Dis-moi si tu souris/Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

dis-moi-si-tu-souris

Rating: ★★★★

Genre: YA Lit

Medium: French paperback

Synopsis: Parker Grant is going through quite a lot.  She’s living with her aunt, uncle, and cousin after the death of her father just 3 months ago.  She’s trying out for the track team.  She now has to confront the problem of her past–not her blindness, but the boy who broke her heart years ago.

Parker also has rules.  Let her know when you’re there.  Don’t touch her without permission.  Don’t treat her as if she’s stupid.  The most important one being that she doesn’t give you any second chances.  That last one’s too bad for Scott Kilpatrick, who only wants to make amends.

Review: This book was great for quite a few reasons.  Firstly, I’ve never read a book about a blind person before.  The second I saw the braille on the cover, I knew I had to buy it.  While I wish Lindstrom had given us more description of smells and touch, I think he pulled it off very well.  I was still able to imagine the locations Parker was at thanks to the descriptions he provided us with.

Secondly, this book also discusses very “adult” topics.  Parker’s been blind for years now, so her character growth has little to do with that.  Instead, she must deal with the recent death of her father.  She dreams about him, thinks often of him, and makes a gold star for every day she doesn’t cry.  Her aunt’s family moved to her town so that she wouldn’t have to get used to a new place–which was nice, really, but now she has to get used to a whole new way of living.

Thirdly, there is a dash of romance, but it’s not overpowering.  While I believe it’s obvious that there’ll be a reconciliation between Parker and Scott from the beginning, she has other things on her mind.  Like the cute shoe sales guy.  And running.  Going out with her friends.  Giving advice.  Ultimately, this book is filled with high school drama, which might be overdone if it wasn’t for the fact that our protagonist is so underrepresented in literature.

However, I do have to  point out that Parker’s character growth is pretty dang good.  She starts off as sympathetic to the reader.  I mean, dead parents, blind, ex-best friend/boyfriend returning after years of being gone……that’s a lot to handle.  But, Parker is prickly, she has rules, and she sticks to them like no other.  She’s smart, but she’s also rather unobservant.  While it’s great that Parker literally can’t judge a book by its cover, it’s also a little frustrating when it comes to her friends.  Her friends are great and supportive, and do what they can to help Parker.  But Parker has no idea what her friends are like–what do they like to wear?  Are they tall, short, skinny, fat?  Black, white, Asian, Latinx, and so on?  Parker has no idea and doesn’t seem to be rather curious about the visual things that also largely affect her friends.  But, her character growth saves the day, and ultimately, I like Parker as a character.  Besides, maybe it’s just me, but I do rather like a prickly protagonist who has to learn a lesson or two.

I’d recommend this to anybody who felt the need to break out of what they normally read, or if they wanted to read about more diverse people.  Representation and diversity really make the books that we’re all reading much more interesting, in my opinion, and Dis-moi si tu souris/Not If I See You First is a great starting place.

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3 thoughts on “Dis-moi si tu souris/Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

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