes the long way to the top, so there's plenty of sight-seeing along the way. As far as the romance in the story goes, it was pretty much non-existent.I think, if the Quattro element were removed from the story, I would have enjoyed it ten times more. However, I just felt that the forced love interest dulled what could have been a much better story of family and self-discovery. I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way shaped or influenced my opinion.
So I already loved the book and then I read this line, -- "Boys are stupidheads," she said flatly... -- twenty pages from the end of the book. That's a line that I would've thought would be near the very beginning, the perfect hook to entice the reader to keep reading. But this great line wasn't needed as Chen begins her new book with mention of the Gum Wall. Huh? If you're not from Seattle or haven't visited the Market, you might think this is a figment of the author's imagination, a quirky add to Seattle's literary landscape. But no, the Gum Wall is real and Chen has just drawn you into the book, in the very first line. The rest of the book is a thoughtful look at relationships between parent and child, small group interactions, and the exhileration of the possibility of love. Shana, the narrator, is a master at discarding boys. As soon as she decides to take a break from romance, Quatro appears; can she hold her ground? Both teens have family issues they need to work through and while they tentatively look to each other for support, Mother Nature unleashes big problems that threaten lives. A wonderful, hopeful story. And seriously, can't every girl relate to "Boys are stupidheads" at some point?
4.5 stars! I've never read a book written by Justina Chen before. Now that I have, I wonder how it is I only discovered her after she's written six books. In a way I'm sort of glad it's happened this way. That means while I wait for her next novel, there is plenty to read to catch up with everything I've missed. I knew from reading the blurb A Blind Spot For Boys was going to be interesting. I had no idea how much I was going to enjoy reading it and love the story and characters. I expected more sadness from Shana's father losing his eye sight than lessons that uplift instead. Justina Chen did a great job at writing a story that was layered with emotional depth. Her characters were also great to get to know. I love how she showed how hard it was for Shana's dad to reconcile he was going to be losing his eyesight and still be the person he was. I love how she showed how what we think we know about people isn't always the entire truth. And I love that it was on a journey that everyone on that trip learned something about life, themselves, and each other. Besides feeling like I was trekking alongside everyone to Machu Picchu, I loved seeing Shana and Quattro find their way to each other. It hurt to find out why Shana was having throwaway relationships, but once I did I was glad to see she realized she was better off and her love story hadn't been one. Quatto's reason for travelling to Machu Picchu brought tears to my eyes. I cried. It hurt to read how much pain he was in and why. When the truth came out all I wanted to do was give him a huge hug. I didn't want this book to end or to let the characters go. I'm hoping Justina will write them into another book somewhere in the future or give them an entire book again. This book was really hard to put down. I think you'll be as pleasantly surprised by it as I was. I can't wait to see what Justina has written and look forward to reading more from her now that I know about her.