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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
What would it be like to be born blind and, after 19 years, begin to see? This is a theme Angelina Kerner explores in her novella, Seven Hours. A light, enjoyable read, primarily aimed at teens or young adults, Angelina Kerner builds her story around 19-year-old Chanel. Chanel has lived very well with her disability over the years, has a couple of good friends to assist her when necessary, and gets out and about relatively easily. Nonetheless, her newsworthy parents decide she needs a bodyguard, and hire Leon to protect her against paparazzi onslaughts. Chanel is angered by what she sees as an affront to her independence. She deems it unnecessary babying. But despite herself, and for more reasons than the protection he provides, Chanel comes to love Leon.
While the romantic angle of Seven Hours will appeal to young readers, one would hope they will also be caught up in Kerner's exploration of what it feels like for a blind person beginning to see people and the world around her/him for the first time. Eyesight is something the sighted take for granted, but through this little story we are forced to look at the world through the eyes of a blind person. What a different world one experiences when all is black. At one point, Chanel asks Leon to describe his eyes. How do you describe eyes to someone who can't even see shapes or colour? When Chanel's girlfriend, Bridgette, says her nail polish is orange, what is the colour "orange"? These considerations Kerner presents in Seven Hours give young readers more to think about than just another story about falling in love. An enjoyable exploration of a worthwhile theme. Well done, Angelina Kerner.