Monday, April 1, 2013

BLIND SPOT by Laura Ellen

Roz is furious.  It is her first day as a sophomore at Chance High, and her schedule is wrong.  According to the paper she's holding, she has a class called Life Skills on her schedule.  She made it perfectly clear last year that she would not be taking that class for special ed students.  It was suggested because of her disability, but Roz refuses to acknowledge that she has any limitations.

Diagnosed with juvenile macular degeneration which severely limits her vision, Roz is considered to be legally blind.  She has learned to cope with her condition and most people don't even know she has a problem seeing things that are directly in front of her.  Her IEP requires she be given a front seat and copies of notes given in class, but including Life Skills on her schedule is not what she agree to.

Mr. Dellian teaches the class and is determined from day one to get Roz to admit she has a disability.  She dislikes him instantly, especially when he assigns each student a partner and insists that looking out for their partner is their number one job.  Roz is partnered with Tricia, an odd girl who spends her time spinning around in a brown, hooded cape.  It doesn't take long for Roz to discover Tricia has a drug problem and that it isn't going to be a walk in the park to be her partner.

When Roz finds out Mr. Dellian is also her history teacher, she can't believe it.  Her late arrival to class results in a tardy and the threat of being marked absent.  She soon learns that her trouble with Mr. Dellian has just begun.

Roz's life becomes complicated with romance issues, best friend difficulties, and of course, pressure at home, and when her partner Tricia disappears, Roz becomes involved in a murder mystery that threatens her own safety.  As one of the last to see Tricia alive, Roz is determined to find out what really happened and if her attractive ex-boyfriend, Jonathan is involved or if Mr. Dellian is guilty of taking the life of the girl who has become her friend.

BLIND SPOT is the first novel of author Laura Ellen.  Ellen suffers from macular degeneration and artfully captures the effects of the disease in the development of her main character.  The often snarky Roz fights to be recognized for her strengths and not her weakness as she deals with the difficult characters that surround her.  This reader was reminded of the stressful aspects of high school and teachers who misunderstand their students. 

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