Off the Beaten Page: Eric Lindstrom makes his debut with “Not If I See You First”

The thing that sets Parker apart from the traditional, one-dimensional female leads in young adult literature is that she is so obviously human. Lindstrom does not stray from showing off her faults and insecurities to progress the story. He makes her vulnerable and understandable to readers, especially to otherwise-abled individuals. While Parker’s being blind is a major plot element, it is not the entirety of the story. So many novels rely on a character’s disease or disability or flaw as a way to stimulate the story. These tropes need to stop. Parker is an honest character and is showing young girls that being different is okay.

Additionally, while there is a romantic element in Parker’s ex-boyfriend, Scott Kilpatrick, the romance is not the focus of the story as it is in most teen literature. The emergence of the strong-minded young heroine in novels is powerful, and it is very important to acknowledge that it is not the be-all, end-all if the main character does not develop a romantic relationship at the close of the piece. “Not If I See You First” provides a very powerful message for young girls that the first person you must always rely on is yourself.

Lindstrom is currently working on a new untitled piece, and all he has revealed about it is that it will also be young adult fiction. If his first novel is any indicator of how the next one will turn out, it’s going to be a good one.

The winter months always have me desiring fluffy fiction, so I often times veer towards the young adult novel. Nothing is more comforting than a light book to keep your interest on a cold day; but I have grown tired of reading the same pieces over and over again. I took to the internet and found what I was searching for in Lindstrom’s “Not If I See You First.”

This is Lindstrom’s freshman novel, and quite different from his previous work — he was a co-writer for the “Tomb Raider” video game series. Steering away from his traditional work of shock and horror, Lindstrom manages to tug at the heartstrings of his readers with his debut piece, which was just released this past December.

The novel’s main character, Parker, is like any teenage girl, except for the fact that she is blind. In her disability, she has created a list of items she calls “The Rules” so people do not use her or mistreat her just because she is different. She deals with heartache all the same, discussing boy issues with her friends, struggling to come to terms with her father’s death, and taking in the hardship that comes with trying out for the school track team. All of these small facets of her character make a very believable, well-rounded heroine.

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