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Blind Spot

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Missing things is nothing new to sixteen-year-old Roz. She lives with macular degeneration, an eye disease that robs her of her central vision. Every day, Roz has to piece together fragments to make sense of the world around her. She's always managed to get along fine without help, but when she's placed in a special needs class, Roz begins a desperate attempt to prove she's "normal" - and soon her world spins out of control.

A classmate's body floats 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. Now only Roz's ability to piece together what she missed that fateful night can clear her name.

336 pages, Hardcover

First published October 23, 2012

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Laura Ellen

2 books203 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 182 reviews
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,356 followers
October 25, 2012
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.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,908 reviews853 followers
October 9, 2012
3.5 Stars.

Just as there are stars in the day sky that you can’t see until nightfall, I realized, there were things right there in front of me that I’d missed. *

And that is a central theme to this story.

I found Blind Spot an engrossing read with a realistic protagonist, and a story that put me on the edge of my seat, and made me a little anxious. It isn’t a perfect story, but it was fascinating enough to make me read it in one sitting.

Sixteen year old Roz find herself in the middle of a murder investigation and is quickly becoming the lead suspect. We find out about the murder of Tricia, Roz’s classmate, in the first few pages when her body floats to the surface of icy waters, six months after she goes missing. Roz, as well her “boyfriend,” Jonathan, seem to be the last people to see Tricia alive, and the meeting wasn’t a pleasant one. Roz can only remember up to a certain point that night and then everything is a blank. She now has to try and piece together things before the murder gets pinned on her.

Tricia is a troubled girl, and not very likeable, as we find out when we are taken back to when Roz and Tricia first meet. Roz is thrown in with her when she’s enrolled in “Life Skills,” a class to deal with her disability. Being diagnosed with macular degeneration has been a struggle for Roz, as it would be for anyone. She desperately holds onto to what little “normal” life she can keep, and tries to get out of the class, without success. This is also where we meet Mr. Dellian, the teacher of Life Skills, who seems bent on making Roz’s life miserable. I find it hard to believe he would get away with a lot of his treatment of Roz, and I really couldn’t stand Mr. Dellian, even when some facts come to light. To me, it still didn’t excuse his behavior.

Finding out that Jonathan, the hockey-star-stud of school, is Mr. Dellian’s aid in the class is just adds to Roz’s humiliation. Surprisingly to Roz though, Jonathan starts paying attention to her, with her self-esteem being what it is, she laps it up. Roz is even more confused when a childhood crush and boy next door Greg also starts paying attention to her. I have a special weakness for the boy-next-door, long-time-friend-that-turns-into-more, romances, and Greg fits the bill perfectly. He constantly goes out of his way to help and protect Roz without demeaning her. I’ll let you get to know Jonathan, or “Zeus” as he’s nick-named, all by yourself.

I think I found the parts revolving around Roz dealing with macular degeneration, and her relationships more intriguing than the actual mystery. Just tackling things that are routine for most people, like opening a locker, was a challenge for Roz. Her struggles to stay as “normal” as possible, and stubborn denial of any help made me want to hug and strangle her at the same time! I think Ms. Allen did a good job walking the fine line between making a main character flawed and yet still likeable. That’s not to say that the mystery wasn’t interesting, in fact I stayed up late reading because of it. There were a few surprises, but for any mystery buff some of these will be easy to figure out. That’s not always a bad thing, though. There’s an amount of reader satisfaction when you get your suspicions confirmed. What I did have issues with was the investigation, and Roz’s involvement in it. I found it to be less than believable. It wasn’t to the point of ruining the story though.

If you up for a dark story with less than perfect characters, I think Blind Spot will hit the mark for you. There’s enough romance too, for junkies like me to be satisfied as well. I'd like to mention that I love this cover and I think it fits perfectly with the story. The writing obscures the central part of vision, just like Roz's in the story.

Thank you to Harcourt Children’s Books and Netgalley for allowing me to read this.

*Quote taken from an uncorrected proof and may change in the final copy.

You can find this review and more at The Readers Den.
Profile Image for Addie R..
193 reviews73 followers
October 4, 2012

Stopped on page 188.
Those characters were just horrible. And I don't mean the way they were developed, but they just literally had me wanting to rip my hair out and slap them silly.
The mystery didn't really hook me either.
Shame cus it really had an intriguing premise.

Profile Image for Beth.
2,935 reviews199 followers
February 11, 2015
Roswell Hart can't remember anything about the night her classmate Tricia Farni died, and she needs to start remembering soon - her life depends upon it.

Roz is used to living in a hazy world. Macular degeneration has caused her vision to fail her on many occasions, but on the night Tricia disappeared, it's Roz's memory that fails her, not her vision. All Roz can remember from that night is that she and Tricia had a fight. What happens after that is completely erased from her memory.

But when Tricia's body is pulled from the Birch River six months after she disappeared, Roz is now a suspect in a variety of crimes, including Tricia's death. Soon Roz finds herself being questioned by the police to which she doesn't have any answers, other than just one: she didn't do it. And she's determined to get to the bottom of who did in order to clear her name.

Blind Spot is an amazing story that helps to fill a hole in modern YA literature: the mystery. There just aren't that many YA writers doing mystery these days and I love that Laura Ellen is helping to change that. While I did have some issues with the story, on the whole, it was heart-pumping and page-turning. It took me a while to get into the book, but then once I did, I stayed up until 2 a.m. finishing it, which I haven't done with a book in a long time.

