Author: Josh Sundquist
Published: January 2017
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Format: ARC Paperback
In his debut novel, YouTube personality and author of We Should Hang Out Sometime Josh Sundquist explores the nature of love, trust, and romantic attraction.
On his first day at a new school, blind sixteen-year-old Will Porter accidentally groped a girl on the stairs, sat on another student in the cafeteria, and somehow drove a classmate to tears. High school can only go up from here, right?
As Will starts to find his footing, he develops a crush on a charming, quiet girl named Cecily. Then an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that could give Will eyesight for the first time in his life. But learning to see is more difficult than Will ever imagined, and he soon discovers that the sighted world has been keeping secrets. It turns out Cecily doesn't meet traditional definitions of beauty--in fact, everything he'd heard about her appearance was a lie engineered by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed?
Told with humor and breathtaking poignancy, Love and First Sight is a story about how we related to each other and the world around us.
I first want to say a huge thank you to the people from Hachette for sending me an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review! When I first saw this book, I really didn't know what I was going to be getting into, even though I read the summary! I mean of course it follows the life of Will who is legally blind since birth...but what could he possibly have in adventure?
I definitely enjoyed reading this book for many reasons! First it starts right off the bat into this story, making you wonder what some of his backstory is, although it quickly delves into it. Since it's the perspective of Will, all of his descriptions of his friends and family are based on voice and touch. I think that was the key component here of writing the book in his POV, was the fact that you couldn't really see anything yourself. I personally felt like I was Will when I was reading. I personally have glasses I wear to see far distance, and although I know what basic colours are and can understand the pairing, I found myself getting frustrated for not being able to get through it as fast from his side of things. It really makes you look at things different...pun not intended! ;)
From beginning to end you get so much humor mixed into something that's life-changing! I think the very first chapter I read, Will have some smart-ass comment about his blindness, and I literally laughed out loud! He definitely knew what was up with people tip-toeing around someone with some sort of "set back" as they believe, but really, he knew how to do things!
Personally for me, I found that when it got to about halfway, I found the story kind of falter a little bit. It was as if things were happening, but the momentum of Will and his love interest fell on the back burner, or that it just didn't fully feel like he was in high school. It seemed a little too clean for a story that has so much going on!
"For all the attention race gets, for all the wars that have been fought over it, all the atrocities committed and hatred based on differences in skin tone over the centuries of human history, I would honestly have expected something...more."
I will say that I LOVED how diverse the characters were, and the fact that the definitions of beauty were shot down entirely! There's a part in the book where Will discovers something his friends decided not to tell him, and although I didn't like the way he handled it, I love how he realized that looks don't matter! The group of friends he has, really shows that people around the world share the simplest of things in common, regardless of their skin tone, race, or culture.
Honestly, when you think about the way that Will and Cecily interact throughout the novel, you really see a raw and personal level of two people who have their own significant insecurities that they somehow find peace within another. It was pretty awesome towards the end of the book with everything that came about! I was really wishing that there was more, because I felt like it kind of wrapped up within a chapter at the end, without really giving you much more...
A few quotes that caught me, really made me think about the book, society, and family.
"This is your Journey, I can't guide you anymore."
"Lean on others long enough, and eventually you'll fall."
"Why do people limit their descriptions of a face to these few attributes when there are, seemingly, an infinite number of more interesting, more subtle differences."
Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I found it to be pretty fast paced to a certain extent, and it really powers through heavy and important topics of looks and society, and I think that was great! I personally felt like it could have had more to the story, and that it could have been written more for the age that they are. It could have had a little more language that matched the tone.
That's all for my review of Love and First Sight! I hope you enjoyed it, and I would totally recommend checking it out!
So until the next time, Keep Reading!
Your Graduated Bookworm!! :)