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Opposite of Invisible Unknown Binding – 2008

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding: 151 pages
  • Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books (2008)
  • ASIN: B002PNE3QC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Embarrassing fact: One of my earliest memories involves a five-year-old me overhearing a teacher at my school telling another teacher, "Lizzy sometimes talks to herself, but I'm not worried about it."

In the spirit of overcoming the embarrassing nature of that statement, let me here embrace talking to myself. I'll try to ask myself questions that you, as a visitor to my author page(Thanks for stopping by!) might like to know.

So, Liz. Where'd you grow up?

You know that! You were there.

Ahem?

Okay. Last joke about talking to myself. I grew up in Paoli, a suburb of Philadelphia on what's called the Main Line. A book that I think is set on the Main Line is THE LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold. It's also set in heaven. You should read it if you're very brave.

So you live in PA?

No, now I live in Seattle. But I go home when I can to see friends and family. And to eat cheesesteaks.


Hey, aren't your books set in Seattle, too?

Yes, they are! Convenient, that. THE OPPOSITE OF INVISIBLE is set in the neighborhood where I lived for five years, Fremont. MY NOT-SO-STILL LIFE is set in Ballard, one 'hood over.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I can honestly say I have. I didn't always think it was possible as a career, but I've always loved writing. It was the part of me that was nurtured all through school. I was never sure if this story was true, but my kindergarten/first grade teacher predicted that one day she'd see my book at the library. Now I have proof, a letter from that teacher. My mom found it in a closet!

So what other jobs have you had?

Café girl, bookseller at the fabulous All for Kids Books & Music, editorial intern at Highlights for Children, Montessori school assistant (the longest-running part of my grown-up jobs), other school jobs, freelance writer for some fun web sites and magazines, product copy and marketing writer at a daily deals shopping site.

Why do you want to write for teenagers?

I just think that my inner voice is perpetually fifteen years old. I think like a fifteen year old, who's lived for twenty-nine years, if that makes any kind of sense. I write the kind of books I like to read. I'm just drawn to the themes of growing up, too. I do think people come of age more than once, so it wouldn't shock me if I sometime wrote a book about an older girl, but even if my character is in her thirties, a lot of the themes will stay the same.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Little Willow on January 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"Some girls have journals. I talk to my poster."

So begins The Opposite of Invisible, an absolute gem of a story.

Alice and Jewel have been best friends since the age of three. They have never had any romantic feelings for one another, always acting more like sister and brother without the sibling rivalry. They are more comfortable with each other than with anyone else in the whole world. Alice feels like she's invisible to everyone except Jewel, and though he's also under the radar at school, she considers Jewel to be "the opposite of invisible" to her.

Then, unexpectedly, Alice gets a boyfriend: Simon, a popular boy at school, her secret crush. Just as unexpectedly, Jewel starts to take notice of Alice in a new way. Along the way, an art class coaxes Alice out of her shell, just a little, just enough, as art gives her something that is hers and hers alone.

The Opposite of Invisible should be given to hopeful young artists along with a sketchpad, a journal, or an art print to inspire them as Picasso's Le Visage de Paix (The Face of Peace) inspires Alice. Le Visage de Paix is "Dove Girl" to Alice; this is the poster on her wall that she talks to and tells her deepest secrets, the things she can't even tell Jewel.

Alice is truly sweet sixteen, full of questions and confusion, with a hint of naivety that is endearing rather than disenchanting. She narrates the story in first person present tense, in a voice that is honest and refreshing. She finds solace in the silence and beauty in the little things.

The Opposite of Invisible is all about friends, first crushes, art and young artists. A quick read, this story will definitely appeal to fans of Cecil Castellucci's books. It will also interest those liked Bringing Up the Bones by Lara M. Zeises but are seeking something lighter, happier.

A notable debut by Liz Gallagher.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paige on January 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book was -- well -- cute. It was a clean, simple story told with an original voice. I loved the characters -- Jewel, the artsy best friend; Simon, the nice guy without a clue; Vanessa, the girl who's so "out there"; and Alice, the girl caught in the middle of so many things, struggling to find herself.

Alice finds herself torn between her best friend and her enormous crush. I like that the characters have quirks -- Alice and her Dove Girl, Vanessa and her strings. I also like that the story moves along smoothly.

I thought this book was great. It was a fast, fun read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on February 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Alice and Jewel (Julian). That's how it's always been. A seemingly invisible pair of sophomores at their high school. They've been friends for forever and are never without the other.

Until the day Simon Murphy acknowledges Alice.

Jewel jumps all over Alice, asking what it was about, but it wasn't anything, really. Was it? Then Alice and Jewel go to a concert and Simon comes over to Alice while Jewel is in the restroom, and stays with the two of them throughout the show. Simon went so far as to ditch his friends to be with Alice. Nothing happens, and it leaves Alice more confused than before.

Alice has wanted a boyfriend for ages, but she doesn't want to lose Jewel in the process. When things with Simon actually start working out, the distance between Alice and Jewel grows. After a confession from Jewel about his true feelings for her, the chasm seems insurmountable. Alice is finally coming out of her shell and making friends beyond Jewel, but losing her best friend leaves a void inside.

Alice has to struggle to figure out who she is and what she really wants. Is having a great guy like Simon as a boyfriend what it's all about? Or is having a best friend that knows every little thing about you more important?

All young adults have to struggle with an identity issue as they go through their teen years. Alice realizes that she needs more than just Jewel in her life, but soon learns that a best friend is next to impossible to replace.

Ms. Gallagher writes an honest book about the internal struggles of an insecure girl. We all have that same insecurity inside of us and can understand what Alice has to figure out on her own. Definitely a book that everyone can relate to from some point in their lives.

Reviewed by: Jaglvr
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. P. Barker on April 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A Seattle teenager tries to choose whether to let her lifelong best guy friend become something more than that, or to become romantically involved with cool, popular Simon. If you're thinking "I know the way this story goes--the jock is a jerk, and the girl figures out that she should have stuck to her best friend all along," well, think again. Simon is a sweet guy, so Alice's dilemma is very real and very difficult. What I loved about the story was that Alice's final decision (which I will not divulge) turns out to be not about who she wants to be WITH but who she wants to BE. The novel is poetically written, making Seattle's gloomy rainy climate seem inviting--which might not be a plus for those Seattleans/Seattlites/Seattlers? who want to discourage newcomers from moving in!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brenda Ball on June 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a slim, but charming book. Alice is comfortable in the background, and she's really pretty happy with her life, she lives in Seattle (which she loves!), has great parents, and has her best friend, Jewel (a boy), who she can talk to about anything, and she has Dove Girl, her Picasso print. But she really wants a boyfriend, just someone to hold hands with and go to the school dance. Then Simon Murphy, a cute and popular boy begins to show some interest in her, and Jewel really doesn't like it. One day, she and Jewel are hanging out together as friends and Jewel kisses her. Soon after, Simon asks Alice to the Halloween Dance and she accepts. She was supposed to be going with Jewel, but they're just friends so she thinks he won't mind. He does and they have a big fight. Her relationship with Simon seems to be working out, but she really misses her old friend.

Some descriptions of this book make it sound like Alice tries on a "magical dress", but that's not really how to story goes. There IS a dress, but both Jewel and Simon were showing interest before the dress. I liked this book quite a bit, I wish there was more of it! The sense of place is fantastic, and I enjoyed Alice. She's a girl who has no clue how special she is, and I liked her "outsider, but happy with it" status. I also enjoyed the underlying ideas about when boys are friends and when they're something more.
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