Read the rest of my review here.
Profile Image for Brian.
296 reviews116 followers
May 9, 2012
I was fortunate to receive an early ARC of this October debut, and I just about devoured it. I was on a trip with my family to my little brother’s graduation (he goes to college about 9 hours away), and I was very happy to read this along the way, but I was pretty upset when I was slated to drive around town all weekend! Not because I didn’t want to drive (as I somewhat knew the town), but because it meant I had to put this book down! So, let’s get into it.

The book opens with the middle of the plot. It’s fascinating, because we know the major turning point of the story at the outset (unlike John Green’s Looking for Alaska). Yet, nothing feels like it’s spoiled or revealed because of this. I like the choice of making the hook not just a hook, but a nice piece of meat to chew on for a while.

Our story revolves around Roz (short for Roswell, not Rose) and her life being relegated to a special-ed “Life Skills” class. She is adamant about not needing this. You see, Roz has macular degeneration, which causes her to see large spots in her vision, the most notable being one right where her focus would be. She must look to the side and use her peripheral vision to see things properly. The irony here, of course, being that if she does look someone in the eyes, that’s when she actually cannot see them at all. Anyway, she has an IEP, but this clearly states that she really only has one accommodation: she must be allowed to sit up front in class. Nowhere does it say she has to take a Life Skills class.

Except Mr. Dellian is in charge of her IEP now, and he happens to teach this Life Skills class (not to mention AP History). It is mandatory for anyone receiving special needs services. So everyone from the severely autistic kid, to the legally blind Roz, to the possibly psychotic Tricia are in this class.

This class has a feel of Mr. Kotter’s class in a way. Everyone is tight-knit and watches out for one another. One student even brings in baked goods every morning. Jonathon, a hockey player is an aide in the class (Mr. Dellian is also the hockey coach, which is believable, as there is a small-town small-school feel to this book). He has got an eye for Roz, and she has weak knees for him.

But don’t let yourself get fooled into thinking this book is about the romance between them (don’t worry; there is some). No, it’s much more than that. You see, Tricia has gone missing, not long after Roz and Jonathon help her get some weed to help her cope with her heroin addiction. Things went sour at the homecoming dance, and Roz is trying to piece it all together. The thing is, her vision isn’t the only thing that has a blind spot. There’s a lot of that night she can’t remember. She’s losing her friends as she dives further after the truth. The cops are breathing down her neck — can she see through her blind spots and figure out what really happened in time?

There are so many things going on in this book, most of them fantastic. First off, the cover. Whoa. I can’t believe how good the cover is. Secondly, the characters are phenomenal. Mr. Dellian, Tricia, Roz, Greg, Fritz (I love Fritz), Jonathon. . .it’s just a great cast. Every character is so real. Some of them may be a bit one-dimensional, but it’s also first-person narration. And who didn’t view some of their friends as “the ________ girl” or something like that in high school? Most of them are full, deep characters, and it’s neat to watch them all interact. I imagine it was fun to write with so many characters who have some pretty strong personas.

Also great here is the mystery. I’ve seen this categorized as a thriller, and I’d disagree with that a bit, but it certainly is a mystery. I mean, someone’s gone missing, and it seems like Roz should know what happened. . .but she doesn’t. So neither does the reader, though there’s just the right amount of foreshadowing going on in there.

The best thing, though — the BEST THING — about this book is that it is not an issue book. Does the narrator have macular degeneration? Yes. Does that impact the plot in a meaningful and not insignificant way? Yes. Is that what the book is about? ABSOLUTELY NOT. And this, I think, is exactly the way it should be.

Honestly, I could keep going, but I’ve rambled enough already. Okay, just a little more: there were a lot of parts in the beginning that I thought “the Printz committee should read this.” Not because I think it would win, but because it’s good, and it’s a debut. I think Laura Ellen has something going on here, and I’d like to see her write more.

Ultimately, though, I can’t give this 5 stars. It’s a solid book, I really enjoy it, etc., etc. But I think it tried to do a little too much at times. Also, the ending, while I liked it, was a little too rushed (in my opinion). But really, the nail in the 5-stars coffin: comparing Tesla to Buckcherry. Come on. I guess I just can’t be as open-minded about that as Greg. Now, excuse me while I go rock out to some “Modern Day Cowboy.”

I recommend this to high schoolers and up. I think the language and some topics (explicit drug use as well as references to drugs like GHB as well as sex — consensual and otherwise) may be a bit much for middle schoolers.
Profile Image for Jenni Arndt.
438 reviews330 followers
November 8, 2012
You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.

I feel the need to start off this review by saying that Laura Ellen's Blind Spot was a strange beast for me. I sat down on a Sunday morning and was thrown into this world that I had quite a few issues with. I couldn't find one redeeming character in the bunch & as I look back their actions are just baffling, as well, the pacing was all over the place. That being said, I couldn't put it down. I read it in a single sitting and I was very engrossed in the mystery and all of the WTF moments that occurred.

Let me start by talking about the characters. I don't think we were supposed to like them, I mean Roswell (Roz) our MC was about as unlikeable as they come. She starts off the novel on the first day of a new school year and as she follows the map she had made for herself to her first class, she realizes that she is headed into a class in the Special Education wing of her high school. Well, needless to say Roz is not very happy about being in a SPED class and as we experience the ordeal in her judgmental brain I was nervous I was going to get very offended. But luckily I wasn't and as I sit back I can understand where her emotions at the time and really throughout the story came from. Roz grew up being on sports teams, and in with the in-crowd at school only to find out that she suffers from Macular Degeneration and is legally blind. Her world fell apart when she got the diagnosis and she became very bitter. She refused the help that she needed because she had grown up being independent and self sufficient and that is probably about the hardest thing someone can have to give up. Now, even though I understood a lot of her motivation for how she was, that doesn't mean that I liked her. She made a lot of terrible decisions in this novel; lying to cops, constantly going back to a complete and utter douchebag, and using her friends to name a few. Roz's friends in this story weren't exactly people I was rooting for either, possibly Greg but he came across as pretty judgmental at times.

