Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Review: Blind Spot by Laura Ellen

Blind Spot

  Blind Spot
  Author: Laura Ellen
  Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
  Publication date: October 23rd 2012
  Source: Netgalley
  My rating: 3.5 stars

 
 Seventeen-year-old Tricia Farni’s body floated to the surface of Alaska’s Birch River six months after the night she disappeared. The night Roz Hart had a fight with her. The night Roz can’t remember. Roz, who struggles with macular degeneration, is used to assembling fragments to make sense of the world around her. But this time it’s her memory that needs piecing together—to clear her name . . . to find a murderer.

This unflinchingly emotional novel is written in the powerful first-person voice of a legally blind teen who just wants to be like everyone else.


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.

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

12 comments:

  1. I haven't been especially interested in Blind Spot, until now. I'm very curious to discover who the killer is. Lovely review, Rachel!

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  2. I'm pretty sure I've seen and heard of Blind Spot. The story and the cover sounds really intriguing though! While I don't know yet whether or not the cover suits the book, I really like it. Glad to hear that there are enough romance in the book because like you, I'm a huge romance junkie too ;)

    Awesome review, Rachel! ♥ So glad you enjoyed it!

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  3. The blurb and your review definitely peaked my interest! Definitely adding to tbr :)

    - Ellie @ The Selkie Reads Stories

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  4. Read it in one sitting? Must be really good. I need a more darker book like this. Haven't read one in a while. Thanks for sharing & awesome review, Rachel! :)

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  5. Oh wow, this sounds awesome!

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  6. This does sound really good, I like dark edgy reads with less than perfect characters. I am so tempted to go request it, but no I am going to get that pile trimmed! Lovely review as always Rachel!

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  7. I love the sound of everything about this one aside from the mystery itself. Like you, just based on reading your review, I'm wishing the story was more focused on Roz's struggles and her relationships without the added complexity of Tricia's death. Still, I'm a sucker for the boy next door too, so I think I'll pick this one up so I can meet Greg:) Awesome review Rachel!

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  8. I wasn't too interested in this one before and I've read quite a few negative reviews of this, but you make me want to pick it up and get to know all these characters myself. I love how well-rounded they sound and am so curious to meet Greg! ;) Fantastic review, Rachel! :)

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  9. It's really nice to see a more positive review for this book for a change! I liked the sound of it a few months ago, but some of the mixed reviews put me off slightly. I'm convinced again thanks to yours. :) I'm quite curious about Jonathan's character...

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  10. I haven't really heard much about this one, but colour me intrigued after reading your review. It sounds pretty dark and intense, and sometimes I like that!

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  11. Like you, I love the cover, Rachel! <3 It's very odd yet striking in the same time. From the way you describe story, I think there's a good chance I will like it. Guy-next-door-turns-into-something-more? Oh yeah, count me in please! ;)

    I have to check out this book when it comes out. Beautiful review as always, Rachel! <3

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  12. The cover is really eye-catching (haha, get my pun? Oh, I should stop now, not amusing...) Anyways! The premise is really interesting (I love contemp/YA thrillers with a touch of romance) and I'm pleased that the characters worked for you. :) Nice review!

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