I was first introduced to this book when it was chosen as Grace’s (from Rebel Mommy Book Blog) My TBR List pick. She RAVED about it and I am loving diversity in books so I quickly snatched up a copy for myself. There was so much to love about Not if I See You First. I read it super quickly, but I have struggled with how to put my love of this book in words.
I read a lot of YA romance but this has to be the first in a long time where I loved the entire main cast of characters. They were all so important to the story and they were all so different. Not only that, but they were realistic and they each had a clear, distinct personality. Let me introduce you to them:
Parker is a girl who follows the rules. Her rules. She may be blind but she can see right through your bullshit and she won’t hesitate to call you on it. And even better, she’s a kick ass heroine who ISN’T AFRAID TO ADMIT HER OWN FAILINGS. *gasps and flails* Can you even imagine?! A heroine that actually finds fault in her mistakes?!
But she’s not perfect, either. It takes some personal growth to really see how much she’s closed herself off from her close friends, her remaining family, and her own emotions. That’s the main thing I like about her. She grows as the novel moves on. It might be a slow growth, but by the end of the novel, she’s definitely learned a thing or two about her inability to trust easily and more importantly, she learns to forgive and move on. Nothing makes me happier than to find a YA heroine that learns from her mistakes. It seems like the romance genre is lacking in this department.
Scott ~ Scott is not the guy you think he is and he’s far from perfect. Sure he’s made his mistakes but he recognizes them and he’s sure as hell learned from them. He more than recognizes them, he kind of wallows in them. For a while, that is. It’s clear he is a mature guy - one of the most mature guys in a YA roman - in any sort of romance - that I’ve ever read. He is such a sweetheart, too! Gah, I love the guy. I wish he were a real guy.
Sarah and Faith are Parker’s two closest friends but they are all three pretty opposite from one another. Faith is popular, outgoing, but still can be counted on when her friends need her. Sarah is more introverted and less put together but she has her own problems. She bottles up her own personal issues and never wants to talk them through with Parker, which causes some tension throughout the book but eventually it all gets resolved. Molly becomes a close friend as well and it was fun watching them all grow close to another member of the circle.
I didn't just love the characters, either! I loved the slow building plot, the slightly unreliable narration (for a reason, guys!) and experiencing a book through a blind narrator. It’s a whole nother experience and a great way to get a feel for what the blind go through. It teaches etiquette and that’s important, even in fiction.
All-in-all, Not if I See You First was an exciting, unpredictable read. It was also a real tear-jerker so BE WARNED. Be sure to bring the tissues because if you’re anything like me, you are in for some real ugly crying! I can’t wait to read more from Eric Lindstrom. I can tell he’s going to be another automatic buy for me.