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Love and First Sight

Review

Love and First Sight

LOVE AND FIRST SIGHT is written by Josh Sundquist, Youtuber and author of WE SHOULD HANG OUT SOMETIME and JUST DON’T FALL. LOVE AND FIRST SIGHT follows Will Porter, a blind 16-year-old, as he begins his first year in a traditional high school setting. Although he faces a rocky start, Will finds a strong group of friends and begins to develop a crush on a shy girl named Cecily. An unprecedented surgery option comes Will’s way and gives him the opportunity to gain eyesight. However, he learns that seeing is harder than he ever imagined and the sighted world had been keeping secrets from him.

My first impression of LOVE AND FIRST SIGHT was unfortunately not a great one. I read WE SHOULD HANG OUT SOMETIME two years ago and I automatically missed Josh’s nonfiction writing style as I began his new release. The writing style seemed somewhat awkward at first, but eventually the plot and the characters overshadowed this and created a much more enjoyable reading experience.

"LOVE AND FIRST SIGHT is a heart-wrenching and uplifting journey --- at the same time. It is definitely worth the read, even to experience the depiction of blindness alone."

The general plot of LOVE AND FIRST SIGHT kept me reading and wanting more. I was able to finish the entire book in one sitting. The cast of characters is really lovable and the reader begins to feel like the sixth member of their friend group. I loved this aspect of the book as I was able to establish a strong connection with each character, not just Will. Because of this, I became extremely invested in all of their lives which actually left me wanting more by the end. This was a huge surprise considering my initial feelings about the book.

Cecily was by far my favorite character. She was more than just a potential love interest; she became an inspiring subplot in herself. Her conflict with self-confidence was an extremely realistic and relatable flaw for me as well as many other teen readers. The other members of Will’s friend group were also so much fun to read about. They embodied a “squad” and their banter maintained a light and humorous undertone throughout the entirety of the novel.

Endings are always a huge piece of a novel for me and LOVE AND FIRST SIGHT definitely did not disappoint. Josh Sundquist discovered the ideal mix of pure joy and realistic struggles, placing both elements into the novel perfectly. The ending represents this as the reader is left with questions about the characters’ futures but a general sense of fulfillment. The reading experience in general is pretty typical of a YA contemporary novel in the sense that the characters feel real but the reader can expect an ending that leaves them at some form of peace.

LOVE AND FIRST SIGHT is a heart-wrenching and uplifting journey --- at the same time. It is definitely worth the read, even to experience the depiction of blindness alone. I have not read a YA book with a blind main character before and it was definitely interesting to see how Josh chose to execute this. I would recommend LOVE AND FIRST SIGHT to any and all YA contemporary lovers. It really is the perfect read for any well-versed contemporary reader. I would also recommend this novel to anyone who wants to read more diversely as it successfully includes a diverse cast, all led by a blind main character. For me, LOVE AND FIRST SIGHT was definitely a pleasant surprise.

Reviewed by Danielle F., Teen Board Member on January 10, 2018

Love and First Sight
by Josh Sundquist

  • Publication Date: January 2, 2018
  • Genres: Family, Fiction, Young Adult 14+
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0316305367
  • ISBN-13: 9780316305365