When Emma Sasha Silver loses her eyesight in a nightmare accident, she must relearn everything from walking across the street to recognizing her own sisters to imagining colors. One of seven children, Emma used to be the invisible kid, but now it seems everyone is watching her. And just as she's about to start high school and try to recover her friendships and former life, one of her classmates is found dead in an apparent suicide. Fifteen and blind, Emma has to untangle what happened and why - in order to see for herself what makes life worth living.
Unflinching in its portrayal of Emma's darkest days, yet full of hope and humor, Rachel DeWoskin's brilliant Blind is one of those rare books that utterly absorbs the listener into the life and experience of another.
Rachel DeWoskin is the author of Foreign Babes in Beijing, a memoir about her inadvertent notoriety as the star of a Chinese soap opera, and a novel, Repeat After Me. She lives in New York City and Beijing and is at work on her fourth book, Statutory.
I received this book from the First Reads program. Thank you Penguin Canada.
The novel takes place a year after Emma lost her sight, just as she's starting grade 10 in her old high school. It chronicles Emma's journey as she deals with the obstacles coming her way.
The major problem is that there are too many things happening at once, too many events the book introduces that don't get resolved properly. For instance, Claire's suicide, Logan's crush on Zach, Emma's crush on Seb (All her crushes actually.), her newfound friendship with Annabelle. The length is already 416 pages (although my copy was 394 and the font was giant) which is fairly long for a stand-alone, and yet it is still lacking a strong focus on a core issue. Blind could use some sever cutting down. Too many subplots and side stories here coupled with tedious explanations in matter- of-fact sentences can make this a boring read.
Second problem: All minor characters sound the same. Amanda, Zach, Dee, Dima... This is especially evident if you look at each gender separately. They also sound really stupid and all seem unable to form a coherent thought without using the word "like", "um" or other space fillers. Teenagers don't all sound the same.
What I did like is how DeWoskin portrayed Emma as a normal 15 year old girl growing up after suffering from trauma and re-learning her entire world. DeWoskin didn't make her out to be a hero, or put her on a pedestal, or make her perfect. No, she made Emma angry, upset, betrayed, or happy at her small accomplishments. I also liked how DeWoskin very slowly over the course of the novel moved Emma's problems steaming from her being blind, to her being a teenager. It's a subtle transition, and in the end Emma doesn't despair at her predicament but looks at it as another everyday obstacle to overcome.
Blind is clearly well-researched and thoughtful, but it does have a few issues that need to be tweaked.
100 pages before I quit. It was so, so boring. I get why she has to describe things as she does in the details she does since that's how she takes in her world -- that worked for me quite well -- but the info dumping. That it was 100 pages of flat explanation of living in a big family, of entering a new school, of what life used to be like. There wasn't a compelling story, no forward drive in the narrative. And it's over 400 pages, so after 100 and not feeling the slightest investment, I don't want to give over 300 more.
I think had this started WITH the incident that caused her blindness, rather than a year after, it would have worked better because then there'd have been an arc.
At 416 pages, this novel is a lot longer than most YA offerings. Sometimes, as with Harry Potter, the extra pages are not an obstacle, but in this case, some editing was badly needed. Blind tries to cover too much ground for one novel. Emma has a horrible accident which blinds her. She is whiny, any of us would be. She goes to a special school, learns how to be more independent, returns to her own school and is mainstreamed. She explains about Braille and ways of dealing with being blind. She has a crush, several actually, she and her best friend fight and makeup multiple times. One of the girls in her small town commits suicide, she helps another blind girl who is younger than herself…and the list goes on. Blind lacks focus and while it has occasionally interesting passages, it could have used some major cutting. There are just too many subplots and things going on. Although the main story arc is about Emma coming to terms with her blindness, there are so many distractors and side trips along the way that the reader is begging for her to just get on with it already. The Silver family is big, six daughters and one son, and likeable. Emma is a fully realized character with flaws that the reader can relate to. The problem is the lack of tightness in the narrative. It is too meandering. There are things that happen that seem to not have any point, for example, when Emma and Logan have a dust up over Logan dating Emma’s long time crush, it just kind of goes away. It might have been a turning point of some kind, but really, Zach (said crush) could have easily been left out of the story. I wanted to like this one, really. It is serviceable, and if you have a population for whom this might have added appeal, it may be a good purchase, but I don’t think there will be a long hold list for this one.
