I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.SHE IS NOT INVISIBLE by Marcus Sedgwick
Published by Roaring Book Press on 4/22/2014
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
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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.
This was an odd book, and I’m not sure how much I entirely enjoyed it. I’ve been sitting on it for about three weeks, so I’m just going to lay it all out on the table and see where we land. The main protag, Laureth, is blind, which I found unusual and interesting (especially given that the audio book I was listening to at the exact same time featured a deaf protagonist, but I digress). I liked that Marcus Sedgwick took the risk of having a character with a major disability because
most a lot of authors in the YA genre give us characters who are Awesome, Unbelievably Awesome, and So Unbelievably Awesome It Should Be Criminal. And by “awesome” I mean, flawless. So the change of pace was refreshing. Laureth is on the hunt for her dad, who has mysteriously disappeared, and decides to fly from London to New York City with her little brother in tow, so he can be her guide of sorts. Someone found her author father’s notebook and sent her pages from it, which in and of itself lends an eerie and sinister air to the story. What I had a hard time buying into was that she, as a sixteen-year-old girl, could easily fly internationally her brother and without parental supervision and only a simple note, without alarming any federal agents on either side of the pond. That just didn’t add up to me and felt entirely too convenient as a way to get Laureth and her brother from London to New York with little hassle so Sedgwick could continue the story arc. I also felt like the story lost a little bit of steam and meandered around while Laureth meandered trying to find her dad. I was fondly reminded of Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, just a little bit, when they checked into the hotel where her father was supposedly staying, because it reminded me of the adventures of Kevin MacCallister so many years ago, only much more serious and less fun. I think overall I did enjoy this story, but so many things were just too convenient for me to really get into it. I did like the in-depth explanations on coincidence and how many times coincidence made an appearance in the story. I would have liked to have seen more from the stranger on the flight to NYC, because I felt that connection was interesting and instead it kind of petered out. I didn’t like how Laureth was defensive of her disability. I guess I can understand it, but it bothered me because at the same time, she would say things like she didn’t miss vision since she had never had it. Those two things didn’t add up to me. This was a good story though, and definitely unique to the YA genre, because there is nothing else like it that I know of. I enjoyed reading it, I loved the incorporation of philosophy and her father’s letters and notes. I just think it could have been more.