Use code DAD23 for 20% off + Free shipping on $45+ Shop Now!
Not If I See You First
Read by Lauren Fortgang
Formats and Prices
- Audiobook Download (Unabridged)
- ebook $4.99 $6.99 CAD
- Trade Paperback $17.99 $23.99 CAD
This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around December 1, 2015. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.
Also available from:
Parker Grant doesn’t need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That’s why she created the Rules: Don’t treat her any differently just because she’s blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart.
When Scott suddenly reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there’s only one way to react–shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that’s right, her eyes don’t work but her legs still do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn’t cried since her dad’s death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened–both with Scott, and her dad–the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken.
Combining a fiercely engaging voice with true heart, debut author Eric Lindstrom’s Not If I See You First illuminates those blind spots that we all have in life, whether visually impaired or not.
Table of Contents
In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the publisher is unlawful piracy and theft of the author's intellectual property. If you would like to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), prior written permission must be obtained by contacting the publisher at email@example.com. Thank you for your support of the author's rights.
Marissa is sobbing. Again.
"And then he… he… he didn't…" Her deep voice almost sounds like grunting.
Pathetic. And she's smart, too, except about Owen.
"Can't you guys talk to him?"
I don't reply and neither does Sarah. We offer good advice—for free even—but never get involved. We've told Marissa this countless times; it would waste oxygen to say it again. We just have to wait for her to dry out. There's nothing to do till the bell rings anyway.
Last school year this scene repeated itself every few weeks. Marissa rarely speaks to me otherwise. I can't clearly remember what she sounds like without wailing, snuffling, gasping, coughing on tears and snot, and really needing to blow her nose.
It's a common belief that losing your sight heightens your other senses, and it's true, but not by magnifying them. It just gets rid of the overwhelming distraction of seeing everything all the time. On the other hand, my experience of sitting with Marissa consisted almost entirely of hearing everything her mouth and nose were capable of in sticky detail. That's what unrequited love sounds like to me. Disgusting.
"Parker? Can't you do something?"
"I am. I'm telling you to find someone else." I pause, per the usual script, so she can interrupt.
I'm the reigning queen of not giving a shit what other people think, but Marissa's indifference to a Junior Quad full of people—on the first day of school no less—seeing her imitate a shrieking mucus factory… it humbles even me.
"Marissa, listen, soul mates don't exist. But if they did, they would be two people who want each other. You want Owen, but Owen wants Jasmine, so that means Owen is not your soul mate. You're just his stalker."
"Wait… Jasmine?" I enjoy a moment of peace as the surprise of this information, which we told her last spring, quiets her for a moment. "Isn't she…?"
"Yes, Jasmine likes girls, but she hasn't found one in particular yet, so Owen stupidly thinks he has a chance. That makes him following her around only slightly more pointless and sad than you following him around. In fact—"
Sarah clicks her tongue and I know what it means but at some speeds I have too much momentum to stop or even slow down.
"—the only thing you and Owen have in common is being in love with someone who doesn't love you back, someone you don't even know. Have you ever even looked up words like love or soul mate or even relationship in a dictionary?"
The silence that follows is the perfect example of the thing I hate most about being blind: not seeing how people react to what I say.
"But…" Marissa sniffs productively. "If we spent some time togeth—"
Saved by the bell. Her and me both. But mostly her.
"Well, if it isn't PG-13 and her All-Seeing-Eye-Dog." The familiar screech is to my left and accompanied by a locker door clattering open.
"Please tell me her locker isn't right over there," I say to Sarah in a stage whisper. "I found out over the summer I'm allergic to PVP. Now I have to carry an EpiPen in my bag."
"Oh," Faith says in her snippy voice. "I'm PVP? That's… People… People…"
"Polyvinylpyrrolidone. Used in hair spray, hair gel, glue sticks, and plywood."
"Well, I think PVP means People… who are… Very Popular."
I laugh, breaking character. "Fay-Fay! Did you just think that up?"
"Of course I did! I'm not as dumb as you look."
The odor of kiwi-strawberry tells me what's about to happen and I brace myself. I'd call it a bear hug except Faith is too skinny to do anything bearish. I hold on a bit too long and then let go.
"Do you really have an EpiPen?" she asks.
"God, Fay," Sarah says. "Do you even know what that is?"