The character that baffled me the most in this twisted tale was Rodney Dellian, Roz's Life Skills and AP History teacher. He came across as someone who was over the top cruel and sitting back and thinking about it I really can't place his actions and understand where he was coming from at all. I mean he was the Special Education teacher trying to enforce Roz's IEP on her and when she started to embrace one of the recommendations on the list he constantly penalized her for it to the point of suspension. The only thing that kept me reading about him was the fact that there was clearly something very fishy going on in his life and I am a super nosy person so I wanted to know.

Now at this point you may be thinking "But Jenni, Blind Spot is a murder mystery, is it not? Why haven't you talked about it?" Well yes, and no. Through most of the story the murder mystery of it all took a back seat to the drama going on with Roz and her friends in this year of high school but that's not to say it wasn't always there. The seed is planted at the beginning and it's constantly growing throughout though it doesn't become the main focus of the novel until about the last quarter. Being pre-warned by previous reviews I was expecting it and definitely found myself getting lost in the drama of it all and I can safely say that I actually preferred the parts of the story that were not focusing on solving Tricia's murder. I enjoyed seeing the tangled web of sex & drugs at this high school and also enjoyed being inside Roz's head as she struggled to come to terms with her impairment.

Going into Blind Spot looking for a riveting murder mystery will leave you sorely disappointed. However, if you go into it looking for an interesting look at a twisted group of kids you will definitely be entertained. This novel is chalk full of intensity and it definitely gets you lost within the pages.
Profile Image for Charlie.
Author 4 books263 followers
October 25, 2012
Author Laura Ellen primes Blind Spot perfectly showing how thematic incorporation doesn't have to be obscure to be substantially complex. Like most young adult novels, Blind Spot sports a high school setting with a misfit hero. However, what makes this book stand out is the use of a physical disability to communicate perception, an interesting concept approached in multiple ways throughout the book. It may seem obvious, but given some thought and with a little direction from the author, so much more is discovered about what is and what we think we 'see' or 'know.' Our dependency on sense can be skewed whether we possess a physical deficiency or not. You don't have to have macular degeneration to grasp the thematic lessons taught in this book. However, depiction of events will hopefully open your eyes to prejudice and enlighten self-awareness. I truly enjoyed this book. It was a powerful, but quick read that was executed with just enough hints without falling into the trap of beating the reader over the head with a message. The main character development was superb and the supporting characters were given enough detail to be present and well-formed without overwhelming or distracting from the plot. In my opinion, Blind Spot is the love child of Breakfast Club and AMC's series, The Killing - a group of misfits tangled together with just enough edge and shot of reality to make it comically tragic and suspenseful.
Profile Image for Medeia Sharif.
Author 21 books447 followers
October 23, 2012
Roz has a condition called macular degeneration. There are spots in her vision and she has to mainly use her peripheral vision, as well as her memory, to see her surroundings. When Roz awakens after a party she can’t fully remember, she finds out that one of her classmates, Tricia, has disappeared and is later found dead. People are telling her different accounts of what happened that night. Roz trusts the wrong people and gets involved in a crime in her pursuit of the truth.

The characters in this novel are schemers and liars. There’s Dellian, an unkind teacher who picks on Roz. Jonathan is a popular boy who’s charming, but the charm wears off since he’s unsavory. Tricia was an addict with a mottled past. While I read this I would predict who the murderer was, question myself, and then be proven wrong.

I thought the middle sagged a bit, especially when it hit the teen drama part related to Roz’s love life—she’s with Jonathan, then her friend Greg, and then she’s upset at girls who may have taken an interest in them. Despite this, I enjoyed the novel. It’s a suspenseful mystery and I enjoyed how everything unfolded. I don’t come across too many YA mysteries, so I was delighted when I found this. I received the galley from NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher.
Profile Image for Ina.
1,221 reviews11 followers
January 1, 2013
Set in a small Alaska town, this story centers on 16-year-old Roz, and her high school friends. There is the usual cast of high school characters with the typical high school issues and experiences: Dances, parties, relationships, betrayal, class assignments, teacher hassles, teasing. When Roz, who has macular degeneration, an eye condition that renders her legally blind, is placed in a special ed class her life changes dramatically. She comes face to face with drugs, secrets and the disappearance and death of her life skills class partner, Tricia. Roz is fiercely independent and so she doesn't always realize that she is in over her head as she tries to piece together what happened to her Tricia. I liked Roz and many of her friends, and the story was a good one...although her weakness for the popular hockey player was annoying as was the part of the story where she and said hockey player go too far to try and solve the Tricia mystery. All in all a very satisfying read , with an exciting climax and, of course, a happy ending.
Profile Image for Stacey B..
591 reviews120 followers
September 27, 2012

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This was such a great book. I was sucked into the story line right from the beginning. Nothing seems to go right for Roz (the main character) and I felt for her and was rooting for her the whole way through.

CHARACTERS: Tricia was an interesting character. She had her ups and downs and I wasn't sure if I liked her or if I didn't like her. I loved to hate Mr. Dellian. I was appalled at the way he treated Roz and was fascinated to see the things he was able to get away with.

COVER: I love the cover! It's so so creepy and made me open the book to find out what it was all about.

