Monday, April 28, 2014

She Is Not Invisible - Marcus Sedgwick

She is Not Invisible - Marcus Sedgwick
She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: April 22, 2014
Source/Format: Netgalley (Thanks Macmillan!) || e-galley
[I received this book for review from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

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. (from Goodreads)

I believe it’s best that I admit that I wasn’t so sure I wanted to read She Is Not Invisible. The last Marcus Sedgwick title (and the first ever) I had read was a bit eccentric, a lot fanciful, and while I liked it, he didn’t strike me as the type of author whose book was a must-read. And then, I read Asheley’s review of She Is Not Invisible. She made it sound interesting, and different, and perhaps a little less odd, and so, since I had the opportunity to read it, I grabbed it.

I’m glad I did.

She Is Not Invisible requires a certain level of willingness to trust in the author as he spins this story. There are many improbable things – like a blind teen traveling with her little seven year old brother to another continent, the little brother’s special condition, and more. And yet, Sedgwick’s words feel true, like all of these things are really happening to Laureth and her family. I was happy to free fall into this story, fully absorbing myself in what was going on without question.

Even though some of her actions are rash and irresponsible, it is really hard not to admire Laureth. She’s clever, with a brain that’s quick to form connections. Her stubborn determination to find her beloved father is what motivates her choices, which makes it easier to swallow why she does the crazy stuff she does – including flying off to New York with Benjamin in tow. Though I didn’t always agree with her, she deserves a lot of props for taking on what seems like an impossible task with an uncertain resolution.

The novel revolves mostly around Laureth, but her little brother Benjamin and her father are also key players. Benjamin is a wonderful kid. He loves his sister and his parents, as evidenced by a lot of his actions (and reactions). He does possess a special quality that puts him in rather awkward situations, but he doesn’t appear to let it get him down and instead immerses himself in comics and his raven, Stan.

Their father was an intriguing man, in spite of his presence being limited to memories and notations in a notebook. He was a writer, one who had been well-known for writing “funny books” only to find that he was interested in writing something more serious. Laureth’s memories made him out to be a man obsessed with crafting the perfect story, intent on gathering facts and putting ideas together. He was also, however, a good, kind man who loved his family.

Their father’s latest work in progress revolved around coincidences. This concept comes into play many times in She Is Not Invisible, baiting the reader into thinking about coincidences and the truth behind them. Are they the real deal, the universe making everything align just so in our lives? Or are they merely patterns that have not yet been pointed out? I always enjoy it when a writer is able to inspire deep thoughts, which Sedgwick definitely accomplished.

She Is Not Invisible has the same fanciful, slightly odd tone that Sedgwick used for Midwinterblood. However, I found it a little easier to relate to because of the contemporary setting, and the set cast of characters. I appreciated the fact that it challenged me to really think about what coincidences mean to me personally, and for that alone, I’d highly recommend this one.

(Also, I definitely have to give Asheley another shout-out because I wouldn’t have read this without her awesome review.)

2 comments:

  1. I'm SO GLAD you read this and loved it. I couldn't believe how much I liked it when I read it and after having the chance to see Marcus this week I want to reread it. I thought it a fantastic story, and I thought he took a great chance with Laureth as a MC, and I thought the setting was like a character in a big, big way. Yay for you loving it!

    I can't wait to complete my write-up for the author event. He spent quite a bit of time researching for Laureth's character and it paid off really well. So, so happy you enjoyed this one and YAY for meeting this author - definitely a high point in my bookish life!

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    1. I'm still kind of sad that I missed Marcus when he was in New York! But yes, I absolutely loved this one. I really am glad that you wrote such a compelling review, and that it convinced me to read it, because I really would have missed out on it otherwise. Looking forward to your recap!

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