"My nephew's allergic to peanuts. And do you know you're a pretentious, condescending bitch?"
"Yes, I doooof!" The rush of air and Sarah's answer tells me Faith gave her a hug, too.
"Can you believe all these strangers?" Faith says, making no attempt to whisper. "This place is a zoo."
"At least it's them invading us," Sarah says, "and not the other way around."
All true. The town of Coastview can't support two high schools anymore, so Jefferson closed and everyone came here to Adams. The halls are so jammed with people who don't know The Rules, and not just the freshmen, that I had to hold on to Sarah's arm to get through the chaos to my locker. Breaking in this many newbies will be messy, but at least I don't have to learn the layout of an entirely different school.
"Oh, hey, here comes another one," Faith says, closer and softer, this time remembering Rule Number Two, and she hugs me again. "I'm sorry I was stuck in Vermont all summer. You know I'd have come if I could, don't you?"
"I'm fine," I say quickly, hoping that will end the subject.
"Did I see you guys talking to Marissa this morning? Was she crying?"
"New year, same bullshit," Sarah says.
"Please tell me it's over a new guy. Really? No…"
I imagine various facial expressions and nods and eyebrow waggling filling in the gaps.
"That's what you spent the morning talking about? Pretty selfish of her… Wait." I can hear that Faith has turned to face me. "Does she even know? Didn't you tell her?"
"Right," I say. "Oh, Marissa, while you spent the summer crying over some complete stranger, my dad died and my aunt's family moved here because my house is better than theirs."
"So…" Faith says. "That's something you just thought, or you actually said that?"
"Jesus, Fay. I'm honest but I'm not mean."
"Some exceptions apply," Sarah says.
"I have to go." I unfold my cane. "With all these noobs in the way, it's going to take a while to get to Trig."
"Haven't they assigned her a new buddy?" Faith asks Sarah as I tap down the hall. "Who is it? Didn't Petra move to Colorado or somewhere?"
I'm grateful they can talk about my buddy without sounding awkward. It can't be one of them—Faith is too busy socially (translation: popular) and Sarah doesn't qualify because she's not taking enough of my honors and AP classes. But there's a girl from Jefferson who's in all my classes, and she was willing, so the choice pretty much made itself.
As soon as I settle into my usual seat for every class—in the back right corner and reserved for me with a name card—it starts.
"So you're blind, huh?"
I cock my head toward the unfamiliar male voice, coming from the seat directly in front of me. Low-pitched, a bit thick around the vowels. The voice of a jock, but I just keep that as a working hypothesis awaiting more evidence.
"Are you sure you're in the right class?" I say. "Calculus for Geniuses is down the hall. This is just Trig."
"I guess you're in Kensington's class? Isn't it kinda early for this?"
I don't know what this means, or who Kensington is. A teacher from Jefferson, maybe.
"Hey, douchebag," says a male voice to the left of Douchebag. "She's really blind."
Interesting. The second voice is softer, and calm in a way you don't often hear insulting big heavy jock voices. It's familiar but I can't place it.
"No, Ms. Kensington does this thing where you need to pretend—"
"I know, and she doesn't hand out canes. Besides, it's first period on the first day."
"But if she's really blind then why would she wear a blindfo—"
"Trust me, dude; just shut up." Harsh words but said with a friendly voice.
For my scarf today I chose white silk with a thick black X on each eye. It was that or my hachimaki with Divine Wind written in kanji, but I didn't want to confuse the noobs with a mixed message. Either way, I know I made a mistake leaving my vest at home.
I usually wear a frayed army jacket, arms torn off, covered with buttons that friends bought or made over the years. Slogans like Yes, I'm blind, get over it! and Blind, not deaf, not stupid! and my personal favorite, Parker Grant doesn't need eyes to see through you! Aunt Celia talked me out of it this morning, saying it would overwhelm all the people from Jefferson who don't know me. She's wrong, it turns out. They need to be overwhelmed.
I hear shuffling and the creak of wood and steel as someone sits down hard to my left.
"Hi, Parker." It's Molly. "Sorry I'm late. I needed to stop by the office."
"If the bell hasn't rung, you're not late." I try to sound casual but actually let her know that being my buddy just means helping with certain things in classes, not life in general.
"Hey, so your name's Parker—" Douchebag says.
