“Love and First Sight” By Josh Sundquist 

loveandfirstsightLove and First Sight
By: Josh Sundquist
Narrated by: Pat Young
Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
Release date: 01-03-17
Publisher: Hachette Audio

I have to admit at first while listening to this audiobook, I was worried I had grabbed another whiney angsty teen novel.  For the most part YA fiction can be some really nice stories and story telling but many of them fall prey to the “let’s make a romance novel for kids” genre.  This one starts in that direction and you do get a bit of the whiney but not necessarily from the lead character, Will Porter, but from some of his friends.  What I, at first, got from Will was that he was a smug know-it-all and being blind made him better.  I’ll talk more about the love interest later.

I pulled up my bootstraps and kept rolling with this book only because of the author’s description of how it is being blind.  I have several blind friends (it’s because of one of those friends I started listening to audiobooks in the first place) and I have never really understood what their life is like.  Josh Sundquist writes about that experience through Will Porter and gave me a better understanding of what a sightless world is like.  Concepts such as perspective and colors were explained to me in ways I never would have even considered and then when Will gets the miracle surgery restoring his eyesight, the learning HOW to see floored me.  I’ve since talked this over with one of my friends and he said that it sounded like some of the reasons he has not considered gaining eyesight if the chance arose.  Sundquist’s descriptions are very thought provoking.

The problem with this story is there is a bit of a forced love interest.  Will meets new friends as he tries to be mainstreamed in a “normal” school.  Apparently Will was a big deal at his school for the blind, now, not so much.  He becomes friends with kids on the Quiz Team and begins to fall for a girl who seems to be hiding something.  After gaining sight he learns she has a huge birthmark on her face.  At this point he feels betrayed in that no one told him about her face.   Here’s where the book pretty much lost me again.

What I got from the book is the awesome descriptions of life from a blind person’s point of view.  What I disliked were the two-dimensional portrayals of human love and interaction.

Publisher’s Summary
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 16-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 relate to each other and the world around us.

©2017 Josh Sundquist (P)2017 Hachette Audio