June’s Rating System: Language—R a few F-bombs; Nudity—PG; Sexual Content—PG13; GLBT Content—PG There is some discussion that Claire, the girl who committed suicide did so because she was a lesbian. This is another subplot that just tries too hard. It doesn’t go anywhere and there is no real meaningful resolution. It is as if she had to stick one more thing into an already overstuffed novel—gotta be sure and hit the GLBT checkbox! Violence—G; Substance Abuse—PG some smoking and drinking by underage teens as well as some adults. Adult Themes—G
Robin’s Comments: Although Viking recommends this for 12 and up, I would not recommend it for students under grade 9 due to the language and some of the situations in the novel.
I wanted to say I am visually impaired. I am happy to see a book out there about a visually impaired person told in a realistic perspective. I have not come across many books where the main character is visually impaired. I can sympathize with how Emma feels. I am visually impaired and I use a white cane. I don't have a seeing eye dog. Emma felt sorry for herself. I had felt sorry for myself. I sometimes feel that I won't ever get married because no guy would want to date me much less marry me. I think it helped to meet Annabelle. She can focus on helping the girl and less on herself. I thought it was interesting how she described things in colors. For example, the kitchen smelled like lemons and it represented the color yellow. How sadness felt like the color blue. She could picture the color in her mind even though she couldn't see it. I didn't like how some of her friends made light of Claire's suicide. I think that if they had talked about it, it would help in the healing process. I also didn't like that Emma had to keep her dog at home because he wasn't allowed. The book seems to be set in the present day so I don't understand why her dog couldn't accompany her considering the Americans With Disabilities Act allows for service dogs to be welcome everywhere the person goes. Also, I was thrilled the author mentioned Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind. I live in the Chicagoland area and I have been to the Lighthouse for the Blind to volunteer there and a friend of mine, who is blind used to work there. So just because you are blind doesn't mean you won't be able to get a job. They have all sorts of technology for people who are blind to help them succeed in the work place.
This book is about a teenager named Emma Silver who loses her vision in a tragic firework accident. But sadly, that is all this book seems to be about. Lacked a major plot--or a plot for that matter. Throughout the entire book I was wondering if there would be any suspense, any action, and I began to see each page as a disappointment. There was nothing that made me want to keep reading, nothing that really put me at the edge of my seat. I felt as though I was reading a book that really had no end. All of the characters were so boringly similar I began to have a hard time distinguishing them besides her best friend, Logan. Everyone, and I mean everyone, uttered 'um' or 'uh' what seemed like every sentence. I hope DeWoskin knows that not every single teenager sounds like that. It is a nice touch to add in here and there to give the characters a more realistic representation, but I found myself bored with constantly hearing it, along with the boring dialogue that the characters seemed to have. None of the conversations really stood out to me as being deep or having any meaning. I had such high expectations for this book, but was extremely disappointed. I would not recommend this to anyone, this book was such a waste of my time.
"Rachel DeWoskin's brilliant Blind is one of those rare books that utterly absorbs the listener into the life and experience of another."
In this powerful book, a teen girl has lost her sight after a tragic 4th of July accident. We experience her journey of relearning her world as a blind girl.
This book moved me on a personal level, my brother at the age of 40 lost 99% of his vision due to a genetic disease. I've never really stopped to think how frightening it was for him, to live in darkness and of all the things he would never see again. After reading this book, I have a better understanding of why he went into a deep depression after losing his slight.
I honestly wanted a nice, honest depiction of what life as a blind person is like in the modern society that we live in today. That was not what I got. Instead, I got this whiny character who keeps reveling in the fact that she's blind and woe is her and yadah-yadah yahda. Ugh, this book got under my skin too quickly. Now, I do not really know how long to stay in the shell that is grieving the loss of your eyesight but this character was such a jerk that I couldn't justify in my mind the horrible treatment of her family, friends, and therapist who are just trying to help her get through this terrible time. 0/5 would not recommend.
”Fakat kör olmak görünmez olmanın tam tersiydi ve bu da hiç adil değildi.”