"Awww," I interrupt him with my sweet voice. "You figured that out because you just heard someone say it. And I know your name for the very same reason. Douchebag isn't very nice, though, so I'll just call you D.B."
"Shhh…" I shake my head. "Don't ruin it."
The silence that follows is the perfect example of the thing I love most about being blind: not seeing how people react to what I say.
"I—" D.B. says, and the bell rings.
"The stairs down to the parking lot are ahead," Molly says.
I sigh inwardly. Actually, I'm tired; maybe I sighed outwardly, I'm not sure.
Classes let out a while ago but Molly and I worked out a schedule to do our homework in the library after school for a couple hours and afterwards I call Aunt Celia to pick me up. Molly's mom is a teacher who also came over from Jefferson—she teaches both French and Italian—and they carpool.
"Good," I say. "Those stairs have been there at least two years now. I bet it'd be really hard to get rid of them with the entire parking lot being five feet lower than all the classrooms."
I consider reminding her of Rule Number Four, understanding that it hasn't been long since I gave her the list, but it's been a tiring first day and I don't have the energy.
I don't need a chaperone anywhere on school grounds. I know exactly where the handicapped parking space is and two years of Dad parking there trained the unhandicapped people to stay the hell out of it. Molly insisted she was walking with me just because, but I knew better. The combination of blind people, stairs, and cars terrifies the sighted, but it's actually pretty safe. Cars are only dangerous when they're moving, and they only move in certain ways and places, and they make noise you can hear, even hybrids. Stairs are like bite-sized paths that your feet can feel the size and shape of all the time.
"You know, Parker…" Molly blurts out with some energy, maybe impatience, but then doesn't continue. She sighs.
I want to let it drop, too. I haven't spent enough time with Molly to know if I'm going to like her or just tolerate her—the amount of energy I'm going to put into this depends a lot on which it's going to be—but either way we're going to be with each other more than with anyone else, all day, every day, all year.
"You can't take it back," I say, just as a fact, not an accusation. "I know there's something in there now. Spit it out before it gets infected."
I can hear her breathing. Thinking breaths. I calculate whether to prod her more or wait her out.
"It's just…" she finally says. "I know we only just met…"
"Do you want me to help you?" I ask. "Or let you flounder around some more?"
Molly blows air out her nose. I can't tell if it's the laughing kind or the eye-rolling kind.
"Yeah, sure, help me out." I hear a little of both. A good sign.
Embedded in the concrete path under my sneakers is the bumpy metal plaque describing the founding of John Quincy Adams High School in 1979. I know exactly where I am.
"Here." I hold out my cane. "Fold this up for me?"
She takes it. "Why?"
I turn and walk briskly toward the stairs, arms swinging, counting in my head… six… five… four… three…
"Parker!" Molly scurries after me.
… two… one… step down…
I march down the stairs, counting them, hitting them hard and confident, legs straight like a soldier, each time sliding my foot back to knock my heel against the prior step.
At the bottom I keep marching and counting silently till I reach the curb where I know Aunt Celia's car will park. I stop and spin around.
It touches my hand. She didn't collapse it like I asked. I do and slide it into my bag.
"Maybe you're thinking I'm a stereotypical blind girl who's out to prove she doesn't need anyone's charity. But instead of being nice to people who are just trying to help her, she's a bitter and resentful bitch because she's missing out on something wonderful that she thinks everyone else takes for granted."
Now I'm starting to wonder if Molly is just a loud breather, though I didn't notice it in the library and it was pretty quiet in there.
"Am I warm?" I ask.
"Not very. But not everyone has to be."
It takes me a moment to get it—which isn't like me at all—and now it's too late to laugh.
I smile. "Touché."
Aunt Celia's car pulls up and stops.
"I suppose you can tell if that's your aunt's car, just by the sound?"
"Pretty much, yeah."
"My dog can do that, too."
I turn my head to face her, something I don't often bother doing.
"I'm starting to like you, Molly Ray. But believe me, it's a mixed blessing."
"Oh, don't worry. I believe it."
The car door thunks open. Aunt Celia calls out, too loudly, "Parker, it's me, hop in!"
I sigh, definitely outwardly.
School was okay. Better than it could have been. Even though half the people didn't know the other half, everyone knew enough people so it wasn't too awkward. It'll take time to get all the noobs up to speed on The Rules, but I have plenty of help.
