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.
Hardcover, 416 pages
Expected publication: August 7th 2014 by Viking Juvenile
I won a copy of this book as part of a Goodreads firstreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. I was pretty excited because I had previously been turned down for a galley copy of the book.
This was written for a YA audience and I feel that it appropriately represented the demographic. It captures the journey of Emma as she learns to deal without her vision in a world that is vision obsessed. The reader is along for the ride as she copes with denial, anger, and acceptance.
I think the part that makes this story a real gem is that it deals with all of the usual teenage drama that a fifteen year old would go through and added to it the aspect of being newly blind. Although perhaps at a greater extent, Emma still has to deal with insecurities, family, less than truthful friendships, boys and heartbreak. This to me made the story more real. The fact that she had to live everyday life with a disability was intensified by the fact that she was dealing with the same issues she would have been before her accident.
There was a good cast of supporting characters. I enjoyed her family and their differences along with her friends. I wish that Sebastien had a greater presence in the story as I really loved his character. As a great lover of dogs I can't leave out her companion dog who was present with her throughout the story. What Emma does with him at the end of the story had me in tears.
This was a coming of age story with the twist of losing ones eyesight. I think younger readers will be able to identify with Emma because aside from her vision she was dealing with normal everyday issues. Overall I would recommend this read.
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