Synopsis from Goodreads
Laureth Peak’s father is a writer. For years he’s been trying, and failing, to write a novel about coincidence. His wife thinks he’s obsessed, Laureth thinks he’s on the verge of a breakdown.He’s supposed to be doing research in Austria, so when his notebook shows up in New York, Laureth knows something is wrong.
On impulse she steals her mother’s credit card and heads for the States, taking her strange little brother Benjamin with her. Reunited with the notebook, they begin to follow clues inside, trying to find their wayward father. Ahead lie challenges and threats, all of which are that much tougher for Laureth than they would be for any other 16-year old. Because Laureth Peak is blind.
Marcus Sedgwick is one of those authors that I’m kind of mortified that I haven’t read more of. I’ve read Revolver and I adored it. And, of course, I’ve read this book, and I absolutely, absolutely adored it.
My favourite authors are the ones that are versatile. If you happened to read this synopsis without knowing who the author was, there is no way that you’d know the two books were written by the same person.
So far, I can safely say that Mr Sedgwick is good at every genre he’s lent his hand to.
The first thing that struck me about She is Not Invisible was how contemporary it was. This is probably a strange observation to make, but bear with me. I’ve read a lot of contemporary and I’ve read books that have kept the setting of the book very generic (ie, no definitive references that places a book in a certain decade… it’s just “contemporary”) and I’ve read the books that are stuffed full of current references that are probably going to be forgotten about in a few years (eg. “LOL,” twerked Jo, taking a selfie.”).
She is Not Invisible was subtle, but you could tell exactly when it was set and it felt fresh and it was just nice to read a book that was current. And also be reminded of the occasional mess ups of Manchester Airport and boys on their way to Turin.
The story of She is Not Invisible was also brilliant. I am always, always going to love quest books and I think they are far too rare in YA. She is Not Invisible sometimes resembled one of those adventure books with clues in the text and solving them to get to the end. It’s an extremely clever book, both structurally and physically, right down to the last page. And it’s number. Heheh.
And yes, I did do what the last paragraph told me to do which was a very lovely touch.
Laureth was an ace narrator too and I loved reading the story from her perspective. I liked it that she was a character that just happened to be blind and, even though it was interesting to read how Laureth lived in a world where she couldn’t see, the story was never about her being “the blind girl”. I’ve always loved it when characters have “edgy issues” (or whatever we’re calling them now…) that are incidental and aren’t solely the driving force of the book. It makes the book so much more interesting to read.
Also, can I just say, that I will always be a sucker for a little brother in YA. ALWAYS. Especially ones as cute as Benjamin who carries around a stuffed raven called Stan and is just cute as a button. Laureth and Benjamin’s relationship was just so sweet and funny.
And it just proves that just because a female MC in a YA book is sixteen doesn’t mean she has to have a love interest to have a story that’s worthy of being read.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It was a fascinating subject matter (the study of coincidences and patterns in everyday life, with bonus Edgar Allen Poe references!) and completely different to other YA books. Sure, it’d probably benefit from a reread at some point but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.