Kitabı okumaya ilk başladığımda beni inanılmaz bir biçimde içine çekmişti. Hatta ilk 50 sayfa da falan nedense bir damla göz yaşı dökülmü��tü… Dedim ki ben bu kitaba 5 falan veririm... Sonra kitabı seviyorum diye düşünürken, kitap benim için birden işkenceye döndü. NEDEN? Şöyle ki kitabın konusu ve başkarakter Emma çok iyi. Eksik olan şeyler; olayların ilerleyişi ve ciddi anlamda pek fazla bir şeyin olmaması. Kitapta sevdiğim şeylerin başında ilk olarak Emma’nın kör olduktan sonra hayata tutunmamasının çok iyi anlatılması. Yazarın dili, betimlemeler ve verdiği duygular çok güzel. Sımsıcak bir kitap okudum sanırım. Okudukça hiçbir olayın olmaması sinirimi bozdu. Emma 16 yaşında genç bir kızdır. Birden görme yetisini kaybettiği bir kaza geçirdikten sonra hayatının bittiğini düşünüyor. Aslında herkes böyle düşünmez mi? Görme yetisi olmayınca hayatında pek bir amaca yönelmiyor haliyle. Çevresinde kendini destekleyen kardeşleri, annesi, babası ve en yakın arkadaşı Logan olsa da ona yeterli gelmiyor. Zorlu bir yılın ardından her şeyi yoluna koymaya çalışan Emma’nın başına okurken “aa yok artık” diyeceğimiz bir olay gelmiyor. Hani bu tarz kitapları okurken, karakterin karşısına daha fazla engel daha fazla sorun çıkacak sanıyorsunuz ama çıkmıyor. Çok mutlu bir kitaptı. Arada geçen kıskançlıklar, kavgalar ve saçma ergen klişeleri tuzu biberi gibiydi. Daha fazla ne yazılır bilmiyorum. Kitap tamamen boş zaman kaybı demeyeceğim. Bu baya hakaret olur. Benim sevdiğim ve yukarıda da dediğim gibi duygulandığım yerler oldu. RS’de iseniz ya da hafif bir şeyler okumak istiyorsanız buyurun okuyun. Çok durağan ilerliyor fakat bir şekilde sonunu görmek istiyorsunuz kitabın. Gerçekten ilginç bir büyüsü var. Onun dışında kesinlikle okuyun dediğim bir kitap değil.
This book took a lot of effort to get through, and it isn’t just because of my opinion towards the subject matter. I’m a highly visual person who does not learn kinesthetic activities easily, so going blind is my absolute worst nightmare: “I asked if I could open them now, but they were already open; I knew because I reached up and felt my right eye. It was open” (38). My reading speed would drastically decrease (I doubt I’d ever fully learn braille) and I would no longer get enjoyment in so many things in the world. Frankly, I would probably consider ending my life (not that I think Emma should have, but that would be my reaction in the circumstance). Anyway, the book was definitely hard to read for someone with my mindset. I kept thinking that the “good things” that were happening to her such as getting a dog weren’t enough to outweigh the loss of function she has. The descriptions of her darkness and how she had to navigate her world/be dependent on others were horrifying (though poorly written). Ultimately, the book was super tedious because it was surprisingly boring (with extremely long chapters and no reason for the chapter breaks...) and poorly written. Reading that this was DeWoskin’s first YA book, I think she should make it her last as well.