Some people I don't know very well were helping me with the noobs. Maybe just to be nice, or maybe it makes them feel important telling other people what to do. Or maybe they were protecting me like I'm the school mascot. That would really suck. I'm nobody's poster child.
The ride home was quiet, just how I like it now. I don't know what cars are like when I'm not in them but I get the idea people talk at me more because they think I'm bored sitting there without any scenery. My view never changes, but other than different people and cars on the street every day, I don't think their view changes much either.
I told Aunt Celia a couple months ago she didn't need to entertain me while driving; now she doesn't talk in the car at all. She's black or white about everything. I said it nicely—I wasn't telling her to shut up or anything—but she clammed up anyway. Maybe her feelings got hurt but it's not my fault if people don't like the truth.
"Hi, Big P," my cousin Petey calls down from the landing.
"Hey, Little P. How was school?"
He trots down and sits on the third-from-the-bottom step next to me.
"You're too young to be bored at school. You're not supposed to get bored until the fourth grade."
"I was bored in the second grade, too," he says proudly.
"So was I," I whisper.
"Why are you sitting here?" he whispers back, probably just because I whispered first.
This truth I don't want to tell, not to Petey anyway. It's a tough enough situation as it is, my house filled with relatives—who I used to only cross paths with every couple years—now sleeping in my dead dad's room and home office. I don't want to tell him how I miss talking with Dad on the ride home from school, or how we wouldn't be done when we got home so we'd sit at the kitchen table and talk some more, drinking iced tea, until he finally had to get back to work. I don't want to tell Petey how I didn't think about this until I climbed into Aunt Celia's car today, when the silence—which I created and now can't break—sucked all the air out of the car until I thought I'd pass out. How I want to sit at the kitchen table and talk to Dad now, but if I do everyone will think it's weird, me sitting alone in the kitchen doing nothing. I don't care if people think I'm weird, but they would bug me with questions.
Like Petey's doing now, because sitting on the stairs doing nothing is weirder than sitting at the kitchen table. But I don't want to tell him that instead of sitting in my room having a one-sided conversation with my dad where no one can see, I want to do it in a place where I feel him: in the kitchen, in his office (off-limits, since it's my cousin Sheila's room now), or at the base of the stairs, where I never sat with him in life but sometimes do in my dreams.
"I'm just resting. It's been a long day."
"Wanna play Go Fish?"
Not particularly. But I can't do what I really want to do either. "Sure thing, Little P. How about Sheila?"
"Her door's closed."
We both know what this means. Do Not Disturb.
"All right, you get the cards, I'll pour the drinks. Last one done has to deal."
He pounds up the stairs. I sit a moment longer. Aunt Celia makes Petey pick up his room every night before bed but he just throws everything on shelves and never puts anything in the same place twice. He has a few decks of cards but only one braille set he got from me, so it'll take him a few minutes to find it.
I don't know if they're going to let me just sit quietly to talk to you every day, Dad, but I'm sure as hell going to try. I might need to go into my room and close the door like Sheila, because you're right, everyone has secrets, and that includes me.
Dinner is pork chops—too dry like always—mashed potatoes, applesauce, and canned peas. All of Aunt Celia's meals are cartoons, like something you might get if you were a captive in an alien zoo and they fed you what they thought people ate from watching TV.
I didn't offer to help because Aunt Celia always says no thank you. Which would be fine except she only says it to me. She tries to be nice about it with different reasons, sometimes hinting that she's cutting me a break since I'm "having such a hard time." It's really because the best way to help is chopping and she can't stand seeing a blind girl holding a knife. Whatever. Everything we're eating tonight is stuff I can prepare in my sleep. I'm glad to have less work if that's what makes her happy.
"Parker, did you and Sheila see each other much at school today?" Uncle Sam asks.
"Dad!" Petey says, mortified. "Not cool."
I know what my junior protector means. "It's okay, Little P. The word see can mean a lot of things, like bumping into someone, or dating them, or understanding them. So no, I didn't see Sheila today. Maybe she did see me, though, if you see what I mean."
Petey laughs. No one else does.
"We don't have any of the same classes," Sheila says in her why-do-we-have-to-talk-about-this voice. "And our lockers are nowhere near each other."
Uncle Sam doesn't point out the small size of the school or the possibility of sitting together at lunch or ask how she knows where my locker is if she didn't see me. I'm glad. He usually knows when to stop.
