From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Stephen has always been (quite literally) invisible. For 16 years, no one, not even his own mother, has seen him. Alone since her death a year ago, he spends his time as an outsider, observing the lives of others in New York City who don't know he exists, so it comes as quite a shock when his new neighbor, Elizabeth, sees him and speaks to him directly. She is the only one who has ever seen him, and together they set out to discover the truth about the curse that has plagued him. Cremer and Levithan craft a tale of love and magic in their first collaborative effort. Told in alternating first-person voices, the novel allows readers to get to know each character's hopes and doubts, but it's Stephen who truly carries the story. Filled with conflicting emotions, he comes across as an authentic teen who just happens to be invisible. Elizabeth, by comparison, isn't as well developed and seems detached-even after she learns that she has latent magical abilities. Although they are immediately attracted to each other, the deep love they quickly feel seems rather unbelievable in a story in which readers are also asked to accept that cursecasters, spellseekers, and invisibility are real. This is a promising contemporary romance with elements of magical realism, but ultimately the story is overwhelmed by its own ambitions, becoming just another work of paranormal fiction.-Audrey Sumser, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Mayfield, OHα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Since birth Stephen has been invisible—the result, perhaps, of an arcane curse. “I am like a ghost who’s never died,” he thinks wistfully. And like a ghost, he remains unseen until the day he encounters the abrasive Elizabeth, newly moved to New York from Minnesota. “She sees me,” he thinks, amazed. And yes, the two fall in love. But what about that curse? How is it that Elizabeth is the only one who can see him? It must mean something, but what? And, most important, can the curse be broken? Questions abound in this enigmatic mash-up of fantasy and romance set in contemporary real-world Manhattan. If there are sometimes too many coincidences and plot conveniences, the collaboration of Levithan and Cremer creates a seamless narrative that, after a slow start, picks up appreciably as answers begin to emerge right up to the equivocal ending that suggests a sequel. And that’s good news for the many readers who will be left eagerly waiting for the story to continue. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: With two New York Times best-selling authors behind it, this title will almost sell itself, but a major marketing push has already generated anticipation well beyond the collaborators’ already vast fan base. Grades 9-12. --Michael Cart