Book review: Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist

Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Links: AmazonTBDGoodreads
Publication Date: January 3, 2017
Source: Free from AudioFile Sync

Love is more than meets the eye.

On his first day at a new school, blind sixteen-year-old Will Porter accidentally groped a girl on the stairs, sat on another student in the cafeteria, and somehow drove a classmate to tears. High school can only go up from here, right?

As Will starts to find his footing, he develops a crush on a sweet but shy girl named Cecily. And despite his fear that having a girlfriend will make him inherently dependent on someone sighted, the two of them grow closer and closer. Then an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that could give Will eyesight for the first time in his life. But learning to see is more difficult than Will ever imagined, and he soon discovers that the sighted world has been keeping secrets. It turns out Cecily doesn’t meet traditional definitions of beauty—in fact, everything he’d heard about her appearance was a lie engineered by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed?

Goodreads tells me that I added this book to my TBR in March of 2017. I don’t recall why, and nobody I’m friends with or follow on Goodreads has reviewed it, so it’s kind of a mystery. Maybe there was a giveaway? Who knows. Anyway, it was offered as a free audiobook this summer and I jumped at the chance. I mean, I waited forever to actually listen to it since that’s what I do, but still. I jumped.

The book is fine. Between the plot and the writing style, it reminded me a lot of John Green. This isn’t a bad thing. I know that John Green can be a kind of polarizing author, but I like most of what he’s written. The book starts off pretty strong with Will going through one awkward situation after another in the course of his first day at public high school. He makes friends, he proves himself to be pretty charming, and everything’s good. The problems start when he first finds out about the operation that might be able to restore his vision.

The thing is, Will never really seems that excited about the operation. I never really got the sense that he was dying to undergo the procedure or that he really cared about being able to see. Maybe I tuned out for a bit while I was listening, but it kind of seemed like he was questioning it and then all of a sudden he was under anesthesia. I also really didn’t like that the doctor’s office didn’t seem to care about his feelings toward the procedure just because he was a minor.

Another issue I had was actually the whole entire plot. It sounds kind of terrible, but I think I’m over these emotional, medical miracle-type books. Like, oh, wow, Will gets his sight back and it’s a struggle, will he ever overcome the obstacles? OF COURSE HE’S GOING TO OVERCOME THE OBSTACLES. Who would write a book like this and not have the main character succeed?

The book also feels a little long-winded at times, which is weird because it’s actually very short. Also, in a book this short, I was surprised at the sheer amount of foreshadowing of Cecily’s appearance. Will’s reaction to Cecily’s appearance seemed so over-the-top (and a little out of character) just because we’d been given so many hints that she doesn’t have a… shall we say… typical? appearance. It felt a little forced, like the book needed a big conflict and this was something convenient.

All that said, I was set to give this book three stars and call it a day, but then the ending happened. All I have to say is nope. Minus one star just for Will’s cheesy one-liners at the end. No. No no no. I was so disappointed.

Have you read Love and First Sight? How do you feel about this kind of love story?
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