Love and First Sightby Josh Sundquist
Published by Hachette on January 3rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
On his first day at a new school, blind sixteen-year-old Will Porter accidentally groped a girl on the stairs, sat on another student in the cafeteria, and somehow drove a classmate to tears. High school can only go up from here, right?
As Will starts to find his footing, he develops a crush on a charming, quiet girl named Cecily. Then an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that could give Will eyesight for the first time in his life. But learning to see is more difficult than Will ever imagined, and he soon discovers that the sighted world has been keeping secrets. It turns out Cecily doesn't meet traditional definitions of beauty--in fact, everything he'd heard about her appearance was a lie engineered by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed?
Told with humor and breathtaking poignancy, Love and First Sight is a story about how we related to each other and the world around us.
I enjoy reading young adult when it’s written from a teen boy’s point of view, especially if it’s authored by an actual MALE. Female authors do okay with the teen boy POV most of the time. But when it comes right down to it, the best comes right from the source. It’s finding a story that’s interests me that is sometimes the hardest part.
“Love” is the first word in this book’s title so I can’t go too wrong thinking this is a romance, right?
Well, this story has bit more “story” to it than just the romance. Will Porter was born blind and has been attending a school for the blind since he started school. But during his high school years, Will wants to attend a regular high school to help him learn to participate in the seeing world to prepare himself for a career in journalism later.
For all his planning, all his tools, and all his street-smarts, Will’s first day in the new school goes horribly wrong. It wasn’t so bad when he accidentally groped a girl (not much to complain about there). But when he sat down on a guy’s lap at lunch, that got a little awkward. By the end of day, he does manage to befriend an awesome group of friends. It’s in these friends that Will is able to find the strength to try new things, push his boundaries, and discover a new sight-full world. And this is all before his experimental surgery that could possibly get his eyesight back.
I don’t want to talk too much about the love story because I think the synopsis kind of spells out most of it. The romance/friendship with Cecily, though, only makes up about a third of the story but it’s a doozy. I take slight issue with the synopsis saying that Will’s friends lied to him about Cecily’s appearance. IMHO, they never lied. It’s a shame that we couldn’t see Cecily’s intelligence more often due to her insecurities. Booooo!!!!
The story moves at a nice pace the entire time and the characters are well written. Besides Will’s new friends at school, we also get to know Will’s parents. His parents, in my opinion, are completely nuts (that is quoted directly from my notes) but luckily one of them comes through for Will in the end. Phew….. dodged the bad parents trope!!
The amount of research that Mr. Sundquist did for this story shows through in his writing. I was fascinated by the entire process of “seeing” and how the nerves in the eyes work with the brain to process images that are learned. I have a new understanding of vision and what it means to “see”. Mr. Sundquist includes all his research at the end of the story and I highly recommend reading it. I certainly geeked-out over it.
Oh, and don’t forget the romance… 😉