She is Not Invisible
Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Publish Date: April 22, 2014
Number of Pages: 224 pages
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Adventure, Mystery
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.
I think this is like the third novel I’ve read by Marcus Sedgwick in the last year and it’s all by accident. I randomly picked up some books off the shelf, and I guess two were by Sedgwick. And then, I picked up She is Not Invisible like a month later without even realizing that he wrote it. So far, I’ve noticed that I really like Sedgwick’s writing style. It’s smooth and descriptive which is good because if there is one type of writing I hate, it’s the choppy writing.
The first time I read this book, I went in completely blind but I didn’t finish it because I ended up having to return it to the library. The second time I checked it out because I had heard that it had received really good reviews.
Anyways, this book is about a blind character. I liked that. It was interesting to read about a completely different perspective on the world. We, as people who have sight, are completely dependent on it, more so than any of the other senses we have. How many times have you identified a location based on the sounds of people walking? Reading about it makes me want to try (although I’d end up tripping or running into something). The idea that a blind person might not understand the concept of color or appearances was something that really intrigued me. There was one event in the book that really made me think about what racism means to other people(highlight to read. Laureth is contacted by a boy in the states named Michael. He’s really courteous, super informed and the complete opposite of the black stereotype. While talking to him, they are approached by some dangerous and racist people. They make a comment on his race and Laureth doesn’t understand. She can’t see colors so she doesn’t understand what racism is. This event made me really wonder what the world would be like if nobody could see skin color.). I just really enjoyed reading from the perspective of a blind person.
Even better than this was Laureth’s personality. She was an extremely realistic character. She’s thoughtful while also reckless, slightly stubborn but also understanding. She understands that her blindness is an impediment but she doesn’t crave the ability to see. She’s confident and knows how to work around her disability.
She acted so much like a teen that I could imagine somebody doing some of the actions she did in real life. Her brother was quirky and cute. He was, quite simply put, one of the most entertaining aspects of the book.
One thing that did bother me was the lack of explanation about why they had the abilities they did. The history of how Laureth became blind was explained but can someone please explain to me how on Earth her brother is physically capable of wrecking electronic devices? Sedgwick chalks it up to just being some strange abnormality that Ben had. Apparently no doctors are able to find the cause. The lack of solid explanation annoyed me.
I also felt like their adventure was too…. innocent shall I say? They’re taking a trip to New York City alone and the only plausible way that they could have successfully made it is with a lot of luck. Nobody can even begin to convince me that the authorities would look the other direction if two kids are sketchily trying to fly to another country and I’m positive that they would have had more challenges on their trip than they had.
I liked that the book was about coincidences. I’ve also experienced the phenomenon explained in the book where somebody has their “number”. Granted, I’m not really sure what my “number” is because for me it happens more often with names and words. Or I learn about something in class one day only to read about it in a book. Just a bunch of serendipitous events that make me feel a sense of déjà vu. I found it fun to read about coincidences and how a string of them led Laureth and Ben on their adventure.
Although I liked the characters, setting, and writing, I never really connected to the novel. It was hard for me to really get into it and I didn’t until about halfway through. Usually this might not be a huge problem, but considering that this book was 224 pages long, I personally feel like I would have enjoyed it more had I become interested earlier on while reading.