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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • An exquisitely written novel.

    An exquisitely written novel. Both haunting and achingly beautiful. The characters and scenes are extremely well crafted, making for an engrossing read.

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  • Quirky and Sweet

    Kate is an architect and a wife. She thinks she is happy, and ignores the things that scare her or make her uncomfortable, even when that involves ending up in the hospital after an altercation with her husband, police officer, Tony. Bubbly and vivacious Nova was born blind, but hasn't ever really seen it as a disability. When her brother encourages her to have a surgery which promises to give her sight, she goes along with it reluctantly. Neither woman was expecting to meet someone in the hospital, but when fate brings them together multiple times, they realise that they need the comfort and support that they seem to experience only when they are together. This book started well, with a quirky writing style and a good mix of conventional and odd characters. Nova is immediately endearing, while Kate is more relatable but also less interesting. The two of them make an interesting tale as their lives twist towards each other, through trauma and panic leading to joy and comfort. This book is not for the faint of heart in terms of abuse, both mental and physical. Tony's character is unfortunately believable and recognisable whilst being entirely, maliciously narcissistic and psychotic. The whole concept of describing what it's like to learn to see for the very first time was really fascinating, and I loved the odd situations this brought up and the totally normal things we take for granted that are in fact learned. Overall, an interesting story of the redeeming nature of selfless love, and the human kindness that makes all the difference in life. Throughout all of that though, the characters are each so deeply flawed and scared that they repeatedly make rash decisions that ultimately hurt everyone, especially themselves. I wouldn't say that this is the most optimistic book on the topic of relationships, but I said say it's honest. Not a book I would read over and over, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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  • Original

    I really enjoyed the start of this story, getting to know the two main characters Nova & Kate and especially the concept of Nova learning to see. I personally think the author rushed the timings of the operation from it being mentioned as a concept to considering then next thing you know it’s happened however after that Nova’s story progressed well. Kate’s story was equally well written with clear tension in her relationship with her husband and the gradual friendship between Kate and Nova over time. That said whilst I enjoyed the progress that Nova and Kate made both personally and together I think the author reached a point of not knowing where to go with this about three quarters of the way through and it felt like it almost switched genre. That said it was a good read overall and a great, original concept

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  • Fascinsting, intriguing

    Absolutely no pun intended - ths book Very insightful, for those with 'taken for granted' sight. A real pleasure to read......

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  • Wasn't for me....

    Unfortunately I really struggled with "The Rules of Seeing" by Joe Heap and have to admit to skimming a few of the paragraphs towards the end in order to finish it. "When her brother convinces her to have an operation that will restore her sight, Nova wakes up to a world she no longer understands. And then she meets Kate, whose past hides a different kind of darkness. Together, can they both open their eyes to the lives they could be living?" I did start off by being very intrigued by Kate's story which had the potential of including a physiological element to this light love story. I enjoyed reading how she met Nova at the hospital, though I couldn't help feeling the pairing of the two women and their ensuing relationship rather odd. I did feel for Nova, who being blind from birth was very concerned at how she would find being able to see and thought the rules she followed after gaining her sight, a witty addition to the story. Sadly as a whole, it didn't keep my attention and I found parts exceedingly slow, though I am quite sure the book will be appreciated by a lot of readers and I could well be in the minority who didn't enjoy fully. Although very well written and researched, I do believe a YA audience would enjoy this story better. I'm just sorry I didn't find it as gripping as I'd hoped, especially considering the poignant issues covered. Two stars for the potential of the premise and I do wish the author Joe Heap, every success with this, his first novel. 2 stars

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