Previously published on ReadingYA.rocks
ABOUT THE BOOK
BLIND by Rachel DeWoskin
Published by Viking Juvenile on August 7, 2014
Provided by: NetGalley, Publisher
Rating: 4 stars
This book was provided in exchange for an honest review.
When your life as you know it is taken from you, how do you go on?
Imagine this: You are fourteen, watching the fireworks at a 4th of July party, when a rocket backfires into the crowd and strikes your eyes, leaving you blind. In that instant, your life is changed forever. How do you face a future in which all your expectations must be different? You will never see the face of your newborn sister, never learn to drive. Will you ever have a job or fall in love? This is Emma’s story. The drama is in her manysmall victories as she returns to high school in her home town and struggles to define herself and make sense of her life, determined not to be dismissed as a PBK – Poor Blind Kid. This heartfelt and heart wrenching story takes you on Emma’s journey and leaves you with a new understanding of the challenges to be faced when life deals a devastating blow.
BLIND was such a beautifully written story. There was just something so wonderful about the way the author described how her character, Emma, “saw” the world and people around her. The pictures she painted with her words made me want to close my eyes and imagine I was “seeing” them in the same way. And in trying to put myself in Emma’s shoes I found myself doing this quite often, which of course interrupted the flow.
Emma was not an easy character to connect with or like. Her accident made her prickly, but she seemed to have been not the most likable person even before then. But she was someone who learned and grew as the story progressed and by its end became someone who was very likable. She was strong, sure of herself, accepting of others, forgiving and helpful and brave.
Much of the story was Emma’s inner monologue as she revealed what happened to her, how it affected her, how she fought to return to some sort of normalcy, how she saw her family and friends, how she coped with being blind, how she overcame her fears, and how she was able to reconnect with a world she could no longer see. But that wasn’t the only thing BLIND had to offer.
The death of a student, someone that Emma knew, played a large part in this story. That tragedy somewhat intersected with Emma’s return to her life before her accident and it became something that she tried to grasp onto to understand and to draw parallels to her own situation. While not immediately clear as to why it’s so important to Emma to find answers about what happened to Claire, it will become apparent closer to the story’s end.
BLIND was not only incredibly well-written, heartfelt and emotional, it presented the story in a way that made what happened to Emma not a devastating, life-ending tragedy. Emma’s blindness was not treated as a disability, but as a challenge that she could accept and overcome. It was something that, if she had the inner strength, she could live with. She was not portrayed as a victim.
BLIND may not be a story for everyone. It doesn’t have a quick pace. Its focus is not on romance. The drama is not overly dramatic. The issue is one that is very real. And the journey the author takes readers on is one that is at times bumpy, at others frustrating, at still others heartbreaking. It’s not an easy road. But it is one worth taking.
And it’s also a story I imagine would make for a fascinating audiobook “read.”