*I received an advanced copy of this book from Amazon Vine for Review.
Profile Image for Shari.
434 reviews15 followers
April 12, 2013
3.5 stars

Roz's character is unlike any other that I have ever read. She wants to be "normal" so badly and is beyond angry that the school has decided to put her in a class of kids that she deems definitely not "normal". Little does she know that these kids have a lot more to offer than she ever thought.

The mystery surrounding Tricia's murder is full of plot twists right up until the moment that I had that unmistakable "ah ha" moment.

An interesting, captivating YA mystery. Totally worth the read.
Profile Image for Isamlq.
1,578 reviews707 followers
October 29, 2012
Things went from confusing to mysterious to frustrating and unfair and then to so utterly stupid. Granted the ‘stupid’ came in, much later, but it’s also on its account that my appreciation for things in BLIND SPOT died a quick and unexpected death. Seriously though it’s been a long while since I’ve been disappointed in a book’s turn out!

It’s all very complicated from the start for Roz with absent father and overworked mother, the girl’s got a chip on her shoulder the size of Mt. Rushmore! Without fail, the girl’s all, “I’m not special… I just can’t see well.” So when made to attend Special Ed class, everything seemed to be an insult against her with just about everyone seemingly out to get her. Of course, considering her best friend had just dropped her, you’d think she’d be over the moon at having new people approach her… and there were many who approached, so suddenly at that! I mean there’s The Jock, that weird manic pretty girl who’s so out of this world and Stanford or cute shy guy as he is initially labeled.

It’s all very upsetting/frustrating/confusing too… It’s authentically frustrating how unfair things got… and I was sitting here wondering why everyone else is letting things slide! Except at the back of my head, I was also wondering if I could rely on her side of the story at all, because what she’s told had me wondering if there was something she wasn’t telling. Was some vital piece being held back? So there I was: doubting the narrator and at the same time feeling sorry for her because I was simply unsure about things, but the worse thing is how her words got second place to what everyone else has to say. I can’t say I enjoyed it… but the goings on riled something in me.

Add that not so complicated boy girl goings on: the girl likes the boy who treats her badly, another guy likes the same girl but the girl is unaware, so it all becomes a little pedestrian, so standard YA. Except wait a couple of beats and you see a side to some of them. Some of them don’t back down, some of them say some pretty crappy things, but then there are also others among them who have their heads buried deep in the sand totally oblivious to what is. So, I don’t know if I enjoyed this part at all because a lot of the time all I wanted was for them to have a sit down and talk things through, minus the assuming, minus the fuming, and minus the unsupported jealousies.

And when so suddenly, Roz starts putting things together and finally starts thinking, I confess I wasn’t exactly thrilled by the change. Instead I was more SURPRISED by her going from, “She said... He said… And I heard this,” to connecting the dots. And she’s not the only one who changes too! Mostly the shift in the story line: I was kind of enjoying (but not completely, mind you)semi-smart mystery where you just don’t know whose word to put stock that it BLIND SPOT was going for at first. I was even sorta loving the whole people have got something to hide thing as well; but all that went bye- bye once Roz went all Velma on me and started in on an episode of Scooby Doo!

It’s the shift into the last I could not enjoy, let alone buy, simply because it was so sudden. Imagine if your dog suddenly spewing mathematical formula and you can approximate how I felt. Because once she starts suggesting they pull together and do this or that, all I’m recalling is her having her head buried in the sand for most of the book just moments before. Also, the things she was suggesting? It really seemed to come straight out of Scooby Doo, minus cute dopey dog and skinny shaggy haired duo to make laugh.


What a waste of a good cover.
Profile Image for Liviania.
957 reviews64 followers
March 15, 2013
BLIND SPOT came out in October, but I've just now gotten around to it. It was a difficult read for me. I wanted to know what happened, but there was a character in particular who made me so mad that I had to keep setting the book down. Really, that's a compliment to Laura Ellen. She made me feel, even if I didn't always like what I felt.

BLIND SPOT begins when Roswell "Roz" Hart hears that Tricia Farni's body has been found and she finally starts questioning her own memories and why she can't recall the evening Tricia disappeared in any detail. The book is then divided in three sections covering before her disappearance, during, and after. This is no simple mystery. There are many characters who could've done it and plenty who were capable of it. BLIND SPOT is populated with some nasty people.

Tricia had problems. She was battling drug addiction and traumatized by the violence of her past. There's a reason she and Roz met in Life Skills. Roz is there because of her vision - she can't see anything dead center. She doesn't want to be there, however, nor does she want to be partnered with an obvious crazy like Tricia. There begins a long rivalry between Roz and the Life Skills teacher Dellian. But things aren't all bad. Roz starts dating super hot Jonathon and makes friends with Greg and Heather. Things start getting nuttier, especially after Tricia's body is found.

I'll be straight. Roz makes some of the dumbest decisions I've ever seen a protagonist make. I can stomach it because she faces some major consequences for her stupidity. Ellen does not let her off the hook easily. But I can see many readers getting frustrated with Roz. She wants to find Tricia's murder, but her bumbling actions could help the guilty party go free.

I kind of loved how messy BLIND SPOT is. Every answer leads to more questions. There is no obvious suspect because there are too many obvious suspects. It is a story populated by flawed characters. Even Greg, sweet boy that he is, sometimes acts like a jerk. However, I think Ellen held back from pushing it too far. There isn't so much meanness that it leads to despair. The book really succeeds on the fact that there are people who cared about Tricia and want to find out what happened to her. It's that small core of love that kept me going through the rough patches.