The worst aspects of the book included (but were not limited to): • DeWoskin using a disability as the primary plot device and characterization of the protagonist. I know that Emma used to like spaghetti and meatballs as a child, but now she has no food preferences, clothes preferences, or preferences on what she does/looks like. Everything is determined by her blindness and she has no real personality, just a purveying sense of loss towards everything (not only her eyes, but also her friends, old life, etc.). She’s a really great sister and patient with her siblings and tries to be a good friend, but she’s a people pleaser by nature, so I don’t even know if she enjoys acting those ways. Moreover, nothing really happens in this book except Emma flashing back to going blind and a girl Emma attests was her friend dying (but she has no real emotions towards). The characters don’t really develop; they have realizations, then fade back into the scenery. Topics such as slut shaming, underage (and parents) drinking, and suicide are included, but nothing is resolved or even discussed in an effective way. From reading that DeWoskin also has written a book about a girl with dwarfism, it appears that she attempts to find a way to make a character “interesting” via disability, and lets it shape everything else, which is both offensive and basic. • Of course, Emma has to be so beautiful/hot (with giant boobs…) that everyone around her barely notices her eyes. She doesn’t struggle with trying to cover up zits without being able to see her face to put on make-up or have frizzy hair; she can just let it do whatever it wants and multiple hot guys are after her (she even gets to reject a “weird guy” who is interested in her, which many sighted girls don’t even get the opportunity to do). Emma wasn’t real to me because she really had it too easy. She automatically doesn’t care what she looks like because she can no longer see, which isn’t realistic of being a teenage girl. What does it say about this writer/the intended readers that Emma still has to be effortlessly physically beautiful to be accepted by her peers after her disfigurement? • The endless, obsessive, discussion of smells. The thought of smells usually evokes disgust within me, especially when people smell like food. Nothing triggers me more than a grown adult hovering over me trying to deeply inhale the scent of the food I’m eating (yes, people act like this in an office environment and it’s revolting). That Jimmy John’s sign “Free Smells” makes me want to vomit every time I see it; consequently, the repetitive inclusion of just about every smell to describe someone/something was nauseating and really bland. I get it: She can’t see, so she uses her other senses, but touch and hearing were significantly less included than the smells, unfortunately. • The plot driven around Claire, who no one really knew, apparently. I thought maybe Emma would uncover her murder, like maybe Blythe pushed her, or there would be some clarity, but no, she just killed herself and no one will ever know why. Furthermore, the weird meetings are still so strange to me. “Let’s meet to discuss why Claire might have done this in a creepy abandoned house.” “Ok, I’ll bring some of my siblings (one of which is too young to be exposed to underage drinking) and some random friends I had who never even knew her! Maybe some teachers will come eventually!” Yep, all of that happens. I’m all for teens trying to have a discussion about what goes on in their world, but all they did was sit around, get off topic, and drink. • Every random thought DeWoskin has about teenagers seems thrown in randomly with little reason: “’Oooooooh! You said Peter—ha-ha!’ And you’re like, ‘But your name is Peter’” (119). • The writing style with continuous “ums” and “likes” in a sad attempt to emulate teen talk: “Deirdre was like, ‘Let’s have cake’” (206). Do teens talk this way? Sure, sometimes (depending on their geographical location), but do they need to read a book with such poor wording when they should be learning from reading? Nope. • The love interests made no sense. Logan and Zach begin hooking up, then readers never hear about it until he conveniently dumps her after Emma has had a period of growth away from her best friend. A guy named Josh I barely remember makes out with Emma, which makes her then want to make out with a ton of guys (the unfortunately named Coltrane included) and even Seb (if, as Emma remarks, his girlfriend is ok with it…). Like her lack of interests in, really, anything, Emma doesn’t have any real feelings for any of these guys and uses them interchangeably, which is believable only because she’s still gorgeous with enormous boobs…It was also never clear if Seb and Dee were actually dating, yet another unresolved plot. • The smaller story of Annabelle and Emma helping her was ok until I realized that a great portion of Emma’s help, to get Annabelle to listen to sounds, is futile because she’s also going deaf…
I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone and I can’t remember how I even heard of it, but I wish I hadn’t!
OK, after writing my EXTREMELY LONG AND COMPLETE review, my computer decided to have a mini robot-fart and deleted EVERYTHING I WROTE!!! So I'll try my best to remember everything I had written down - not making any promises.
I didn't have any expectations going into this book because I like to go into my books as blindly as possible, ha! However, this was an easy and interesting enough read. It's a coming-of-age novel about a girl named Emma who suffers a freak accident with fireworks and is now visually impaired. Not only is Emma learning how to deal with her new disability, but she is also at the peak of adolescence. She is finding her own worth in her group of friends while questioning the loss of a girl who drowned the year she came back to public school after going to a school for the blind after her accident. The truth? It would have been an interesting story if it wasn't for three really big flaws.
One. This story seems extremely unfinished. None of the characters say exactly what they feel and never finish up what they feel because they always seem to become interrupted by either themselves or someone else. If Emma's best friend is trying to talk to her about something everyone is wondering, not only is her friend's speech broken up with so many "ums" you'd never dream of using the word ever again, suddenly Emma decides that she feels like she can't handle the conversation and then leaves. Or Someone will get embarrassed about what they are trying to say and so they'll cut themselves off and leave the conversation themselves. Nothing is ever finished. Emma's curiosity with this dead girl who she wasn't even close friends with is pointless, yet she decides to hold "meetings" about her so she can talk about her and for what? She barely does any talking in the meetings and the only thing left about the girl is was her death an accident or suicide, which is never answered, and if it was a suicide, how can it be prevented again, which is also never answered. Every time you think you're going to get closer to an answer, a tangent disrupts the main focus.
