Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review: Blind Spot by Laura Ellen

Blind Spot
Laura Ellen
Publication date:  October 23rd 2012
by Harcourt Children's Books

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
 *A copy was provided by Thomas Allen & Son for review purposes*

Blind Spot was definitely not the thrilling murder mystery I had first envisioned, but because of some recent reviews I was forewarned, and I was expecting about what we got: A crazy contemporary regarding extreme teenage drama, drugs, special ed class, and an insane, mind boggling mess.

We have a girl, Roz, who has an eye disease that causes her to see spots in her vision--imagine looking at the sun too long. This part of the story was saddening and made me appreciate what we don't always realize we're lucky to have--clear vision. Being laughed at, accused, and bullied is what she has to deal with on a daily basis, not to mention being put in a special ed class where she meets other kids who are… a little messed up. Let's just say we have a very eccentric cast of characters in this book. From the popular jock to the druggy, I can't say I was a fan of any of them. Every single character in this book made me want to slap myself in the face and pretend it was them. In fact, I hated one so much--the teacher with the bizarre fixation on Roz--that it affected my overall enjoyment of the book. What was his problem? This happened with another book recently, too, where one character annoys me to such degree that I can't even enjoy hating them. On the other hand, I couldn't help finding their strangeness completely intriguing. Weird!

As for our protagonist, she was not my favourite. Although she made me sympathize to her eyesight situation and the difficulties it caused her, I could not forgive the decisions that she makes in this book, especially when it came to Jonathan. Jonathan, a douchebag of a guy; they call him Zeus, that alone should be enough to steer clear of him. Yet, our dear protagonist is all over him because he's popular. Yes, that is all. I did not understand Roz's affinity towards him. Honestly, he made me cringe. She makes mistake after mistake when she gives in to his preposterous ideas and I could not understand why she kept trusting him. Like the book overall, her mind remains a mystery to me.

What we have here is a complete mind game of a plot. You never understand why the characters are acting a certain way,you're never sure who you can trust, who to believe, and then a girl goes missing. This is the part that I did like. I actually quite enjoyed trying to figure out what the heck everyone's problem was. In this particular case it was as fun as it was frustrating. Hence why I feel very undecided towards the book as whole. It was all very...interesting?  Then there were parts of the story I did not like very much. The whole plan near the end where the cops get involved is absurd. No way would any police play into this realistically. And then the ending, frankly I feel a little cheated. You will know why.

Did I like this book? To be honest, I'm not quite sure. I feel kind of like a deer in headlights. It's not a murder mystery, even though there is a murder (or so they think), and a mystery; it's a contemporary novel filled with angst and baffling situations. If you enjoy those types of reads then I would say give it a try. It's certainly different from anything I've read and I feel it may be one of those you have to experience for yourself.

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