I think Ellen shows great promise as a writer. I like that BLIND SPOT is different and not afraid to be abrasive. I did have to keep some space between me and it at times, but I'm interested in what Ellen will be able to do once she becomes a more polished author.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
443 reviews71 followers
October 30, 2012
This was such an enjoyable book. I had a really hard time setting it down because I needed to know who did it (even though I thought I knew the whole time, I was wrong!!!!) There were a couple of things that irritated me, but not too badly. I really like Laura Ellen's writing style and you could tell that she knew a lot about Roz's disability (since she has experience with it herself). I felt bad for Roz. Having bad vision myself (not as bad as her) I hate not being able to see things, I will actually get depressed if something happens to my glasses because not being able to see more than a foot in front of your face clearly, sucks. It's no blind spot, but still irritating in it's own way, so I was able to connect with Roz, if not completely understanding her vision issues.

Roz is mostly your typical teenager. She doesn't like to accept help from others regarding her vision problems, and hates the word "disabled". So when she is put into the Special Ed class against her wishes, she does everything she can, and fails, to get out of the class. She meets and somewhat becomes friends with Tricia, and then Tricia goes missing. Roz thinks she just ran away until her body shows up, but she can't remember what happened that night. We follow Roz as she leads up to and after the death of Tricia, as she tries to figure out exactly where she messed up (Roz made a lot of poor decisions) and to figure out the truth.

Alright, so I said there was a couple of things that irritated me, not enough to discourage me from reading obviously. Firstly, just because a girl talks to a guy a lot does NOT mean they are involved. Even if they were once involved with them. Secondly, Mr. Dillian was a bully, there was no excuse for his behaviour and even after all was said and done, I still disliked him for how he treated Roz. I would literally get into rage mode reading about his treatment of her, he was way too harsh. Yes, I realize that was the way he was supposed to be written, but I can still hate on his fictional self.

Overall, Blind Spot is a fast paced read. If you're someone who enjoys a little mystery with your realistic fiction, you should enjoy this. I will definitely be recommending this one, I think Laura Ellen has made a wonderful debut into the writing world and I hope she will continue! It will keep you on your toes (and the ending isn't as predictable as you'd think!)
Profile Image for Jenea.
680 reviews58 followers
November 30, 2012
Roswell Hart can not remember anything from the night that Tricia Farni died, the bigger problem is that she needs to, because she was one of the last people to see her alive.

Our story is surrounding Roz, who suffers from a muscular degenerative disease affecting her eyes. So she is used to living in a world that always appears hazy. After learning about her condition, she lost her place on the softball team and her best friend. Even though her school year has been fairly crappy, she still keeps her stubborn, spunky personality. She learns what true friends are, and not everyone is worth trustworthy. Roz is a pretty complex person, she doesn't let people in, and at times I wasn't really sure if I liked or not. I did find myself connecting with her, and I found Roz to be a realistic character, and admired her determination to find out what happen to her classmate even through all the turmoil to do so.

The plot development moved quickly, and pulls you into a dark world with murder, drugs, betrayals, and prejudices. The characters aren't perfect, but each have have a story to tell all on their own. Sometimes I just want to smack some sense into some of them, but other times I thought, "wow, where did that come from?" The love interests were Jonathon and Greg. Two guys with very different personalities. Jonathon's number one person is himself, and Greg was so sweet to Roz, and seem to really care about her. Roz has to figure out who really is the good guy all on her own.

I thought I had everything all figured out of the murderer was, but then a new twist came into play, and I was completely wrong. I think this is the aspect I enjoyed the most. At one point I even suspected Roz for being behind Tricia's death. Blind Spot take us through a gritty mystery, that is keeps you on your toes. This was a great story to follow and watch unfold and I would definitely say give this one a try if you love murder mysteries with a dash romance.
Profile Image for Once.
2,344 reviews73 followers
June 7, 2014
OUT's Review

I have to admit, this is not what I was expecting. Blind Spot is not as thrilling as I expected for a mystery book. Yet for some reason, it pulled my attention and I read this in one seat.

In Blind Spot, we meet sixteen-year-old Roz. She is one special kid, with an eye disease. I loved her since the beginning. Roz is strong. She manages to do things without anyone assistance. She is the type of person that inspires people. I felt fond of her character as the story proceeded. Most of all, I felt protective of her because of one teachers that gave her hell. And even though he was a jerk, Roz didn’t let him bring her down. She stood up to him many times, and I loved it!

Part of her school classes, she must attend this Life Skills course in which she meets her classmate, Tricia. In which later we come to learn she is murder. As Roz being one of the last people to see Tricia before she is dead, Roz becomes the main suspect.

Okay, so this is not as thrilling as I thought it would be, but I loved how Roz struggled to come up with her memory of the night Tricia was killed. It is not easy to be her and is not easy to navigate this world with her disease. She didn’t let this stop her. She wanted justice for her not-so-friend, Tricia. She is one of the few people that wanted justice and she seek for the truth no matter the cost. If we were all like her, then maybe this world would be a better place.

I loved Roz; I loved her not so perfect character. I really enjoyed her story and how this simple girl became a little hero to me. This is a great story with amazing characters.
Profile Image for Victoria.
2,512 reviews55 followers
December 4, 2012
This is YA novels sucks you in from the very first page! Roswell, or Roz, with her uniquely impaired vision and stubborn attitude makes for a surprisingly sympathetic narrator as she tries to uncover the truth about the untimely death of a classmate, Tricia Farni. Roz feels authentically teenaged, with her motivations and reactions striking familiar chords. Her attitude, mistakes and vulnerability all combine to paint her in a very realistic way. Each character comes to life in a similarly three-dimensional fashion. So much so that I am still angry over some of the actions and choices these characters made! The plot twists and turns in surprising directions. It would have been nice to see the Alaskan setting play a larger role in the story, but all in all this is a very impressive debut novel!

