Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blind Spot by Laura Ellen, A Young Adult Mystery

Blind Spot
Author Laura Ellen

There’s none so blind as they that won’t see. Seventeen-year-old Tricia Farni’s body floated to the surface of Alaska’s Birch River six months after the night she disappeared. The night Roz Hart had a fight with her. The night Roz can’t remember. Roz, who struggles with macular degeneration, is used to assembling fragments to make sense of the world around her. But this time it’s her memory that needs piecing together—to clear her name . . . to find a murderer. This unflinchingly emotional novel is written in the powerful first-person voice of a legally blind teen who just wants to be like everyone else.
Review: Author Laura Ellen primes Blind Spot perfectly showing how thematic incorporation doesn't have to be obscure to be substantially complex.  Like most young adult novels, Blind Spot sports a high school setting with a misfit hero. However, what makes this book stand out is the use of a physical disability to communicate perception, an interesting concept approached in multiple ways throughout the book. It may seem obvious, but given some thought and with a little direction from the author, so much more is discovered about what is and what we think we see or know.  Our dependency on sense can be skewed whether we possess a physical deficiency or not. You don't have to have macular degeneration to grasp the thematic lessons taught in this book.  However, depiction of events will hopefully open your eyes to prejudice and enlighten self-awareness. I truly enjoyed this book. It was a powerful, but quick read that was executed with just enough hints without falling into the trap of beating the reader over the head with a message. The main character development was superb and the supporting characters were given enough detail to be present and well-formed without overwhelming or distracting from the plot. In my opinion, Blind Spot is the love child of Breakfast Club and AMC's series, The Killing - a group of misfits tangled together with just enough edge and shot of reality to make it comically tragic and suspenseful. 

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* ARC provided by Amazon Vine courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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