Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review: She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

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I received this book for free from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: She Is Not Invisible by Marcus SedgwickShe Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
Published by Roaring Book Press on April 22nd 2014
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
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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.

Last year I read Marcus Sedgwick’s Midwinterblood and while I wasn’t the biggest fan of the way the story unfolded I was a fast fan of the writing.  Upon seeing that he had a more contemporary tale coming out this year I was anxious to get my hands on it.  While She Is Not Invisible isn’t the most action packed novel I have ever read it is incredibly thought provoking and a story that I just could not put down.

We meet Laureth Peak as she is trudging through a London airport with her younger brother and his stuffed raven, Stan.  She is trying to convince herself that she is doing the right thing and that she is not abducting her younger sibling.  Through some well done flashbacks we see that Laureth was given reason to believe that something bad had happened to her father when she received an email from someone in New York saying that they had her father’s precious notebook. We also come to learn that Laureth is blind. My first impression of her was that she was pretty thoughtless and impulsive, I mean immediately booking two tickets to fly across the world and find your father when you have no actual idea where he really is isn’t the best, most thought out idea in the world.  Not only that, but she pulled her younger brother who was 7 years old into everything because she knew that due to her impairment she wouldn’t be able to pull the trip off herself.

Once Laureth and her brother, Benjamin, arrive in the States things start to hit her fast and hard.  She realizes that she is very much in over her head and she starts to get worried.  This is where I started to ease into the story and come to like Laureth.  For 95% of the story I really had no idea where things were going or what was going to come at the two siblings on this journey of theirs but that didn’t bother me because I was completely engaged in everything.  We get to read through Laureth’s father’s notebook as they travel in cabs and rest and I loved what he was writing about.  See, before he went “missing” Mr. Peak was researching (for years upon years upon years) the true meaning of synchronicity, or coincidence.  This part of the story isn’t usually something that I would like and I fully expected to be bored by the lecture-like style of it but I found it utterly fascinating.  The idea that a coincidence can seem so magical to someone because of the tingles up the spine feeling they get, but how that feeling just can’t be conveyed effectively to another person.  Also, the idea that maybe a coincidence isn’t that much of a coincidence when you narrow things down and start doing the math.  I think the reason I found this so interesting is because I find myself saying “what are the odds of that?” far too often in my real life.

Another exciting part of the story was reading it from the perspective of someone who is blind.  I’ve never read anything like it and I loved how strong Laureth had become.  I mean her and Benjamin had a system worked out for walking that convinced people that she was leading him rather than the other way around.  The way that she embraced her impairment and made the best of it was great, not to mention how she rose above the discrimination that she faces in multiple situations.  This book doesn’t exactly have a break neck pace, and there aren’t really any shocking twists to be found but it is a novel with great character development and one that makes you think.  I read this book in a single sitting because I just loved seeing everything come together.  I don’t think this is one that will be for everyone but I think if you are looking for something a little different, that this is a great place to look.


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14 Responses to “Review: She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick”

  1. Faye @ The Social Potato

    I’m glad to see you liked this one Jenni! I read this book not too long ago and was kind of surprised the narrator was a blind girl. I do agree that when I found out about this it was terribly exciting. I don’t think I’ve read one from such perspective before, and it was a new experience for me to see her go through trials and trepidation over and over and then succeeding them each time.

    Also I love how her brother was portrayed. He was such a great supportive character. Many times we get little kids in books but are shown wiser beyond their years and I’m glad to see one that was able to realistically show how children his age react to certain things.

    great review!! <3

  2. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Definitely gives off the thoughtless and impulsive vibe with her actions in the beginning (is there no one she can trust where she lives?) but it’s awesome that, despite a shady first impression, you completely fell for the characters and story. Don’t you just love when that happens?

  3. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I need to read this one when it comes out, Jenni. You’ve definitely convinced me with your review. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with a blind MC in YA except for Of Beast and Beauty, but I’m curious to read through her voice. I already love the sound of the brother and the writing seems gorgeous.
    Lovely review!

  4. Amanda @ Off The Book

    Not only that, but she pulled her younger brother who was 7 years old into everything because she knew that due to her impairment she wouldn’t be able to pull the trip off herself.

    OH MAN. As a big sister, I would have screamed at the book just then. How selfish! So glad it ended on a positive note for you, though!

  5. Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    I never thought about how different it would be to read a novel with a blind POV. Interesting. The thought of reading this one hadn’t crossed my mind, until now. Great review, thanks!

  6. Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain

    I’ve never read any kind of book from the perspective of someone who’s blind (or had any kind of physical disability) so I feel like it’s really cool how Benjamin and her have this system and how the story in itself is super intriguing and fascinating. Fantastic review, Jenni! <33

  7. Melliane

    Oh it’s nice to be kept in surprise (can we say that?) all along the book, it’s rare now. I don’t think I know the book but I’m glad this one was better than the last one mainly if you loved the books.

  8. Pili

    I hadn’t heard about this book before but it sounds like a very very different contemporary and one that I will probably like a lot. Thanks for your review and sharing this book, Jenni!

  9. Amy @ Book Loving Mom

    I am going to be reading this one soon and I am glad to see that you enjoyed it. I have been looking forward to it, and have not really read many reviews for it yet. I loved the writing style of his previous book, even though the book itself didn’t blow me away. I am interested to see how this is with the MC being blind. Now I am even more excited to get to it. 🙂 Awesome review chick!!