"How's Molly working out?" he asks.
"It always takes a while to break in a new buddy, but she seems promising. She has a lot of Rules to learn."
Sheila snorts. Well, a burst of expelled air, definitely the eye-rolling kind. I let it go.
"Little P has a good story to tell," I say.
"Yeah—" he begins, but Aunt Celia interrupts.
"Please don't call him that, Parker. I've asked you before."
"He likes it, don't you, Little P?"
"It was my idea! Right, Big P?"
"He won't like it later, and by then it'll be stuck."
"The day he asks me to stop calling him Little P, I will, that's a promise. I only call him that at home so if anyone else hears it, it won't be from me."
"It's just… it just doesn't sound… It's not appropriate."
"Your concerns have been heard," I say lightly. "Go on, Little P, tell your story."
I expect a pause for everyone to have an eyebrow conversation about my defiance but Petey can't hold back and jumps right in describing how a fishbowl in his class got knocked over. The fact he's excited doesn't necessarily mean the fish survived—it could have gone the other way and he'd have told the story in pretty much the same tone.
While Petey describes the drama of saving the tetras in chaotic detail, I map out my pork chop with short stabs of my fork and dull knife and then saw the meat away from the bone. I'd caused a minor uproar when they first moved in because after I cut my food I don't switch my fork to my right hand for each bite. This is a concept that (1) had never occurred to me, (2) is common etiquette supposedly, at least among people who still obsess about things like this, and (3) is something I find utterly bizarre. Even stranger was how Aunt Celia not only disapproved of this, and my dad for letting me do it, but also had some half-baked notion of stopping it. Uncle Sam saved us from the most ridiculous argument imaginable by saying the way I eat is how they eat "across the pond." While this didn't make it optimal to Aunt Celia, it somehow made it legitimate enough for her to let it go and save face. It was my first glimpse of what it would be like living with Aunt Celia under my roof.
I'm on my bed with my laptop, reading with the help of Stephen Hawking's voice. I rarely read actual braille books and only occasionally use a braille terminal. A lot of the time I listen to audiobooks or browse the web with text-to-speech software, and what better way to learn stuff than hearing it from the smartest guy in the world?
I'm on my nightly Wikipedia crawl, enjoying the irony of reading about cuckoo birds. They lay their eggs in other birds' nests and then those birds raise the cuckoo chicks as their own, like nothing odd is happening. In my house it's the other way around.
My phone rings with Sarah's ringtone: quack quack quack…
I disconnect my earbuds from the computer and plug them into my phone. "Hey."
"Hey," she says. "Any fires tonight?"
"Nope. Just a few sparks when Aunt Celia told me again to stop calling Petey Little P."
"It's a terrible nickname."
"Not appropriate, she said."
"You know that's Celia-speak for she thinks it's perverted, and it is. He'll hate it later when he figures it out."
"Jesus, Sarah, he's eight. And if you think Little P means his dick, then Big P—wait, never mind. Should have thought that through."
She chuckles and it warms me. Sarah hardly ever laughs.
"Sheila still not talking to you?"
"No change there. None expected."
"My theory's holding; I figured she'd steer clear."
"I'm not the best one to show her around anyway. I can't point out much and I doubt she's interested in how many paces it is from the cafeteria to the nearest bathroom."
"True. How's Molly?"
"Not sure yet. I'm hopeful. Probably won't be a disaster. Ask again later."
"Sure thing, Magic 8 Ball."
"Okay, tell me what you know."
It begins, our nightly recitation of what was observed and inferred throughout the day. My list is always much shorter than Sarah's of course, since she's the eyes of this operation and I'm the mouth, but no one can deny that when I shoot it off, it's very well informed.
We used to be systematic, working through the day class by class, hallway by hallway; now we jump around without missing anything. She describes what people and things look like and I list times and places and describe voices and sometimes sounds and odors so she can zero in on who I'm talking about to get a visual and other info later. I tell her about D.B. from Trig because I suspect he'll be a pain and I might need more tools to deal with him. I mention the calm voice that shut down D.B.'s heavy jock voice and how it sounded familiar yet still not anyone I knew, like how listening to someone with an accent sounds like the other person you know with that accent even though they have different voices.
