UK Publishing Date: 31 Dec 2015. 321 pages.
If I See You First is one of those books that feels like it is more than the sum of its parts and even though it is about a teenage girl at High School don’t let that put you off picking up this book.
Parker Grant has had more than her fair share of troubles. At seven she was in a terrible car crash where her mother died and Parker lost her sight. Growing up alone with her father she was given carte blanche to behave pretty much however she wanted and this led to her drawing up a set of twelve rules that become her daily bible for governing her interactions with other people. When Parker’s father dies at the end of her Sophomore High School year her home is invaded by her aunt, uncle and two cousins who come to live with her.
The rules are interesting in and of themselves. They seem to be her way of dealing with all of the tragedies that have happened to her during her short life. In many ways I could understand why she was being so OCD about them but by the middle of the story I just wanted to grab her by the shoulders and tell her to pull herself together. But of course that wouldn’t be allowed because Rule #2 is “Don’t touch me without asking or warning me. I can’t see it coming, I will always be surprised, and I will probably hurt you”. It is hard to watch someone with a disability struggling to achieve something that might be fairly mundane for an able bodied person, especially if you get knocked back when you offer assistance.
Parker isn’t always the easiest person to like and at times it can make for difficult reading. There were certain points in the book when it felt like wading through treacle and the second half of the book does suffer a bit from pacing issues. Having finished this book yesterday I’m still in two minds as to whether I liked it or not. I’m glad I read it but I can’t honestly say that I enjoyed it.
Supplied by Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
You can find the book here: Not If I See You First
Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. I love sharing my favourite books with friends - nearly always spoiler-free as I hate reading a synopsis of the whole book in other reviews.