One of the things that struck me about Not If I See You First was that, although it is narrated by a girl who lost her sight aged seven, her blindness is by no means her only defining feature. Parker is funny, determined and honest.
The fact that the book is told entirely through Parker also adds an interesting dimension. We’re limited to what people sound like and act like, but it doesn’t feel like a limitation. In fact I feel like I know these characters slightly better because there is such a focus on their words and actions; how respectful and understanding they are of Parker’s needs and how they speak to one another.
There’s also an underlying story about mental illness and the effect that it can have on the people we love. It’s not explicitly stated, but the insinuation is there; Parker’s parents were mentally ill in some way and she is alone because of it. Within that story is the question of how we deal with grief, whether there is a balance between letting our emotions out and pushing through.
I really, really enjoyed this book. It was tragic in parts, funny in others and understated in a way that made it feel very real.