Harcourt Children's Books
October 23, 2012
There’s none so blind as they that won’t see.
Seventeen-year-old Tricia Farni’s body floated to the surface of Alaska’s Birch River six months after the night she disappeared. The night Roz Hart had a fight with her. The night Roz can’t remember. Roz, who struggles with macular degeneration, is used to assembling fragments to make sense of the world around her. But this time it’s her memory that needs piecing together—to clear her name . . . to find a murderer.
This unflinchingly emotional novel is written in the powerful first-person voice of a legally blind teen who just wants to be like everyone else.
Blind Spot was so, so different from what I was expecting based on the synopsis - and the cover, too, actually. We find out int he beginning that the body of Tricia Farni has been found, after her long disappearance, but then the story goes back in time to introduce the characters. We meet Roz who's just starting her sophomore year, her first year without her best friend after their friendship recently fell apart.
Roz also hates any time her macular degeneration, and eyesight problem that's led to her being declared legally blind, makes her stand out - and she's about to find that she'll be less able to blend in this year thanks to one person.
Readers also meet Tricia, a troubled girl in one of Roz's classes and other possible friends for Roz - as well as possible suspects in what the first part of the book is counting down to: Tricia's death.
The characters - and their circumstances and situations - in Blind Spot were both unique and a great way to move the story forward. I appreciated that Roz's 'disability' wasn't the only out of the norm thing a character was dealing with in this story. Some of the characters' personalities, on the other hand, seemed to rub me the wrong way. While Roz had a lot of book smarts, she had very little, let's say, walking around sense. There were so many times that I just wanted her to exhibit some common sense.
We did see that she was given several major stressors - both before the story began and especially during it - didn't have a decent parental figure, but a bit more introspection or logical actions would have made her a better character for me. Perhaps it was that the story was first person that created some of my difficulties here, but she aggravated me sometimes. (Sony!)
The adult figure creating a lot of conflict in the story also brought up a lot of questions. The actions did move the story along, create emotional turmoil for Roz and trouble between different characters, but at times I had trouble finding it all entirely plausible. If everything was happening as Roz told it, it seemed unlikely that no one else would take issue and/or believe her reporting of things.
The first part of the novel did read a like a great contemporary. There was a nice mix of characters, including characters with attributes that you don't normally see in most YA (or adult, for that matter) fiction. I don't see this quite as the 'mystery' the synopsis seemed to promise and do think the other aspects of the story were stronger. Though there were parts of (or character in) the book that I did not like, there were aspects that I did and I'm curious to see what Ms Ellen follows this with.
thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my e-galley