Two. The dead girl. Emma has no true connection with this girl other than they went to school together and were in the same grade. She was never close friends with her at all and I could never figure out why she had such a curiosity about her. You don't ever get to find out the significance of how this girl died, but then you take into consideration that it takes up a majority of the story and you realize that the story is wasted on a girl who doesn't have a fitting connection with Emma. Most of the stuff that does happen to Emma could have happened to her without having to include the dead girl as part of the story. It was incredibly pointless. Honestly, I think that the only reason Emma started those pointless meetings was so she could catch the eye of her long-time crush, Zach, which brings me to my next point.
Three. The boys. Emma has had a crush on this kid named Zach for years before this novel even started! He is the first person that she and her best friend talk to about their little super secret pointless meetings. But it's clear he is flirting with her best friend. This brings back her memories of her blind school and the boy she met there named Sebastian (a name in which I absolutely LOVE!). Sebastian is a major hottie, in my opinion, and you don't even have to see him to know that he's gorgeous. He is ok with being blind and is extremely kind to Emma, even when she can't deal with being blind at the moment. I was rooting for Sebastian the entire way through this novel, but only after she figures out that Zach is sucking face with her best friend does she finally think about him in that way. A crush you've had that long is terribly hard to get over, yet she brushes it off like it was nothing! And now she's welcomed Seb back into her life and you know what? He is so cold with her, and it is NEVER mentioned why because this book tells you NOTHING! She just assumes it's because he might be dating their other blind friend Dee, but do they ever mention that they are a couple? No. Does Emma ever ask? NO! So now you don't know if Seb liked her at all at one point or why the hell he is acting so cold towards her now! But all-of-a-sudden, some other guy enters the picture who isn't even a main part of the book and kisses Emma. And she becomes swooped up in the excitement that she just lets him and suddenly they become an item, except that they don't. The next day she calls up some OTHER random dude that she suddenly wants to kiss and they go on a date. Where the heck were these guys at all throughout the book? They are mere mentions before, and now, suddenly, they're a huge part of Emma's life. What?! No. Sebastian was the right one for her the entire time!
These three points were major, but I also had some qualms with a small, anti-feminist section of this book some time during one of their pointless meetings that didn't even need to be in there in the first place, but needn't warrant my time on this because that's a whole other shabangbang that I do NOT want to get into lest you want your ears, or eyes in this case, to bleed. No pun intended, you know, because this book is about blindness.
So to wrap up what I did enjoy about this book, it was an easy enough read that kept my interest (obviously, or I wouldn't have been wanting all the answers to this novel) throughout. It was also one of those things where you've thought it before as a coming-of-age girl, but never had the words to convey how you felt about certain situations. I enjoyed that a lot. I would recommend this book just because of those things, but for me, this book wasn't a keeper.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
This fits into the category of books that went in an unexpected direction.
The story opens with the dramatic bits all seemingly past. Emma has been blind for almost a year, and her coping mechanisms are (somewhat) in place. But fitting back into her school, into her friendships, into her world takes a lot of effort, and doesn't always go in the expected ways.
Dealing honestly with the issues at hand, the author takes us on a journey where we're traveling blind through the teenage landscape, trying to negotiate some of the hardest moments in a young person's life - with the added handicap of not being able to see. I liked this book a lot and I'm glad I picked it up.
When young Emma Silver was blinded by fireworks, her world turns upside down. I very much liked the way in which the author described Emma's struggle to live in a sightless world. The images of her large family, and loving parents were written nicely. However, as the book progressed, it spun into nowhere.
This YA contemporary was fantasic! I couldn't put it down. The author wrote it in such a way that I didn't want to put it down because I needed to know what happened next. I loved Emma's character and her siblings, especially her twin older sisters. I really felt like I was walking next to Emma as she went through everything.