Drug use and drinking play a part in the plot, so it is definitely targeted towards the older end of the Young Adult genre’s readers. The language used is surprisingly (perhaps a bit unrealistically) clean in comparison to some of their more reckless activities. What really sets this book apart from other high school mysteries is the highlighting of the special education room. Ellen does a wonderful job of introducing and handling this rather broad topic. The adults aren’t seen in a good light, for the most part, and it would have been nice to see more of a resolution regarding one of the teachers in particular. It’s a fast and riveting read and it will be interesting to see what topics she takes on in a second novel. I definitely plan on reading it!
Profile Image for Sarah.
Author 28 books48 followers
November 6, 2012
Blind Spot is an amazingly well written and layered story that will keep you turning pages until the very end.
Laura Ellen has created vivid characters that stay with you. Roz is a very real character who makes a lot of poor choices. I found myself wanting to yell at her repeatedly. (This is the sign that an author has achieved the ultimate goal: making you care about the character.)
Greg is one of the best teen characters I've seen in current literature. If only there were more Gregs in the world.
The mystery aspect of the book is complicated and masterfully unfolds. As we try to solve the murder with Roz, we also try to discover who Roz is and who she's going to become. I held my breath, hoping that things would turn out all right for her. The story progresses logically but kept me guessing right until the end. I found the ending to be immensely satisfying. The main plot didn't end up how I imagined, but I felt it was realistic and plausible. One of the subplots ended exactly how I hoped it would and, for me, that's all I needed to let my breath out and feel that I'd just taken an amazing journey with the author and her characters.
This book might challenge your perception of "disabled" people. It might also push you out of your comfort zone, but it's definitely worth it. I really enjoyed the book and I'm looking forward to more books by this author. If she could write a debut novel this intense and engrossing, I can't wait to see what she'll do next!
Profile Image for Shauna.
71 reviews5 followers
June 13, 2012
I was very excited to have won an ARC for this book a few weeks ago. Even signed by the author :) I actually stayed up late last night to finish this book. I could not put it down!

It has a "Girl, Interrupted" feel to it except for the YA crowd. Roz, who is fully capable is stuck in the special ed class because of her eyesight and feels she really doesn't belong. Tricia is the crazy girl dancing in the hallways in a cape. They impact each others lives without being aware of it and Roz does everything she can to help her even though she thinks they hate each other.

In a weird way it also reminded me of "Carrie" by Stephen King. Its far from a horror story but when the most popular boy in school is attracted to misfit Roz, I kept waiting for some bad prank to happen to Roz. Fortunately, it doesn't but still I couldn't shake that feeling.

This book really was so good. Like I said, I could not put it down and read it in one day. Its face-paced and well written with characters we all met in high school.

Definitely worth checking out when its released later this year!
6 reviews
May 11, 2015
i really did enjoy this book. i have a stack of books beside my bed and most of them i haven't read so when i saw this last night, i decided to read it since i wanted to get rid of the books (i have another stack of books i finished reading in a bag, waiting to go back to the library; i read alot). at first, i thought this book was going to be a little boring since some of the books i have are like that. the moment i began reading, i couldn't put the book down and i saw it was 12:39 by the time i got up to page 115 (started at 11:29) so today when i came from school i finshed the book in 3 hours and it helped me realize how special these characters were although Roz was mean and unthoughtful at times. i really liked Tricia the most. she was portrayed (by Roz) as a sick-minded, mean girl when really she was a happy spirit brought down by a bad past. she also got me to love the song Copacabana by Barry Manilow. its stuck in my head now but anyways, the book in my opinion was amazing but its probably cause I'm a teenager still, i wish i had at least some of the knowledge these characters had
Profile Image for Evie.
714 reviews930 followers
June 7, 2014
While certainly entertaining and quite captivating, Blind Spot is hardly an edge-of-your-seat murder mystery. That wouldn't necessary be a bad thing, if it wasn't marketed as one. And it really isn't a bad book, in fact, I quite enjoyed all the drama. And though I expected something entirely different (based on the synopsis), I still had fun reading about the silly love affairs, betrayals and backstabbings, troubled teens and vengeful teachers. Most of all, I found the premise of the book really fascinating and full of potential (not entirely realized potential, but still). It was interesting to read about the lead character's disability and consider all the difficulties she'd have to face in her life.

The body of a teenage girl, Tricia Farni, was pulled from the local river. Tricia disappeared 6 months earlier after leaving a homecoming party at Birch Hill. Just before she disappeared she got into a fight with our MC, Roz, her cheating boyfriend, Jonathan, and their AP history teacher, Mr. Dellian. To Roz, that night is one big blur. She has witnessed Jonathan cheating on her with Tricia and got drunk. She then passed out and doesn't remember what exactly happened. She doesn't even remember how she got back home. All she has is bits and pieces of memories and images that don't make much sense. She now needs to figure out what happened to Tricia that night and who is responsible for her disappearance.