During a pause where I expect Sarah to jump in, she doesn't. I let the silence go to see how long it lasts. After a few more seconds I know something's up.
"I'm waiting for you to tell me about it."
"You really don't know?"
"That voice? You don't know who it was?"
"Do you? You weren't even there."
"Kay was. She said she was ready to hold up her math book like a shield but you were smooth as glass."
"Kay said that? Smooth as glass?"
"Of course not—it was Kay. She had verbal diarrhea for five minutes. Do you want to hear all that instead of my perfect three-word summary?"
"It was Scott."
"Scott? Scott? It didn't sound…"
The floor vanishes. My stomach twists and I'm falling and I slap both hands on the bed and push my spine into the headboard.
"His voice changed," she says. "Last time you heard him was in the eighth grade. He was only thirteen."
We'd talked about how we'd know some of the immigrants from Jefferson—quirks of geography had us going to the same elementary and middle schools but different high schools. Some of them had been on my shit list before but my list is so long I wasn't worried about a few old names reactivating. Somehow all this didn't include realizing Scott Kilpatrick would be one of them.
I grab my phone. "Gotta go."
"Wait! Don't hang—"
I hang up and yank the cord to pull the buds out of my ears, too fast and at a bad angle and it hurts.
Scott Kilpatrick. Biggest asshole on the planet. Absolute top of my shit list. Exclamation points. ALL CAPS.
Quack quack quack—
I switch off the ringer. My throat is closing, aching like I have a cold, and my face is getting hot.
Scott Kilpatrick. Breaker of Rule Number One. Forever subject to Rule Number Infinity.
Bzzz bzzz bzzz…
I bury the phone under my pillow.
Praise for Not If I See You First:A Top Ten Winter 2015 Indie Next List SelectionAn Amazon Best Books of December 2015 SelectionA Kirkus Best Teen Books of 2015 SelectionA 2016 CCBC Children's Choice* "Lindstrom's immersive portrayal of the dimension Parker's blindness adds to both atypical and everyday angst imbues his protagonist with mature complexity...An unflinching exploration of trust, friendship, and grief."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
- "Not If I See You First is thoughtful and honest, with characters that made me laugh, cry, and surprised me at every turn. It's a book I'll recommend for years to come."—Kody Keplinger, New York Times bestselling author of The DUFF and co-founder of Disability in KidLit
- "Bursting with complex, lovable, and, best of all, real characters, Not If I See You First is a beautiful story about love, loss, friendship, and the difference between looking at and truly seeing. Parker Grant feels like a friend now -- a friend I want to laugh with, to cry with, and especially...to run with."—Jennifer Brown, author of Hate List
- "Parker Grant is unforgettable: vivid, feisty, and absolutely loveable. This book broke my heart, but left me smiling."—Fiona Wood, author of Wildlife and Six Impossible Things
- "This book is fierce, funny, and honest. And get ready for some of the most likable characters you've read in years."—Deb Caletti, National Book Award Finalist
- "The byplay between Parker and her friends is believable, and in creating a heroine whose drive for independence brings both risks and rewards, Lindstrom adds a note of complexity to his gripping depiction of how Parker learns to trust and forgive."—Publishers Weekly
- "[Not If I See You First] possesses crackling wit, intense teen drama, and a lively pace that pulls readers in, as do the everyday details of Parker's world: spoken-word texts, clever methods of finding her way, and a guide runner who helps Parker when she considers joining the school track team. This unique coming-of-age tale is off and running from the start."—Booklist
- "Characterization is fantastic-very few high school stereotypes, and lots of challenged expectations about mean girls, pretty girls, blind girls, fat girls, jocks, and coaches. Parker has just the right degree of acerbic wit to be likable even when she's bitchy, and when she falls apart, her insight into her own character is heartbreaking. And Scott?-oh, Scott, may your tribe of boys who respect boundaries and learn from mistakes increase. This will have broad appeal for readers who need to learn a thing or two about how to shepherd themselves and their friends through difficult times."—BCCB
- "Lindstrom's realistic and humorous dialog breathes life into an eclectic cast of characters. Parker's relationships, including the one with herself, do not sugar-coat the mental struggles familiar to many teenagers. Readers will laugh through tears, with the novel ending on a note of hope and maturity."—School Library Connection
- On Sale
- Dec 1, 2015
- Hachette Audio