Parker Grant is blind. Not just legally blind, but completely and utterly blind. She can’t see blobs of color or even tell the difference between light and dark. Why? Because her optical nerves were horribly damaged when her mom drove drunk and crashed their car. Parker was lucky, though, because she only lost her sight — her mom died in that crash. With the help and support of her loving father and her friends, and also in part because she was still a resilient/young kid, Parker managed to adapt very well to life without vision. When her dad suddenly died, the summer before her junior year of high school, though, it wasn’t quite as easy to transition again. Despite the fact that her aunt’s family came to live with her — so she could remain in the same house and attend the same high school — she felt so alone. Though they were technically “family,” it just wasn’t the same as living with her own parent(s).
This story probably sounds totally depressing as I have described it thus far, but please believe me when I say that it is not all doom and gloom and death. It was actually quite funny in parts. A lot of the story focuses on Parker’s budding love interest [Jason], her evolving friendships with her close friends, and the reappearance of her former friend/boyfriend [Scott]. High school is rife with drama as it is, and the fact that Jason and Scott became friends before Jason met Parker set the stage for plenty more. I loved Parker’s sassy, snarky, tell-it-like-it-is attitude, and I was further intrigued by the ways that standard teen angst could be compounded by a visual impairment. (Just imagine all the body language and other visual cues you’d miss!) I’d recommend this book to fans of Sara Zarr’s Sweethearts.