Emma has been is an accident and lost her sight. After spending a year at the braile school learning to live all over again, she returns to her regular high school. She knew everything would change and things would be different she just didnt realize how much. Right before school starts back a girl from her grade washed up dead locally. Emma finds herself consumed with trying to figure out why the girl's death was considered accidental. Did she actually kill herself? Did someone else kill her? Did she trip and drown? The author really portrayed the difficulties with the things we deem simple or take for granted from a blind person's pov.
I am really torn about this review. I hate giving a bad review anytime and I feel even worse when I won the book from a Goodreads giveaway. There is a niche market for Blind: people who are either passionate about visual impairment and people who are directly touched and affected by someone close to them who has suffered from blindness. Beyond that, I don't see this becoming a best-seller and being a must-read for the masses.
Blind follows the story of 14-year-old Emma, who just last year went blind. She must re-learn everything she once knew and navigate her new world in darkness while dealing with the emotional journey of vision loss. She is angry, bitter, self-pitying. At over 400 pages long, Blind is a long read to be entirely character-driven. Especially since Emma is described as a blind girl who also likes/does/etc. She is not described as a normal girl who likes/does/etc. but just so happens to also be blind. It's a nuance that is important to catch because by making her first and foremost "the blind girl who..." there's already a disconnect. It's easy to sympathize but otherwise very hard to relate to her when she only now knows herself as a blind girl.
Other things happened in the story that could have been played up to give this book more meat (e.g. finding Claire's dead body). Instead, everything and everyone else is glossed over, second fiddle by far to Emma and her blindness. I understand that the book is about Emma's blindness but it is really long and tedious to get through 400+ pages of no action and a not-fully-developed main character. Why bother putting in big things like Claire at all if only to say "it's not important"? It's like a teaser for something that never happened.
Overall, there still is a niche market for this book. It could use some editing, some cutting down of scenes, but overall the concept is fascinating and worth developing. Perhaps it's a subject better suited to a memoir or autobiography rather than fiction.
I gave up on this book. I made it to page 164 of 394 (41% finished).
Blind focuses on Emma, a 15-year-old girl who was involved in a freak accident and goes blind as a result. The book details Emma's struggle learning how to live without her eyesight, but it also features normal teen drama, plus a mysterious death of a classmate that may or may not have been a suicide.
For as much as the book had going on, it was just so boring. I was really hoping the book had a mystery spin to it and focused more on the death of a classmate, but no--it's just a reoccurring topic of thought and conversation. After reading nearly half the book, I honestly could not identify a plot to the book. I have no idea where the story was going or what the resolution would be at the end. As far as I can tell, the resolution is Emma coming more to terms with her blindness--but the book takes place a year after she lost her eyesight. She's already begun to come to terms with her blindness and has started to return to her normal lifestyle. Her growth from the beginning to end could only be minimal.
There was one thing I enjoyed about the book: there were some beautiful and intriguing scenes and descriptions of Emma adapting to her blindness. I found these parts incredibly interesting, but unfortunately, they were few and far between.
This book might be appreciated by readers who are looking for or enjoy reading books about people with disabilities, but otherwise, don't waste your time on this one.
Oh my, I really tried to read this book without skimming over pages, but it was so tediously boring. There was really not much going on worth writing about, but the author did write, and write, and it was really not worth my time. Why she centered the story around reasons for the death of one of the high school students remains a mystery to me - it had nothing to do with anything. Ugh! An utter waste of time. I received this book from Goodreads First Reads, which I do appreciate, but this book was a complete dud,as far as I'm concerned. The description was intriguing, which is why I requested it, but that was the most interesting part of the book to me.
The author does a good job of conveying the challenges, but also the successes, of living with a life altering change such as being blinded by an accident. Emma Silver loses her eyesight, but comes to realize that she can see some things more clearly now than she could before. With the help of her family and friends, Emma gains the support she needs to find her way in her changed world.
This book exceeded my (admittedly low) expectations. I figured it would be fluffy, but the main character is pretty great. Lots of good stuff about family, less about romance, though that comes into play too. One of the rarer novels about teenage girls that assumes their essential goodness and humanity.
