I loved this so much. It really moving and had me in tears several times. It’s a story about living life again after being blinded, but it’s also about just being a teenager and coping with family and friends. It’s incredibly moving and honest, but it’s not depressing or a simplistic “overcoming adversity” story. Flashbacks from Emma tell how she was blinded and learned to get along by attending a school for the blind during her 9th grade year. But now, in 10th grade, she is back at her old high school and trying to fit back in. She has a great best friend and 6 sisters and a brother to help her out and watch out for her. The huge family is a big part of her life and story and honestly it made me think I should have had way more than two kids! She’s no longer the current tragedy because right before school starts a popular girl drowns, presumably a suicide. Now she and the other kids are trying to figure out how and why that could happen, since they aren’t getting answers from adults.
I liked the portrayal of her friendship with her best friend and how realistic these girls and people were. It often bugs me in stories when teens are so clever, but I thought that no one was a caricature of a type, no one was overly clever/hip/smart/fashionable/trendy. They were just regular kids dealing with some heavy stuff in a very believable way.
And of course, it was really interesting to read about what it’s like to be blind. The descriptions of this were some of the most moving in the story and made me grateful for my own vision. Perhaps the saddest of all was that with all these siblings she couldn’t see them changing, but forever in her mind the little ones had baby faces.