Love and F1rst Sight

Love and F1rst Sight

Book - 2017
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"Sixteen-year-old blind teen Will Porter undergoes an experimental surgery that enables him to see for the first time, all while navigating a new school, new friends, and a crush"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780316305358
Branch Call Number: SUN Y
Characteristics: 281 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Love and first sight


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ArapahoeMarcia Aug 07, 2019

A captivating read about a blind teenager mainstreaming into a regular high school. Wonderful storytelling.

ArapahoeTiegan May 02, 2019

This was a very interesting read. I hadn't really heard of a book with a blind narrator before, and wondered what that read would be like. With all the research Josh Sundquist did on blind people, and blind people who have had surgery to gain sight, I felt like the descriptions on feeling, orienting oneself in a space, and seeing things for the very first time in life were very true to Will, were he real. While every person experiences things differently, I think Josh Sundquist did the best job in combining the true experiences and studies to create a fairly realistic experience. It made me start thinking about how I experience the world and what it might be like if I had to figure it all out from scratch and rewire my brain to do so. I appreciated this aspect of this novel.

However, I was a little disappointed in Will, as well as his mother. I appreciated the candid conversation his father had with him about not doing the surgery, because there was nothing wrong with the way he was living, there was nothing wrong with him. I do wish he had stuck to his guns and not done the surgery. The entire situation that made him switch to fully wanting to do the surgery just fell flat for me. I don't know much about the blind community, but I do know the Deaf community is very proud of their language, their way of living. For Will to have spent so much time around the blind community in his formative years, I was surprised he would make a decision to try to gain sight, when he was born blind and got around in the world just fine and was actually a brilliant advocate for himself when dealing with people who could see. I also couldn't believe his mother would push for something like this so hard, even going so far as to make appointments behind Will's back, without truly knowing it was something he wanted. Having lived his whole life with his blindness, I would feel like everyone would want to continue life as was normal for them. It just didn't make sense to me and I felt very disappointed in the whole scenario.

Jan 13, 2019

This was a YA that went places I didn't expect, and I'm glad I read (well, listened via audiobook) to it. As someone who has been adjacent to the blind community for over a decade (I raised Guide Dogs for the Blind for 6 years, and have a close family friend who is fully blind), it was refreshing to see an MC who is blind, and explores both the positive and negative aspects of living blind in a sighted-bias world. I thought the topics were handled with compassion, respect, and realism, including a scene that also made me cringe, because the MC (while he had an excellent point) was kind of a jerk about his point. And I always like when a book challenges me by presenting something both great and painful at the same time. I also really appreciated the relationship between the teenaged MC and his parents (given the story was from his point of view, it felt authentic that it starts out basically being judgmental and cranky about his mother...but that evolves over the course of the book).

The reason I'm giving it three stars is the ending. To be honest, most of the book felt like a journey with the MC. The romance felt completely secondary to the plot, and although handled sweetly, it just wasn't....romantic. Then the ending rushed straight into romance (a single chapter resolution) that robbed the female love interest of her autonomy. And that might be realistic to teen romance, but it felt like a betrayal of the plot up to that point. Still, it was worth the quick listen, and I'm glad this book exists.

Sep 11, 2018

Will was navigating his first day of high school and trying to act as normal as someone blind could. After all, he just made a girl cry before even 10 minutes of meeting her. After he learns that the girl that cried was named Cecily and was very charming, they started to go on adventures together. Will wants more and more to be able to see the girl he’s fallen for and after an experimental surgery, he is finally able to see, which was a bigger challenge than he originally thought. But the biggest implication was with his relationship with Cecily after he found out he was tricked into thinking her face was “normal”. And so, he goes on to discover what true beauty actually is, and if Cecily falls into that category. I really loved this book not only because of the great romantic chemistry between the two main characters but how diverse they are. The concept of someone with a facial deformation and someone blind who regains sight is so unique that I couldn’t help but love it. Character development was evident throughout the whole novel and the author did a really great job with the plot. Rating:5/5
@Iron_Rose of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

ArapahoeKati Feb 05, 2018

A funny but heartfelt story about perceptions of the world through the eyes of a teenage boy who's blind (and who's falling in love!).

katbee Jun 16, 2017

It's been a long time since I found a YA book that I loved so much. I lost much sleep reading it. Josh Sundquist's first novel is hilarious and well written, just as his memoir was. It is a sweet high school story and I loved learning about the experience of not having sight. I can't wait to see what he writes next.

ArapahoeStaff1 Mar 27, 2017

What a cute RomCom! Not only is this book ability diverse, but the characters are all completely lovable. I will note that during the "problem" part of the book, it seems a little far-fetched, but if you really think about where Will is coming from with the theme of betrayal, it starts to fall together. The conflict seemed a little forced, but because Will was the great guy the entire time and never falters, I can look past this minuscule detail. This book is all about being okay with who you are and loving others regardless of how they look. A great message that needs to be told as often as possible.

Jan 19, 2017

This was a cute book. It was a simple love story which is really all I expected from it and all I needed it to be. I found the perspective of the main character very interesting as he is blind and then eventually is given the opportunity to see. The language and the perspective of the whole novel was fascinating. Other than that, it was a typical YA love story. Not much else to it.

samcmar Nov 29, 2016

Note: I had a chance to read this book early through an advance reader's copy.

I loved Josh Sundquist's non-fiction novel We Should Hang Out Sometime. It made me laugh, it educated me about disability, and I loved how open the author was about his life. This is Josh Sundquist's debut YA novel, which focuses on Will, a boy who is blind and is going to a public school for the first time in his life. His parents are afraid of him being a part of the public school system considering he was transferring from a special school for the blind. He then falls for a girl he cannot actually see and decides to undergo a radical surgery that could potentially give him back his eye sight.

This book is so wonderful, so funny, and so heart-warming. Josh Sundquist has this crazy ability to be so inviting when he shares a story, and Will is just such a sweet protagonist who has such amazing intentions. He cannot see, but it doesn't mean he doesn't have aspirations, as he wants to be a journalist, a job that really is focused on sight. I felt invested in his story, his friendships, his family, and that's the markings of a great main character. You can also feel the amount of research that Sundquist did to bring such an authentic story. I also love love loved Cecily, who is the love interest, and I ADORED the way Will and Cecily's relationship develops given her own personal problems. They are such a sweet couple, and I actually love how long it took to get to that in the novel.

This is a book that can easily be read in a day. It is a sweet contemporary novel that offers a really unique perspective written by someone who understands disability lit. This book isn't mind-blowing, but it just so funny and genuine and sometimes those are the kinds of books you need to make you smile. Even the research in regards to Will's surgery was so well implemented, and I wanted to know more about it. I think readers will completely fall in love with Will when this book releases in January. Then while you are at it, read the Author's Note, because it is so fascinating.


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