Where I got it: Inter-library Loan
Rating: 3.5 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars (I really like how the eyes are covered in braille.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: July 8, 2010
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Page Count: 226 p.
Natalie was born without irises, this condition causes her eyesight to slowly decline. She has to wear a brimmed hat all the time because the sun is too bright for her and she has to use eye drops. When her sight starts to get worse her mother thinks it's time for her to go to Baltimore's School for the Blind, so that Natalie can learn the skills she would need if she went blind. Natalie however does not want to face the fact that the if is more like a when. Natalie is frustrated that she is losing her vision and refuses to learn braille or how to walk with the cane. After taking a nasty fall however, Natalie thinks that maybe it's time she realize she might need to prepare herself for the inevitable future that awaits. She gets a new roommate and together they agree to work hard together, that is until something happens and Natalie again is left by herself.
It is a little weird reading a book that seems like it would be very helpful for someone going through losing their sight. Just the very act of reading each tiny word, I feel like I lose the true meaning of this novel. Regardless of this, it was a really great read. I didn't like it that much in the beginning, I feel like it jumped a lot, from Natalie being able to see to it being really bad. There just wasn't enough progression, but then again the novel would have been much longer had the beginning been drawn out. Natalie was a genuinely scared and frustrated young girl who doesn't want to except that something this terrible could be happening to her. You could really get inside Natalie's head and all the ups and downs of having to learn all these new techniques and having to make new friends and trying to still keep her old friends. It's a lot to ask of somebody and though Natalie falters at the beginning it was very nice to see her grow and learn that she has to accept her fate. I think this is a great book that addresses a topic that many of us don't deal with on a day to day basis. I personally don't know any blind people and so it was interesting to see the many different aspects of sight impaired individuals. Some of the kids in this story were not completely blind, but it was nice how they banded together. This was a great book about disabilities and how you don't have to be the victim if you don't want to be. I say definitely pick this one up.
"Like so many of Natalie's early memories, this one is full of color: the fresh yellow straw, the red blood that was pooling way too fast, the silver bucket kicked aside, the damp, quivering brown fur."
"Natalie stopped, mesmerized, and took several slow steps inside the door of Serena's room."