Review: Blind Spot by Laura Ellen
Summary From Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Tricia Farni’s body floated to the surface of Alaska’s Birch River six months after the night she disappeared. The night Roz Hart had a fight with her. The night Roz can’t remember. Roz, who struggles with macular degeneration, is used to assembling fragments to make sense of the world around her. But this time it’s her memory that needs piecing together—to clear her name . . . to find a murderer.
This unflinchingly emotional novel is written in the powerful first-person voice of a legally blind teen who just wants to be like everyone else.
I received an ARC of Blind Spot from the awesome people over at ARCycling in exchange for an honest review.
Blind Spot is a book that suffers and succeeds simultaneously because of the unique perspective of its main character, Roz, who has macular degeneration. Without getting all technical or quoting Wikipedia, macular degeneration in Roz’s case can be summed up by saying she has a spot in the center of each of her eyes that prevents her from seeing things that are directly in front of her. To cope with this she has to look over to the side and use her peripheral vision to see what is straight ahead. As you can imagine this can cause a bunch of different reactions and problems for her.
I said that Roz’s perspective causes Blind Spot to succeed and suffer, but I’ll focus on the successes first. The unique way that Roz sees the world is unlike anything else I’ve ever read. While this is partially just because other MCs don’t have this vision problem, it is also due to her changed world views because of that condition, not just the obvious eyesight problems. Her self esteem is pretty low which is clear from the beginning of the book and she feels like people don’t notice her. To Roz “normal” is the ultimate goal, pushing away her vision problems and being able to do what anyone else can is really what she strives for. She’s passionate, to the point of being headstrong, and a tad obsessive and moody at times, but Roz is one of the most intriguing characters I’ve experienced in some time. You can’t help but root for her, at least I couldn’t.
Then there is the downside to Roz’s impairment. While I understand that it is how the plot can exist in the way that it does, Roz’s vision issues result in a very disjointed book. You jump around from one plot to the next with so little connection because of the way she views the world and while I wouldn’t say it is confusing, it is distracting and irritating. Everything moves very quickly as well. So you get a snippet or scene where Roz is with one group acting one way and BAM a few pages later and she’s doing something completely different with a whole new group. It just wasn’t coherent and the flow was off. The book’s general “feel” is hampered by Roz’s many mood swings and changes of heart. While at her age it makes sense to have some rapid changes that are a bit chaotic it feels more like she can’t get a grasp of her own feelings toward people or the events around her. She goes from timid to boisterous and from cold to obsessive and boy crazy in rapid succession. It’s just…weird.
I’m not big on the romance. It wasn’t that there was blatant insta-love that bothered me or that the relationships were bad, they just weren’t overly interesting. Plus Roz treats one of the love interest like dirt for so long and yet he keeps trying and being nice to her, I’m not sure how realistic it is even for teens. Meh.
Blind Spot left me with muddled feelings just like the content within. I didn’t dislike the book but it also would never be a re-read for me. I can’t say I’d recommend it but I don’t feel strongly enough to say NOT to read it either. Just one of those books where I’m not unhappy I read it but my time might have been better spent on a different piece. It happens. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #110/200