Author: Rachel DeWoskin
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Publication: Viking Books
Release Date: August 7, 2014
Spoilers: More than I had hoped but I couldn’t help it. I didn’t spoil much important, though!
I walked around in a bookstore once. Someone next to me had picked up a book and set it down again. “I’ve already read it,” she said. “It’s good.” And then I bought it myself because strangers randomly recommending books to me is my aesthetic.
“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.” [Goodreads]
I had not read a book like this one before. You think you know what it’s about, probably thinking about a girl learning to live her life again with strange things happening in the town she thought was dull and where the only thing that had happened that was remotely interesting being her accident, the accident that blinded her. But on the contrary, this book is about her, but it’s also not about her. It isn’t so much about her disability and her learning how to live her life again as it is about her being hyper-aware of everything and everyone around her, including herself.
The story is an interesting one. A girl is blinded, leaves for a good amount of time to learn basics like reading and life skills with her new set of abilities and then comes back to her old school and having the most interesting story of all in town, until a girl that goes to the same school kills herself. It all doesn’t make sense to her so she sets up meetings to talk about what happened and how it happened and what to do next, in order to prevent such tragedies from happening again. This all happens while she is trying to live her life and overcome her fears. This all happens while she is trying not to let her friendship with her best friend get ruined and tries to find her place in her family again. This all happens while she is coping with the trauma left by her accident.
The writing is great. The way she copes, describes things, the way she learns to see again, not in a literal sense. Every word of this book seemed right. There were some really relatable thoughts in this book and also opinions I’d consider refreshing.
I loved the way the main character, Emma, was different from her best friend, Logan. The two seemed like the perfect friend-match in the beginning but as the story progressed, you got to see how their friendship changed as well. The two had met other people, moved forward while Emma was recovering but still stayed loyal to each other, if not in the same way they had before.
After Emma was blinded, she had to go to a school for the Blind for a while to learn basic skills. There, she made new friends. I honestly wished the writer had elaborated more on how those friends were a part of her life in the future. I also wished the current relation between Emma and her five (!!!) sisters and brother was after the last pages of the book. In the end of the book, there is a little bit of insight in the life of the sister we know least about. This got me so curious I’d almost wish there were another book, focussed on the life of the other sister.
I both agree and disagree with the title. The choice made to choose “blind” as title for the book is one I understand, since it is about Emma and how she copes with being blind and how things go from the moment she was blinded. At the same time, I feel like the story starts of with the most important thing being Emma learning how to live after being blinded, but then moves on to how the world just keeps spinning even after this town has suffered two tragedies in two years, just written from Emma’s perspective. I don’t feel like the main focus of this book is Emma’s blindness but more the characters lives post-tragedies.
Altogether I think this is one of the better books I’d read so far. I don’t read as often as I wished and sometimes I just can’t get through the pages of a book but I finished this one in just two days. I was not disappointed and do not regret staying up until 3AM to keep reading until my eyes hurt I’d recommend this book to anyone.