Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Blind Spot for Boys by Justina Chen


Title: A Blind Spot for Boys
Author: Justina Chen
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Release Date: August 12, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Shana has always had a blind spot for boys. Can she trust the one who’s right in front of her?

Sixteen-year-old Shana Wilde is officially on a Boy Moratorium. After a devastating breakup, she decides it’s time to end the plague of Mr. Wrong, Wrong, and More Wrong.

Enter Quattro, the undeniably cute lacrosse player who slams into Shana one morning in Seattle. Sparks don’t just fly; they ignite. And so does Shana’s interest. Right as she’s about to rethink her ban on boys, she receives crushing news: Her dad is going blind.

Quattro is quickly forgotten, and Shana and her parents vow to make the most of the time her father has left to see. So they travel to Machu Picchu, and as they begin their trek, they run into non other than Quattro himself. 

Even as the trip unites them, Quattro pulls away mysteriously…

Love and loss, humor and heartbreak collide in this new novel from acclaimed author Justina Chen.

A few years ago, I read Justina Chen’s North of Beautiful and I absolutely loved it. Since, I hadn’t read anything more by this author. I don’t know why. But I recently remedied the situation by reading Justina Chen’s most recent release, A Blind Spot for Boys. And as I was reading, I was reminded of just how beautiful this author’s books are.

After getting her heart broken by a boy that was completely wrong for her, Shana went on a dating rampage, never getting attached to any of the boys she dated. When it all gets a little too crazy, she goes on a Boy Moratorium. But just when she makes the decision to swear off boys, Shana meets Quattro, the boy who slams into her life. It all seems like Shana may have finally found Mr. Right, but it all has to be put on hold when her family receives the news that her dad is going blind. Before she knows it, Shana is jetting off to South America so her dad can see Machu Picchu before he loses his sight completely. And just when she’s coming to terms with her boy-less life, Shana finds herself coming face to face with Quattro, thousands of miles away from home. The more time she spends with Quattro, the more Shana begins to rethink her Boy Moratorium. But there’s something Quattro is not telling her. As she sees her life as she knows it come apart, will Shana be able to reach out to the one person who could help her through it all?

I clearly remember when I read Justina Chen’s North of Beautiful years ago, I was deeply affected by the book and it stayed with me for a long time. After that, though, for whatever reason I didn’t go back and read any of her other books nor did I really pay attention to whether or not she had any upcoming releases. But when I heard about A Blind Spot for Boys I knew that I wanted to read this book. As you’re well aware if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, I’m a sucker for any and all contemporary story, but I also love those contemporary stories that go deep than just the fun and flirty romance. With A Blind Spot for Boys, that’s exactly what I got. I’ll be the first to admit that I expected there to be more an focus on the romance and the developing relationship between Shana and Quattro, but that’s not really what this story was. And I’m happy about that. This story was very much about Shana finding herself and coming to terms with what is happening to her family. It was about a family having to adapt to a new situation but not knowing how to do it. And all of this was set against the backdrop of the Machu Picchu trail. I’ll be honest, if nothing else, this book made me want to get on a plane to Peru and see Machu Picchu with my own eyes.

Shana was different than I expected her to be. From the synopsis of the book, I had the image in my mind of what she was going to be. But then I started reading and met a completely different girl than I expected. And I really liked the girl I met. I loved seeing how much Shana cared about her family and all she was willing to do and sacrifice for her family, no matter how misguided that could sometimes be. Over the course of the story, I loved seeing her come to terms with what was happening and find out who she really is, other than the girl who takes pictures and who dates a lot of boys. And I loved how her would-be relationship with Quattro helped her learn so much about herself. I wish I could have seen more of Quattro, though. Found out more about him, about everything that has happened to him to make him who he was. As for the cast of secondary characters, I really enjoyed seeing how each one of them played a part in Shana finding herself and understanding who she wanted to be and what she wanted for herself. It really felt like each one had something to add to the story.

Justina Chen’s A Blind Spot for Boys was exactly the kind of book I had hoped it would be. It made me realize that I really need to go back and read Justina Chen’s books that I’ve so far haven’t gotten my hands on.

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