Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Rachel Dewoskin
(Trigger Warnings for the book: Genital mentions, accident, alcohol, fire, suicide, drugs, animal harm/death)

(The following summary is from Goodreads. Look, I'm already behind on reviewing, you want it to take longer?)

When Emma Sasha Silver loses her eyesight in a nightmare accident, she must relearn everything from walking across the street to recognizing her own sisters to imagining colors. One of seven children, Emma used to be the invisible kid, but now it seems everyone is watching her. And just as she's about to start high school and try to recover her friendships and former life, one of her classmates is found dead in an apparent suicide. Fifteen and blind, Emma has to untangle what happened and why - in order to see for herself what makes life worth living.

Okay, this review is split into two parts. The first is a draft of the review when I was only halfway through. The second is now, when the book is done.
Part One
Unlike most books on here, I didn't pick up this book because 'wow! That sounds interesting!' (that came later), but instead the creeping feeling that I should. It was on one of my lists, and I was curious. Would I need to take it off the list? Was it even a good book? So, out of curiosity and some vague worries, I picked it up.

The first thing I noticed was backstory. This is kind of alarming, because I usually feed on a diet of trashy mermaid romances where backstory and plot are treating like some kind of plague. And Blind has a lot of backstory. A lot. While the book follows the plot of a murder mystery type scenario, it would be a bit easier to say that it was about Emma's journey from first being blinded to accepting her disability and doing the things she wants to do. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Actually, the backstory is really interesting. 

It would be nice, however, if the book was a little less expound-y. It wasn't fluff sentences or fluff scenes that were the problem, but things that could take one sentence taking a paragraph instead. That didn't happen too often, but enough to be kind of irritating. Most of them were referring to Zach (more on him later).

The characters were really cool. Logan especially. Instead of being your Typical YA Best Friend (TM), she was actually a person. A real person, whose life didn't revolve a) Emma, or b) helping Emma get together with Love Interest. Even with some of the qualities of the Typical YA Best Friend (TM) like being snarky, or being emotionally strong, she was rounded out and interesting to read.

Emma broke out of the mold of what I except from the Typical YA Heroine (TM). She wasn't defined by something like shyness or stubbornness, but by being her own person. She had opinions and did things, acting like someone who you might know instead of cardboard cut out you might know. Even if she acted a little cynical sometimes, it didn't come off as that aggravating type of cynicism I've gotten way too used to reading, where the narrator sounds like they think they're better than everyone. I liked it.

Even secondary or background characters were individuals. Emma's sisters (and brother) didn't feel like they were there for the 'look, a baby! Oh, don't you love the BABY?! BABY BABY BABY!' factor. I hate that factor. I've mentioned this in previous reviews. I don't think you guys need a recap on it. Anyway, each of Emma's six siblings were unique. At the same time, they acted their age and did their own thing. Other secondary characters, even ones that had like two lines were individuals. Do you know how hard it is to give a character two lines and still make me think 'yep, this is a person. I like this person. Yep.'?! It's really hard. A flower crown to the author.

Zach. No. No Zach, not right now. You know where his paragraph is, don't you, lovelies?

As mentioned in the first paragraph, there was backstory. And the backstory was well written and didn't seem like it was just there to clog things up. However, it did slow down the pace of the novel. The book's only 394 pages. That's not that bad. But it feels so much longer. I'm going to admit, I'm not quite done with it at the writing of this paragraph (December 20).

Part Two

I honestly don't know what happened. The book was still good, but something must have happened at the halfway mark.

First of all, the pacing picked up. Great! I'm going to admit, the slowness of the first half was seriously starting to bother me.

But Emma also suddenly achieved Stage Four Other Girls Syndrome. It just happened. She went from being all cool and original to sounding a lot like the very Typical YA Heroine (TM). Sad. She hit the points of: feminist is a dirty word, all gays are dead, all gays are messed up, and you're a slut. What?! I expect books to start like this, not end like this. Was this some kind of messed up character arch? Le sigh.

Zach's status of Love Interest was dropped, to be picked up by Sebastian. Sebastian was cool, so I didn't mind. At the same time, could Dee being Sebastian's girlfriend have not incited an Other Girls reaction? Please?

(Sorry I missed the 15th. Busy season. Hopefully I can read more books over break and put them in a queue.)

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