As thrilling and exciting as it sounds, the murder mystery serves only as the backdrop to a plot line focused almost entirely on highschool drama, dating, cheating and getting out of special ed class. And it isn't much of a murder mystery to begin with, but that's yet another plot twist we get to discover as we read on. While Tricia's disappearence takes the back seat to everything else, and it only really becomes the center of the plot line in the last 1/3 of the book (the first 2/3 happens before the prom night), the book is still quite intense and engaging. We know from the get-go that something bad will happen to Tricia, and we get to know her a bit through Roz's first-person narrative, which allows us to get more engaged in her story. We don't necessarily care about Tricia, as she's not exactly a likeable character. She doesn't get along with people, including Roz. But we at least get to understand her better. ("The whipped-cream-squirting, cloak-twirling, I-don't-give-a-shit routine was all an act. Underneath she was a defeated, deflated shell of a girl struggling to right herself. Fighting for control. Broken.").

Blind Spot is filled with characters that are perfectly imperfect. Some are damaged goods, some are lost and trying desperately to find themselves, some are misunderstood and some are downight annoying. It's all too easy to get frustrated with them and not easy at all to relate to them. That being said, I still find all these characters fascinating to read about. Most of them are complex and multi-layered, and not at all what they initially seem to be. Getting to know them and discovering their true selves is part of the fun.

The book touches on many different things - some more serious than others - but doesn't really explore any of them in depth. Roz is legally blind due to the macular degeneration she struggles with, yet all we really learn about her disability is that a) a dot obscures her central vision and therefore to see something/someone, she has to focus on the object/area to the side b) that her condition often results in awkward situations and misunderstandings and c) that she doesn't consider herself disabled in any way and hates when she's labeled disabled by others. We hardly get any insight in how her disability makes her feel (other than mad at the entire world), we don't get to see how it affects her family/peer relationships (other than that her mother insists on Roz's special ed class, and that her friends often think Roz is purposefully ignoring them) and we don't really get to explore her psyche in depth. For the most part, Roz is too focused on dating and keeping her gorgeous (and incredibly narcissistic) new boyfriend happy. And if she's not doing that, she's usually fighting with everyone else - from her teachers to her classmates.

When I finished reading Blind Spot, I sat there for a while trying to decide whether I liked the book or not. I was a bit disappointed, but then again, my disappointment stems from the misleading synopsis, and why should we punish the book for that? The more I thought about the plot and the characters, the more I appreciated the story. It was a good story. The ending was a bit disappointing, yes, but the book had so much more going for it than just that murder mystery everyone was so counting on. So don't think of Blind Spot in terms of a thriller or even a mystery, because you'll end up being disappointed or/and frustrated, think of it as a character study and human drama. It's a story about how sometimes we fail to see things that are right in front of us. A story about mistakes, misunderstandings and misplaced trust.

Blind Spot really is a good book, so if you enjoy dramatic plot lines, flawed characters and real-life struggles, chances are you'll like it just as much as I did, if not more!
Profile Image for Book Sp(l)ot.
339 reviews74 followers
October 31, 2012
and it comes out just in time for my birthday (or for me to review if I get it early ;-) )

Blind Spot was so, so different from what I was expecting based on the synopsis - and the cover, too, actually. We find out int he beginning that the body of Tricia Farni has been found, after her long disappearance, but then the story goes back in time to introduce the characters. We meet Roz who's just starting her sophomore year, her first year without her best friend after their friendship recently fell apart.

Roz also hates any time her macular degeneration, and eyesight problem that's led to her being declared legally blind, makes her stand out - and she's about to find that she'll be less able to blend in this year thanks to one person.

Readers also meet Tricia, a troubled girl in one of Roz's classes and other possible friends for Roz - as well as possible suspects in what the first part of the book is counting down to: Tricia's death.

The characters - and their circumstances and situations - in Blind Spot were both unique and a great way to move the story forward. I appreciated that Roz's 'disability' wasn't the only out of the norm thing a character was dealing with in this story. Some of the characters' personalities, on the other hand, seemed to rub me the wrong way. While Roz had a lot of book smarts, she had very little, let's say, walking around sense. There were so many times that I just wanted her to exhibit some common sense.

We did see that she was given several major stressors - both before the story began and especially during it - didn't have a decent parental figure, but a bit more introspection or logical actions would have made her a better character for me. Perhaps it was that the story was first person that created some of my difficulties here, but she aggravated me sometimes. (Sony!)

The adult figure creating a lot of conflict in the story also brought up a lot of questions. The actions did move the story along, create emotional turmoil for Roz and trouble between different characters, but at times I had trouble finding it all entirely plausible. If everything was happening as Roz told it, it seemed unlikely that no one else would take issue and/or believe her reporting of things.

The first part of the novel did read a like a great contemporary. There was a nice mix of characters, including characters with attributes that you don't normally see in most YA (or adult, for that matter) fiction. I don't see this quite as the 'mystery' the synopsis seemed to promise and do think the other aspects of the story were stronger. Though there were parts of (or character in) the book that I did not like, there were aspects that I did and I'm curious to see what Ms Ellen follows this with.

(thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my e-galley)
Profile Image for Cheryl.
5,257 reviews195 followers
October 1, 2012
Roz has macular degeneration. A condition that results in the loss of vision in the center of the eye. This usually makes it hard for the person to see very well. In fact Roz is considered “legally blind” by the DMV. With this condition, Roz can come off as being snobbish as she does not make eye contact with anyone. Roz just wants to be normal. That is hard to do with you are stuck taking “Life Skills” class. A class for people with disabilities to learn how to interact with others. One plus about being stuck in the class is the student aide. His name is Jonathan. Also known as “Zeus” for his good looks.

Roz is paired up with Tricia in her Life Skills class. Tricia is into drugs. So that is why when Tricia goes missing after homecoming Roz thinks nothing about her disappearance. That is until she hears the report on the radio about Tricia’s body being found in the river. Now Roz is trying to piece together all of the events leading up to Tricia’s disappearance.

