Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Book Review | She Is Not Invisible.

"Laureth Peak's father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns and numbers -- a skill at which she's remarkably talent. Her secret: She is blind. But when her father goes missing, Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin are thrust into a mystery that takes them to New York City where surviving will take all her skill at spotting the amazing, shocking, and sometimes dangerous connections in a world full of darkness. She Is Not Invisible is an intricate puzzle of a novel that sheds a light on the delicate ties that bind people to each other." (synopsis from goodreads (x)

Laureth hasn't heard from her father in days and she's worried. Even more so when she finds out he's in New York City, when he's supposed to be in Europe. Something is seriously wrong. Her mum won't listen and Laureth doesn't know what to do. She decides to take action. Bringing her seven year old brother along with her, Laureth goes to New York City to find her father.

When she gets there however, she finds out that she's not the only one looking for him.

I have very mixed opinions about She Is Not Invisible. While there were certain aspects of the novel I really enjoyed, I felt a lot of the story was a little underdeveloped.

First, the A+ things. Sedgwick did a fantastic job with stringing the coincidences together and creating that atmosphere of suspense. When I was reading, I very slowly felt like I was getting closed in by all the patterns. It honestly made me feel like I was going a little crazy. Because of this, I found the novel to be compelling and a really quick read.

I also really liked the character of Laureth. She had a strong voice, and I found her to be fully-developed as a character. Her perspective was fascinating - with her being blind, the way it was written was really provocative. I also really liked how she was so self-aware. Often, I don't find YA protagonists who are willing to admit that maybe they made a mistake. Laureth does, and quite early on in the piece. It was refreshing to say the least.

Now, for the not so good things. A lot of the problems I had are with the ending. It felt very rushed, and abrupt. After a whole novel of build-up, I couldn't help but feel disappointed with it. The whole reason Laureth went to New York (to find her father) was wrapped up in the last chapter or so, and I just felt that the reason he (her father) went didn't fit with the tone of the rest of the book. It just didn't leave a great taste in my mouth.

Likewise, I couldn't understand why some thing's happened. Namely, why some character's were actually given names. Yes, I'm talking about you, Sam. By naming him, I felt like he'd play a bigger role in the plot than he actually did. He was there for maybe two chapters, then disappeared. I didn't understand it. Was the author just using him as a device for Laureth's character development? It just frustrated me a little.

Another thing was that some aspects of the plot were never explained. Namely, Benjamin's, Laureth's brother, (and to a certain extent, Laureth's) 'gifts.' From my understanding, this book is a standalone, and a contemporary. I really would've appreciated an explanation. It never came.

Overall, I thought She Is Not Invisible was an ok read, but I ultimately found myself quite disappointed by it. I've heard that Marcus Sedgwick's darker books are really good, so I might give them a go.

Rating: **.5 (2.5 stars)
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: April 22nd 2014
Thank you to Roaring Brook Press and NetGalley for providing me with this e-arc

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