Posts Tagged: Review

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review: She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

Posted by • 14 Comments

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
Buy on Amazon

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.


4 Hot Espressos

Review: Great by Sara Benincasa

Review: Great by Sara Benincasa

Posted by on 03/24/2014 • 17 Comments

What a weird book this was.  I have to be honest and preface everything I am about to say by letting you know that I have never read The Great Gatsby.  I know nothing of what it is about, all I know is that Leonardo DiCaprio recently starred in a movie version about it that I have not seen.  Naturally I won’t be able to compare GREAT to the source material at all but I can talk about the book for what it is.  So what was it? Well, it was a contemporary tale about richie rich Hamptons kids who use “summer” as a verb and it had little vines of mystery snaking into the story here and there.  I had fun reading it, but I am not too certain…

Review: Split Second by Kasie West

Review: Split Second by Kasie West

Posted by on 03/11/2014 • 28 Comments

PIVOT POINT was a fast favourite of mine from last year so when SPLIT SECOND came out I was quick to run out and get it and make the time to read it. Coming out of it I am happy with the story but I I feel it was missing some elements of a successful sequel. After reading through the reviews of this I see that I may be the only one who had this issue, but I haven’t come across this so strongly before so I feel the need to point it out.

So my issue is this: I was completely lost as to almost all of the references to the first novel. I have a terrible memory and I know this but I can usually carry on pretty…

Review: #16thingsithoughtweretrue by Janet Gurtler

Review: #16thingsithoughtweretrue by Janet Gurtler

Posted by on 02/28/2014 • 20 Comments

As a Canadian I am always quick to jump behind any Canadian authors that I can find.  Sometimes hastily getting a book based on those grounds has bitten me in the butt but I have come to know that getting a Janet Gurtler book (who is not only a Canadian, but a fellow Albertan) is always a safe bet. #16thingsithoughtweretrue did not disappoint.  While it wasn’t a perfect novel, it managed to bring out all the feels from me and had me ugly crying for the last few chapters.

Morgan doesn’t come across as the most likeable character in the beginning of the novel. She is very standoffish and likes to get lost in a virtual world on her phone rather than have one on one contact with real people….

Review: Three by Kristen Simmons

Review: Three by Kristen Simmons

Posted by on 02/07/2014 • 13 Comments

I used to say that there was nothing worse than reviewing sequels, but I officially take that statement back because reviewing the third book in a series is definitely worse. There are people who can manage without spoiling anything and I just don’t get how they do it. So be prepared, there will probably be spoilers up ahead. Note: Scratch that, I actually managed to make this spoiler free!!!

What can I say about Three that I haven’t already said about Breaking Point and Article 5 hmm… Well, I can say that the action in this one is pretty constant just like the first two books in the series. The pacing of these books is always a highlight for me because it just never lets up. Even in the calmest…

Review: Codename Zero by Chris Rylander

Review: Codename Zero by Chris Rylander

Posted by on 01/30/2014 • 19 Comments

There’s nothing better to cleanse the reader’s pallet than a good ol’ middle grade novel.  No cliche romance, no chance of a love triangle and just piles of fun! Codename Zero was such a fantastic read, one that I took in in a single day and one that I could have devoured much more of if given the chance.

Carson Fender is a prankster.  He lives in a small town in North Dakota and is quite frankly bored with the every day small town life.  He likes to spice things up with his pranks, take people by surprise and uproot the daily routine.  One afternoon while carrying out an epic prank involving fainting goats and super glue a sweaty man in a suit rushes up to him and hands him…

Review: Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams

Posted by on 01/29/2014 • 20 Comments

I read two of Carol Lynch Williams’ books last year and I quickly became a fan of her as an author. This year I decided to venture into her verse stuff at the urging of Bekka from Great Imaginations. Since opening myself up to verse novels much more over the holidays I was more open to the idea and I am so happy that Bekka recommended this one to me.

Waiting is the story of London’s life in the aftermath of her brother’s death. The novel starts with a very bleak feel and I felt so sad as we looked in on London’s life. Since her brother’s passing her mother can’t even look at her and her father is never home. There was an intense darkness to the story and…

Review: The Lure by Lynne Ewing

Review: The Lure by Lynne Ewing

Posted by on 01/21/2014 • 20 Comments

The Lure and I went through a tumultuous relationship. I started out in love with it and that love slowly declined as the novel went on, eventually leading me to be pretty angry at where we ended up. See, in the beginning it was gritty, authentic and raw, but by the end I didn’t know if I was reading a contemporary novel or the screenplay for a daytime soap opera.

As the novel starts out we meet Blaise and her friends Melissa, Ariel and Kaylee as they are making their way home one night. The atmosphere is set right from the beginning and we realize that these girls don’t come from a good neighbourhood. Seeing a group of people drinking on a stoop and then hiding in the trees while…