Title: She Is Not Invisible
Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Rating: 8.5/10 (What this means)
Recommendation: Yes- Read it!
My Reading Method: April 2014 Hardcover
“Laureth Peak’s father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers–a skill at which she’s remarkably talented. 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.”
***WARNING-MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!***
First of all, thank you to Macmillan/ Roaring Book Press for my freebie. I was lucky enough to meet the author, Marcus Sedgwick, last week at the YA Author Coffee Klatch at ALA, and even though I had missed the signing, the publisher was kind enough to give me a free copy anyway. (So thank you!! My flight home was infinitely more enjoyable with this book!)
So, the top 10 most notable things about She Is Not Invisible:
10.) This should probably be the number one item, but I believe it needs to be discussed first: the main character is blind. So, the ENTIRE book is written without any visual descriptions!
If your mind isn’t blown, something is wrong with you.
9.) The author spent a significant amount of time at a school for the blind in England and did most of his research there. So, every time Laureth does something to compensate for her lack of sight, it was a behavior Marcus Sedgwick learned from the students that attend the school.
8.) The MYSTERY- I love a good mystery, don’t you? Laureth, as the daughter of a famous author, answers all her father’s fan mail. When his most prized possession- his notebook- turns up without him in New York when he was supposed to be in Switzerland, she becomes instantly worried and decides to find him.
Lots of references to Edgar Allan Poe, so expect a slight creep factor.
7.) Laureth is smart, but not inhumanly smart. She doesn’t have superpowers and she isn’t completely incapable of taking care of herself. Laureth is written as a normal person, which I found sooooo refreshing. Never before have I encountered a book that depicted a blind character as neither a superhero or a pitiful-helpless-person-in-need-of-saving.
6.) This was a very quick read. The book is only 216 pages long; perfect for a vacation or short weekend read.
5.) The end was satisfying, if not completely what I expected. (I honestly anticipated MORE; something complex and complicated. However, I really appreciated the direction in which Sedgwick took to conclusion.)
4.) Ok, so while I’m giving this book a stellar review, (I mean, I thoroughly enjoyed it) I’m having a difficult time gushing about it.
Yes, I know I frequently have this problem. I typically have an awful time writing about stories I actually enjoy. However, while I really loved this book and think that everyone should read it; it isn’t going on my Forever-Favorites shelf. I think the reason for this is because I didn’t really put a lot of emotion into it. I was never scared or sad or happy. I was just happy to be reading a good story. Which has its merits- this book didn’t leave me drained of energy or hopelessly wishing for a sequel.
In short, I didn’t get overly attached to Laureth. While I’m happy to have met her in the literary world, I’m totally fine saying goodbye.
(She was no Harry Potter.)
3.) Coincidence- a major topic in the novel. I must admit, I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about “coincidence”. It has never been something I’ve focused on or read about. So on top of the interesting main characters, I completely became engrossed in the information given about the subject. In other words, I was never arguing with the author (as I sometimes do on topics that I research regularly) and felt that I walked away from the story with a bit of new information on a subject with which I was not previously familiar.
2.) I loooooved the sister/brother- Laureth/Benjamin- relationship. In a lot of ways, even though Laureth is the older sibling, she is very reliant on her little brother due to her handicap. This dynamic was particularly interesting to read. And Benjamin was such a great character! (Even he had a few interesting quirks.)
1.) While this is a YA book, I believe She Is Not Invisible can also be enjoyed by adults. I particularly loved reading something a little out of the ordinary and I found that the fresh perspective was especially engaging.
My Summary: Marcus Sedgwick is a genius. I found the book compelling, interesting, and easy to read. I thought about this book for days after finishing it. (I just love a book that lingers!) I would highly suggest this book to make its way onto your ‘read-next’ shelf!
This review is also available on Goodreads.
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