Sophocles once said:
“Every man can see things far off but is blind to what is near.”
I’m going to make a judgement call and say this wasn’t a literal statement. Do you agree? I choose to believe he meant this in the metaphorical sense. That sometimes we are blinded by ourselves, that at times…we can’t see what is right in front of us because we are too “attached” to it, to “close.” We become biased or prejudice depending on the actual situation or the people it involves.
“blind to what is near.”
Laura Ellen’s novel “Blind Spot” is loaded with quotes. T.S. Eliot: “Winter kept us warm, covering Earth in forgetful snow.” George Eliot: “What do we live for; if it is not to make life less difficult to each other?” There was even a quote from the Bible (That I forgot to highlight. Sorry.)
But as wonderful as these snippets of wisdom are, none fit the premise of “Blind Spot” quite like Sophocles’ statement about overlooking the things right in front of us.
“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.”
If you are a person that seeks out multiple reviews I’m sure you’ve notice that this book is getting a lot of heat. And, while I’m nowhere near narcissistic or arrogant enough to think my review is the grand champion of reviews, I do think it’s important for reviewers to base their reviews on the book they READ not the book they EXPECTED it to be.
Yes, this book involves a hard to solve murder, but it is also about the people surrounding (or in this instance involved in) the murder. Being a YA novel, that means drama (I would think that’s inevitable.) Do I think Ellen could have beefed up the “who done it?” and toned down the “she’s such a B” commentary? Yes, probably. But the in your face approach Ellen chose in regards to her characters (I think) only helped to establish the complexity of the mystery, not hinder it.
Hating characters in books is only natural. Hating ALL of the characters? Not so much. But that’s not to say it can’t be accomplished. (And the reader still enjoy the book.) In “Blind Spot” Ellen opens her novel allowing the audience to be a sympathetic ear (so to speak.) We are introduced to Roz. We learn about her disability. We see that, despite her hindrances she tries like hell to live her life to the fullest and never take no for an answer. Admirable qualities. Several chapters later, she becomes unlovable (or at the very least…unlikable.) She gets snippy with everyone around her. She makes horrible judgement calls and is (in a general sense) rude to everyone.
Roz, however, is not the only bad seed in the book. Her teachers, her friends, her boyfriend…even her mom are deplorable people. And I think this is a great thing.
Because it causes confusion.
Not once but twice I was fooled into thinking I knew who the murder was. And not once, but twice I was irritated by the fact that I was wrong. But (at the same time) I was impressed. By hating the entire cast, I suspected the entire cast. No one was an easy target, therefore I had to put my thinking cap on. I had to look at the WHOLE picture. I had to analyze each person and REALLY THINK about what was happening. The novel was one big twist inside of itself, and the “twist” was the drama. Without it, the story would have been bland. 5 pages in you would have had a very clear idea as to what was going on and the book (as a whole) would have been a waste of time. Instead, it was a great big cluster F of everyone trying to screw over everyone else.
So do I think the synopsis is a little misleading? Sure. But that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. So what…it focuses on only one aspect of the story. Who cares!
A girl is found dead. People are suspected. This is the story of what happens BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER that point. Books are not one dimensional the synopsis usually is. It’s important to remember that.
In the end I found it to be an entertaining (very quick) read.
One day tops and a surprise ending.
Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember:
“Just as there are stars in the day sky that you can’t see until nightfall, I realized, there were things right there in front of me that I’d missed.”
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Release Date: September 23, 2012