'Not if I see you first' was a book sent to me by Harper Collins, that was a very eye-opening and interesting read. I admit I read this book in two parts, whilst reading another book in the middle. However, it was so easy to get back into and it was an easy yet deep read that is so intriguing and interesting, but in a comforting teenage manner.
The book is based on a girl, Parker, who is blind. She became blind when she was in a car crash with her mum, who died. Soon she becomes an only child when her dad dies too (this is not a spoiler!) and the book is about her life now her cousins have moved in with her. Her life as a blind runner, someone who goes to school. How she deals with normal teenage problems but added on to the fact she can't see.
The book has so many lessons from friends to relationships, to determination and failure. You meet so many characters and really get to know them well. I really felt that the character of Parker was so set in stone that she was a very realistic and likeable person. Her stubbornness was clear from the beginning but also as the book went on you learnt how determined she was and how her blindness would not stop her from living to the full.
Friendship was a key part of this novel and I really warmed to the characters who stuck by Parker. The book was in the first person so I really felt the reader was trapped by Parker's emotion, and all her feelings and thoughts about people were understood and I really felt you were going through and up and down hurdles together with her. I have never read a book about or including someone blind, and I don't think I will ever look at people who have the lack of sight the same again. It was so eyeopening and a really important book for especially teenagers of our generation. It really shows you that they are not any different if they can't see, and are just trying to get through life the easiest and best they can and forget that they can't see the world. Other characters in the novel also enhanced this and I felt that other characters made you understand the main character of Parker more.
Also, the book contained romance which also added another layer to the book. What I really loved about the novel and what made it so special was the fact that all the teenage problems that girls get: boyfriend problems, friends and academic, were contained in this book. But going along in someone else's shoes, who also have her troubles doubles due to her blindness, really gave the thought that teenage problems are compulsory, and everyone goes through them, but the big problems are the things you have to really deal with, and the bravery that has to be used is so admiring.
AS the book was written from the perspective of a blind teenage girl, it doesn't use exceptionally adventurous vocabulary. However, I think this added to the reality of the book and made it even more realistic. I really felt I was reading someone's diary that was so moving and important and will stay with me a long time. I also found it so clever as obviously no one was described how they look, so like Parker, the reader didn't have any expectations on any of the characters due to the way you looked. It outlined the fact how personality is so much more important than what someone looks like, and it gave a huge insight to the lack of vanity needed in someone, and how judging someone by how they look is ludicrous and it is never correct.
Overall, this was a very touching book which in fact really has changed the way I see the world. It is such an important read for all teenagers, and in fact, adults too. As a character, Parker went through such a tough time, but her determination is so inspiring and I thought as a whole the book really put life into a nutshell, that you should grab it, defy the impossible, and grab every opportunity you get. It had so many valuable life lessons and friendship, relationships and general rules of life. It was a fab book which I will be recommending to all age 13+
harper collins: https://www.harpercollins.co.uk/9780008146313/not-if-i-see-you-first