"Rule #1: Don't deceive me. Ever.…Rule #INFINITY: There are NO second chances."
Parker Grant doesn't trust surprises—her blindness intensifies them too much. After she finds her father dead of a drug overdose, she's further disoriented when her overprotective aunt and aloof cousin move in and junior year starts. Disorientation becomes dizziness when she meets Jason, who knows "how to talk to a blind girl," and it escalates to panic when she encounters Scott, the ex-boyfriend who betrayed her in eighth grade. She finds stability in running, but her outward equilibrium is maintained only by the gold stars she awards herself for not crying. Fortunately, she has her best friend, Sarah, and a no-nonsense, dark-humored outlook that she parlays into tough-love peer counseling because she can't see people flinch. But with so many changes and memories, is it enough? Lindstrom's immersive portrayal of the dimension Parker's blindness adds to both atypical and everyday angst imbues his protagonist with mature complexity. Like the Army vest covered in slogans or the colorful blindfolds she wears like a "Rorschach test," Parker's snarky bravado is not only for armor, but for input—a way to gauge other people's capacity for honesty, critical for navigating her world. Parker herself does not escape analysis (or sympathy), ultimately confronting her problems through what others reveal.
An unflinching exploration of trust, friendship, and grief. (Fiction. 14 & up)