Not If I See You First
Booklist Reviews 2015 October #2
Parker has rules: "Don't talk extra loud to me. I'm not deaf"; "Don't touch me without asking or warning me. I can't see it coming." That's for starters. Blinded in an accident at a young age, that also took her mother's life, the acerbic teen suffers another tragedy in high school with the sudden death of her beloved father. Could life go any more offtrack? Yes, in fact, because a former boyfriend has just transferred to her school, introducing another layer of emotional complexity. While Lindstrom's debut understandably contains plenty of melancholy, angst, and self-doubt, it also 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. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2016 Spring
Blind high-school junior Parker has created rules to help sighted people interact with her. Now that another high school has merged with hers, there's a new group of students who need to learn The Rules, including ex-boyfriend Scott, an unforgivable rule-breaker. A nuanced, compassionate portrait of what it's like to live with a disability and of a girl who's much more than her limitations.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2015 #6
Blind since being injured in a car accident when she was seven, high school junior Parker Grant has created a set of rules to help sighted people interact with her. Such as: "Rule #11. Don't be weird. Seriously, other than having my eyes closed all the time, I'm just like you only smarter." Now that another high school has merged with hers, there's a new group of students who need to learn The Rules; unfortunately, Parker didn't expect one of them to be Scott, her ex-boyfriend and unforgivable breaker of Rule #1 ("Don't deceive me. Ever. Especially using my blindness. Especially in public"). Parker juggles her complicated feelings for Scott while dating a new guy, feeling distanced from her best friend, and trying out for the track team—all, of course, experiences teens who can see might face as well. In fact, the strength of this debut novel is that Parker's blindness isn't her defining characteristic. Parker instead presents her challenges matter-of-factly, with a relentless need for independence and a killer sense of humor, which falters only occasionally, as when, in the story's most wrenching moments, she grieves for her recently deceased father. This is a nuanced, compassionate portrait of what it's like to live with a disability and of a girl who's much more than her limitations. rachel l. smit Copyright 2014 Horn Book Magazine.
PW Reviews 2015 September #3
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.)[Page ]. Copyright 2015 PWxyz LLC