The book I read this quarter was Blind a Young Adult novel by Rachel Dewoskin. In the beginning, it wasn’t that great but it kept me interested enough to continue and I’m glad I did. The main character, Emma, lost sight in both of her eyes due to a tragic accident on the fourth of July. She is angry, confused and jealous of the world around her. It took her a hard year to relearn how to be a functioning person again. While she’s at a special school for the blind, her best friend, Logan, is leaving her behind so it seems. She’s out living the life Emma wishes she still had, losing her virginity without telling her best friend, learning how to drive and taking the boy she’s always loved away from her. Emma doesn’t know what to do anymore and feels so jaded by everyone around her. After everything settles down, a childhood friend washes up out of a lake and has high amounts of drugs in her system. Now, Emma sets off to find out the truth with her trusty dog Spark and her white cane. Rachel Dewoskin published her third novel in 2014. She is previously known for Repeat After Me and Big Girl Small, a novel about a sixteen year old with dwarfism, which received the American Library Association’s Alex Award. In her novels, she draws attention to the attributes that humans take for granted everyday, like sight, which she shows can be changed in just a split second. The characters are well developed and relatable. After her accident, Emma is angry at the world and snaps at the ones she loves and the people sent to help her. If something of this magnitude happened to me, I would be acting out and it would be exceedingly hard to see the bright side in having a world of color taken away and being replaced by a darkness that has no end. The plot for me is a little far fetched but it is explained well and makes sense to me. After Emma is developed as a character and her life is explained, Claire commits suicide, at least that’s what the papers say, so she sets off to uncover what really happened. Golden girl Claire would never kill herself like that and if she was hurting inside, no one could tell. So what happened that no adult in strict Lake Main will tell them? What is the truth? To me, it seems a little wild and unrealistic that a blind girl and her service dog are going to solve this crime, but she does have the help of her friends, even if they all bicker the whole time. This novel compares to the Book of Eli, a movie that came out in 2010 about a blind man who holds a sacred book on how to save humankind. In the movie, a man is after him to obtain the book and destroy the world, so Eli has to go on the run and fight when necessary. Like Emma, Eli knows the struggles of being a “total” and having to navigate a world meant for people who have the privilege of sight. Since this is a young adult novel, it compares to all of the other YA books I’ve read. Emma is forced to experience her best friend having relations with the boy she’s loved since elementary school and has to act like everything is okay. She feels like the world is against her and at times wishes she wasn’t back at Lake Main High School, but still attending her private school with people who know the pain and can relate to her. She misses Sebastian, the boy who showed her the way in her new world and understood her when every else treated her like she was incapable. The main issue in this novel was suicide, which they talked about a lot because of Claire. To me, the theme was never take anything for granted, especially day to day commodities, like sight. I would recommend this novel to my friends, since it’s more of a easy read. Since the main character is a high school female who struggles with boy troubles and best friends, I would say females would enjoy this vastly more than the males.
I liked the book. I know many people got fed up with Emma's attitude, but I found it a realistic portrayal of dealing with tragedy. The novel follows Emma as she tries to cope with the loss of her sight as well as the loss of her classmate. She doesn't just bounce right back, full of sunshine and roses. I think it's easy to write about a character that can face difficulties, then is magically better in a few chapters. We can easily gloss over the time it takes to recover. We wonder why we aren't better yet, why we can't just move on like before. In Blind, Emma takes her time to process and heal, and it does take time. She cries and rages. Her friends have lived their own lives while Emma recovered from her accident, and she must navigate what a new normal looks like. Blind doesn't have much driving action. Instead, it focuses on Emma's journey to heal, cope, and live in the midst of tragedy.
2.5 stars. i liked how emma described the world after she lost her sight- people’s voices were colors and places were smells. but i guess i struggled to see a purpose to this book. i felt like the context for emma trying to find her place in the world again was weird, and i guess i failed to see what being blind and coping with that had to do with understanding what happened to claire. i just wasn’t invested enough in the characters, and i think the author could’ve done a better job with claire’s story. i just felt that it was a little emotionless, a little insensitive, and a little surface-level.
This is my third time reading this book and it shocks me how real it is every time I read it. It’s just a very genuine take on high school and humanity in general - it’s real. That said, a lot of the dialogue was clunky and there were tons of throwaway characters who really had no reason to be a part of the story in any way other than showing the fact that Emma’s known these people her whole life.
A tragic accident leaves Emma completely blind. She has to relearn everything from her large family to getting around and going back to a public school. Then a classmate is found dead from an apparent suicide and Emma decides to get her friends and other classmates together to talk about the situation.