October 23, 2012
Harcourt Children's Books
Young Adult | Contemporary
Source/Format: ARC Relay/ARC
Rating: ★★★ 1/2
There’s none so blind as they that won’t see.
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 had my difficulties with Blind Spot by Laura Ellen. For one, I hated Mr. Dellian, a teacher that deals with the special education classes (and AP history, I think.) It was SO frustration that he was out to get Roz. WHY? What did Roz do to him? NOTHING. ABSOLUTELY FREAKING NOTHING.
It’s frustrating when someone clearly has a vendetta against one and it isn’t explain—and even more frustrating when it’s a teacher against a student. There should be NO REASON for a teacher to do what Dellian does to Roz—marking her absent for sitting in the front, which he KNOWS she has to do in order to see, etc. etc.
And yet I can’t help but wonder if that was Laura Ellen’s intent: to make the readers get so frustrated with Dellian. But I don’t think it actually works, because at the end we learn more about Dellian and his relationship with Tricia and now we have to feel sympathetic for him? Oh hell no. That doesn’t work for me at ALL.
As for Roz. Oh holy mother, I ended up hating her at points. She makes mistakes, yes, but they’re mistakes she could have easily avoided, especially with Dellian. Look, I get that when you have a disability, you don’t want people to act different around you, but getting in trouble with the school because you and Dellian have some twisted war going on is NOT going to make you sympathetic toward the readers.
What I did like was the writing style. I LOVED that this book is written differently than most, but after a while it gets annoying. This book is almost split in half: we have a prologue that hooks the reader, stating that Tricia’s body was found six months after she disappeared and then chapter one is when Roz meets Tricia. You know there’s an impending doom, but while readers are waiting for the story to GET ON WITH IT, the story is taking its time to develop the relationship between the characters.
While this one was addicting, I found my thoughts wandering and resulting in me having to reread a lot of paragraphs because of the writing style, especially during the first half before Tricia goes missing.
Also, the ending. Ugh, that ending. It was a disappointment. I wish it would have been awesome. It’s just . . . everything was building up to something epic and then the mystery was resolved and instead of it being this huge explosion of awesome, it fell back down to the earth and broke. No explosion. NOTHING. It was a letdown of an ending.
BUT I liked it. It’s a strange little book. I like those type of books.