Firstly, I would like to confess that I do judge books by their covers. (Don’t kill me) This one certainly caught my attention. The picture I’ve inserted here doesn’t do it any justice. The edition I have is bright yellow and the braille (the black dots you see in the picture above) on my copy are tiny raised silver dots instead. I love running my fingers across the bumps, and they do spell something which is great fun to decipher. 🙂
Now, on to the book. Following my streak I started with The Serpent King, this story doesn’t really have a plot. The main characters are younger at about 15 years old. It follows Parker Grant, a blind girl who is navigating high school. If you’re looking for a book where the main topic is about being blind, you might want to look elsewhere as this book largely treats Parker like a normal person with normal problems.
A good summary of the book might be that it is about love, in all its different forms. The most prominent one is the love between friends, which was something about the book that I thoroughly enjoyed. There were also many quiet moments that just made me smile with their sincerity and downright cute-ness.
As I finished it in less than 2 days, I would recommend this book if you are up for a light-hearted read, or if you are curious about the daily life of someone who is blind. Though her blindness was not a talking point of the story, I definitely gained some insight on what it is like being blind.
MWAHAHA now it is on to the spoiler-filled section which I hope will entertain you. If you have read the book or don’t plan on reading it, feel free to scroll forward. If you plan on reading the book, Shoo!
SPOILER DISCUSSION ALERT – PROCEED WITH CAUTION
As I have mentioned in my previous post, I love reading negative-ish reviews…
…Okay! Briefing’s over, let’s get on with it.
- Being blind is not a central theme — I understand that going into a book like this, we expect the story to be centered around her blindness. However I don’t think we should write off a book like this just because the struggles of being blind aren’t central to the story. There are plenty of moments throughout the book that address her blindness. The book is told in the first person perspective so we do get to see how she goes about her daily life. For example, it was fascinating to read about how she manages to run all by herself every morning, or visit the mall to buy shoes on her own. Sure, I would love to read a book where we get to see the main character come to terms with his/her disability, but it doesn’t make this story less worthy of being read. If you would like to read more books with blind characters, here’s a list from Goodreads. I don’t think that all the books mentioned have a blind main character, but it should be a good place to start. Knock yourself out 😀 (If you have read any books which involve blind characters that you would like to recommend, let me know!)
- Jason disappears without another peep near the middle of the book after the BIG REVEAL — I will admit that I only noticed this disappearance briefly near the 3/4 mark of the book. But by that time I couldn’t really care less about him. OHOHO. However, I do find it very strange that his storyline wasn’t really tied up neatly. We never see him beyond the part when Parker decides she wants back with Scott. Also, at the beginning he was very charming. But near the middle he started getting a little strange…? I can’t explain it. He sorta felt like a different character to me. Arguably though, this does reflect real life. A first encounter helps you form a certain impression of a person. But, subsequent interactions start to shape and mould this initial impression to a more accurate one. I am also very curious… How does he know how to talk to blind people?!?!?!?! Even Parker wants to know. He does a lot of things when they first meet that make it seem like he has a relative who is also blind. This would’ve made for a pretty cool side story but alas, it was never addressed.
- Swearing — Ok, I don’t think the f-bombs were all that necessary but they weren’t used excessively so I shall live with it.
- Parker’s slight immaturity and overreaction — Wasn’t this addressed in the book? That she was only 13 and didn’t understand the situation fully. The misunderstanding was what led her to shut Scott out. But I sympathise. Wouldn’t you feel ashamed? Something so private is being made fun of. Maybe this is just my opinion but where I come from, people don’t usually make out in public. So the fact that 7 people were watching frightens the living daylights outta me.
- Parker was whiny/full of herself/unlikable — Really? I didn’t notice.
- Romance with Jason was weird — On hindsight, agreed.
- Other senses were ignored — I didn’t think about this but yeah there were fewer descriptions about smell, taste and touch. It was mostly dialogue throughout the book. This would have been a nice added layer but its absence didn’t destroy the book for me.
- The font was strange — No one has actually complained about this but I do think it took a while for me to get used to the font. But this is just personal preference.
- The scarves were a great fashion idea — This isn’t a complaint about the book. I just needed somewhere to lament that living in the tropics means scarves are generally not part of the wardrobe. 😦
Thanks for sticking with me…