Review of She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

She Is Not InvisibleShe Is Not Invisible
By: Marcus Sedgwick
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Sourcs: ARC

Thank you Ksenia for the beautiful gift of Sedgwick books. He is becoming a favorite.

I read this with Jen from Starry-Eyed Revue. Check out her review here.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
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.

My Thoughts:
She Is Not Invisible was my first Sedgwick book and I’ll admit I was a tad nervous beginning it just because I’d heard so much hype about Sedgwick’s writing prowess. I wondered if I’d be able to connect to his writing style. I have no clue where this feeling of mine came from but from page one of SiNI I was assured that I would easily connect to this book and the characters.

I loved Sedgwick’s writing and the little bits of humor he snuck in here and there. The book was highly absorbing and fast paced. I was swept away in the mystery of where Laureth’s father was and his research into coincidences. I easily  felt her emotions as she traversed a world she couldn’t see. I loved that Sedgwick chose to write Laureth as a blind person because it added an element and point of view I’ve not read from before. Reading from Laureth’s view point and the obstacles she faced had me sitting back thinking of the ease at which I do things. Her interactions with other people had me questioning how we treat others with differing life experiences. I loved that this novel had me thinking about these things.

Her little brother, Ben, was adorable and very accurate of a seven year old to me. I was immediately connected and fell in love with both of them and their realistic relationship with each other. And, I would be remiss not to mention Stan, Ben’s stuffed raven. I loved how Ben interacted with him and he really felt like an additional character. My son has a stuffed animal that he personifies and has a deep connection too. Ben reminded me of an older version of my son so that increased my connection to him and the story.

Sedgwick was capable of creating an urgency and fear in me as I read that kept me flipping pages and honestly worried as I read. I will say that some elements, like the ease in which a sixteen year old girl and seven year old were able to get through New York’s airport and customs was a tad far fetched. Though, to be fair, I’ve not ever been through customs so I have zero experience or room to speculate on how adamant they are on paperwork, etc.

Another thing I absolutely loved were the excerpts from their father’s upcoming book. I loved glimpsing into his fascinating, though obsessive, research about coincidences. I’ve not pondered the question of coincendence very often so loved that this book opened questions for me. Their father has a number that seems to follow him and I actually have one as well. One of those things that I tend to always look at the clock and it reads 9:23. These series of numbers have turned up more often for me for years but I’ve never given it deep thought. Sedgwick added little historical elements that had me pause mid-reading to look a couple things up I was so interested. These little philosophical tid-bits were welcomed and added immensely to an already rich story.

Though the writing was strong and the build-up intense the conclusion was a bit anti-climatic. The villains ended up being fairly comical and not nearly as deranged or threatening as my mind had imagined. I expected a bit more but honestly I felt the ending was adequate. Another element that seemed a bit random to me was Ben’s special gift. Since it was so lightly explored it had the feel of a plot device at times.

Final Thoughts:
Sedgwick’s writing was beautiful and moving. I was immediately attached and empathetic towards his well rounded cast of primary characters and found the book to be fast paced and absorbing. The research and questions raised on coincidences had me intrigued and doing my own research.

Question for you–Have you had a number that seems to turn up more often? Have you ever given much thought about coincidences and do you ever see meaning in them?

Comments

  1. says

    Sounds like I’d probably should check this one out, even if I think the customs thing would be quite unrealistic… I’ve been to the US three times and each time they had more security. No one can skip the cameras, the photo taking, processing all the fingerprints of both hands, checking all the paperwork and passport… and the questions asked…

    • says

      They did have the proper paperwork for the most part so hopefully it wasn’t too unrealistic. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it if you read. Have you read any of this author’s work?

  2. says

    I’ve had this on my kindle for a while now and am so excited for this one. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it. You’ve made me more excited for She Is Not Invisible!! 🙂 I’ve never really thought much about coincidences, but I’ll probably be trying to find patterns now! Lovely review, Kristen!

  3. says

    I’ve seen a lot of hype surrounding this one as well. Honestly, the cover just seem so absolutely awesome. I really like the idea of younger siblings since we don’t see much of them in YA books. I don’t think a particular number hasn’t ever really stood out to me. But then again, I never really notice numbers. I’m more of a faces person. You’ve gotten my intrigue level to rise heaps! I really want to read this book now. Lovely review!

  4. says

    Amazing review Kristen. <3 I am so glad you enjoyed this book 😀 I have yet to read my copy.. but hoping to do so soon 🙂 As I think it sounds amazing. Thank you for sharing sweetie. So glad you liked it 🙂

  5. says

    Yay! I’m so glad you liked this one! It’s so awesome. I agree the ending was totally anti-climactic, but I loved the points Segdwick brought up: the one about what we assume about characters when we’re given minimal information about them (with the twist related to one character by the end) was brilliant. And few novels have affected me so long after reading like this one, since I always look at the coincidences and look at them in a new light now. And the almost coincidences that mess me up. 😉

    • says

      I completely agree. It was beautifully executed and written. I plan on reading all of his books now. I agree that this book sticks with you and changes your perception on people and coincidences. So happy you loved it too.

  6. says

    This sounds really, really interesting. I love the idea of a story investigating “coincidences” and the two siblings sound pretty awesome. Thanks for the great review!

  7. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads) says

    I’ve been reading so much praise for this novel. I am very curious about how I would like this and how the MC is blind–which is very unique.

    Great review! <33

  8. says

    Great review! I’ve seen this book around and it does look pretty great. I don’t really believe in coincidences, rather I think everything happens for a reason, but! Coincidences do make for some fun in books 🙂

    • says

      Thanks Natalie. I’ve not paid a lot of attention to coincidences in my life though I’ve noticed that number popping out often. I hope you enjoy it 🙂

  9. says

    She is Not Invisible was also my first Sedgwick novel, and I had the same thoughts as you did before starting it, Kristen. Even though I didn’t fall in love with it, I did really like the relationship between Laureth and Ben – and of course Stan. It provided a lot of food for thought, too, both in Laureth’s blindness and also the work on coincidences. I’ve never been followed around by numbers, but I find the theories interesting. Wonderful review! 🙂

    • says

      I completely agree. I loved the sibling relationship and Stan 🙂 Many things to take away from this one. Thank you so much for stopping by 🙂

  10. says

    I’m so glad we read our first Sedgwick novel together. I can’t believe I was so worried. It turned out fantastically, though I agree that Ben’s gift was gimmicky and that ending was rather anti-climactic. Can’t wait to make time for more of his work!

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