I received a copy from Netgalley.
This was another case of putting a request in on Negalley, not hearing back for ages so after publication date I didn’t think I would hear back, so I purchased a kindle copy. And wouldn’t you know – a few days later my Netgalley request was approved. Oh well, I suppose at least I can say I have two pretty covers – one blue and one yellow.
This another one I liked immediately on starting it. It tells the story of Parker, a teen who was blinded in an accident as a child, her mother was killed and some time later her father died as well. Rather than have to move to a new town and a new school, Parker’s aunt moved her family including Parker’s cousins, a younger boy with boundless energy, Petey, and more reserved, Shelia who’s Parker’s age. I loved Parker. She had a fantastic tone, if very blunt boarding more than a few times on bitchy rather than snarky. She did have a great flare for snark, and a tell it how it is attitude.
She refuses to be defined by her disability. She accepts help with some things in school because she has to. She has a student guide, Molly, who helps her through the hall and get to class and things. The novel involves Parker dealing with every day life, her friendships, boys. She had a bad experience with a boy who was considered a best friend turned to something more, which had a deep impact on her. She has a best friend, Sarah, who she confides in completely. And meets another guy, Jason, who meets in a shoe store at the mall, who she hits it off with.
Drama happens of course. Friendships are affected, the romance is well done, again without being over the top or anything. Parker’s snarkiness and attitude can cause a lot of problems, she’s so focused on not letting her blindness define her, she finds herself ignoring things around her and this worries her. There are a few very emotional scenes when Parker realises things she’s been “wilfully blind” to. A big draw back in her relationship with her friend Sarah in particular. Though the friendship had it’s up and down it was well written, emotional, and even though the girls hid things from each other, it was still excellently written and very realistic.
Added in more drama with the boy who Parker had problems with and thought betrayed her when she was younger, when he comes back in and she realises she may have misunderstood what actually happened and had an overreaction to the new thing. It’s a bit of a love triangle with the other boy who she starts seeing but it doesn’t become all about oh noes which boy do I want? Parker’s way too smart for that. Again, it’s well written and enjoyable as she makes her decisions.
A fantastic story and an emotional one at times, made me a bit teary in places. An excellent read.
Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK, Children's.