cover image Not If I See You First

Not If I See You First

Eric Lindstrom. Little, Brown/Poppy, $18 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-25985-9

An old writing adage suggests that plot boils down to getting a character up a tree and then throwing rocks at him. In Lindstrom’s debut, the tree is high, and the rocks are jagged. Parker Grant lost her sight and her mother in a car crash; as the book opens, she’s coping with her father’s sudden death. A high school junior, Parker gets around well on her own (so much so that she runs at a nearby field in secret) and has some strict rules to keep her life manageable. Some are reasonable (warn her before touching her, don’t assume blind means stupid), some less so (no crying, no second chances). That last rule, inspired by the middle-school boyfriend who broke her heart, is tested when he reappears. The byplay between Parker and her friends is believable, and in creating a heroine whose drive for independence brings both risks and rewards, Lindstrom adds a note of complexity to his gripping depiction of how Parker learns to trust and forgive. Ages 15–up. Agent: Jennifer Weltz, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. (Dec.)