Blind Spot is the first novel by new author, Laura Ellen. I thought it was a good first book but there is room for improvement. For example, I thought that Roz was going to have more special abilities with her macular degeneration. Instead I got a pretty good story, characters that at times were like mean girls, and an ending that made me go…WTF! That was it?

I mean there was no real surprise as to who was the responsibility party in the disappearance of Tricia but I was expecting more in the end. Roz was fine but very gullible. After a while I only tolerated her. Overall though, I did finish this book as there was promise and I wanted to know how the ending would go. Hopefully the next book by Mrs. Ellen will be better. I will keep an eye on this author and try her again.
Profile Image for Isabella Crews.
122 reviews1 follower
July 29, 2020
Blind Spot follows a sophomore student named Roz who has a disability called macular degeneration, which affects her ability to see clearly. Because of this she is put in a required class called life skills. Desperate to show she is normal, Roz makes a bad first impression on the life skills teacher, who happens to be her AP history teacher as well. Now Mr. Dellian, the life skills teacher, seems to be out to get her and makes Roz's life more difficult that it had been. However, in life skills, Roz meets a girl named Tricia, who seems to be able to control Dellian, when Dellian was controlling Roz. With Roz's disability making her everyday life a struggle, having to piece together the world, and Dellian only making her life harder, she becomes incriminated. After finding out that Tricia had gone missing, nobody thought much of it. But when her body surfaces months later, and Roz being the last to see Tricia, and Roz not being able to remember what happened the night of
Tricia's disappearance she is immediately pinned for the death of Tricia.

I loved this book and how it played out. Roz is a teenage girl and the book lets you see some of the drama that goes along with being in high school, while also focusing on the main conflict of the book. Throughout the book Laura Ellen does a good job at showing how Roz’s character grows as a person through some more serious events. I feel like the ending left me satisfied but also in wonder. I enjoyed how everything unfolded with the relationships Roz had but also was left wondering how the main conflict ended. Despite my curiosity I still found the book very intriguing and, interestingly, like how the book left me in wonder.
Profile Image for Kayla.
1,583 reviews65 followers
July 30, 2012
First of all, I must say something about the gorgeous cover. I love all the different colors in the eye. The contrast of the dark eye-lashes, and eye on the pale skin drew me in right away. I have mixed feelings about the book though. The story line was fantastic. It drew me in until I finished it at about 3 a.m., reading it in just four hours. I'm going to try to make this rant as spoiler free as possible. The ending really made me mad. I thought Tricia, as a character, deserved a better ending than that. I hated all the characters aside from her. She dies, so she's not even in the book for that long. The main character is a horrible person who only thinks of herself. Mr. Dellian was a complete douchebag. He kind of redeemed himself at the end, but I didn't like his reasoning for treating Roz the way he did. No one deserves to be treated that way for any reason especially by a teacher. Heather got annoying after a while. Jonathon was a jerk. Greg wasn't too bad, he just needed some better judgement skills. I loved Tricia and her quirky personality. She was definitely my favorite character. I could identify with her randomness and strangeness. Other than the characters, I really liked the book. I will most likely read more of the author's work in the future.
Profile Image for Savannah (Books With Bite).
1,399 reviews186 followers
November 29, 2012
This book completely turned out different than what I thought it be. Instead, I was consume by an awesome plot that brought a great mystery I just had to solve.

What I loved most about the story is the great plot. Filled with non-stop good drama and a mystery you can't help but immerse yourself in Roz shoe's. So much memory lost, so many clues to put together. For me, it is good to see the main character out of the loop along with the reader. Watching all the pieces come together is wonderful.

There's not much of a love interest rather than a good friend and a toxic friendship. There are so many lies, fakes faces, and just all together losers, that I had me fill of digustingness. They tried to use Roz. Use everything they know against her and that made me angry. I'm glad that in the end, Roz out smarts them all, kicking their butts! BOO-TO-THE_YEAH!

If you love a good mystery check this book out! It's filled with insane theories and madness of cray cray people. Once the picture is painted, it all made sense. Blind Spot is a doozy when it comes to messing with your mind. Satisfaction guaranteed, Blind Spot is sweet!
Profile Image for Alex.
5,324 reviews1 follower
February 18, 2013
Fair warning: If you go into this book expecting a murder mystery, you will be disappointed.

Luckily for me, I went into this expecting nothing and ended up loving it. No, it wasn't a suspenseful mystery like the description claims, but it was a great read. I stayed up way too late trying to finish it, as I just couldn't put it down. I had to know how everything would turn out!

The ending was kind of lackluster, though, and left a lot of unanswered questions, which is annoying. I also can't believe that

I thought this was a great debut novel in spite of its faults, and look forward to what else the author has in store for us.
October 2, 2013
Disappointing. The way the legal blindness is dealt with is the most exciting aspect of this book, which is a terrible thing considering it's a murder mystery.
Profile Image for Amber.
334 reviews211 followers
June 27, 2014
Roz might be legally blind, but do not let her hear you say she is disabled. Roz hates being treated any differently than anyone else in her school, and in fact has managed to live with the same group of people her whole life, and until recently no one even really knew she was legally blind.

You're probably thinking, "how stupid could people be to not know she was blind?". Maybe it's because she's not blind, she's legally blind and yes there is a difference. She doesn't need a service dog or a cane. Her level of blind is comparable to you looking into a bright light and then having that black blind spot floating around for awhile. Image that ALL the time. If she sits in the front of class she can take notes, and if she focuses really hard she can even make eye contact when talking to someone....

See my full review here: http://www.memyshelfandi.com/2014/06/...
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