Parker Grant has it all under control. She’s earned herself upwards of 100 gold stars—one for each day she hasn’t cried since her father’s death. She’s got the high-school scene down pat—so much so that she holds daily office hours for anyone seeking social advice. And even though she’s blind, she’s perfectly capable of taking solo morning runs.
Just don’t ask her about Scott Kilpatrick. Because if you do, she might very well lose it altogether.
Eric Lindstom’s debut novel, Not If I See You First, is a striking exploration of friendships, first loves and all the ups and downs that come with them. Parker’s blindness adds a layer of depth to her character, but while it’s certainly fully rendered, it’s by no means her defining characteristic. Her “come at me” bravado and her sassy back-and-forth with her friends are all as true to life as the deep-seated vulnerability hiding underneath. While most readers won’t relate to Parker’s physical disability, they will find they recognize plenty of her in themselves.
In fact, the protagonist and her crew are all in the throes of discovering who they are, and accepting those discoveries, but at the same time, they're the type of mature, fiercely loyal friends we’d all kill to have in any phase of life.
Not If I See You First tackles all the anxiety, joy and self-evaluation of high school in a way that will ring true to both older readers and those who are still in the midst of it.