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4.2 out of 5 stars
The Opposite of Invisible
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
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
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
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
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
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
In Liz Gallagher's debut teen novel, Alice and her best pal Jewel, real name Julian, are an artsy, inseperable duo who comfortably blend into the background at their Seattle high school. Invisible. Then the unthinkable happens: hunky jock Simon asks Alice to a dance. Soon she's invisible no longer, unsure of her feelings, and must sort out the not-so-obvious differences between true love and true friendship. It's a satisfying read, with a strong sense of place and dimensional, often surprising, characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Originally posted on my blog: [...]

Review: Liz Gallagher's debut novel, The Opposite of Invisible, is a captivating story of teenage love and friendship. Alice, who is the perfect example of a teenager trying to find her identity, is satisfied to spend all her time with her best friend, Jewel, until her crush, the popular Simon, starts to notice her. Jewel also wants to be more than friends. Alice suddenly goes from being invisible to being the talk of the school. Even though the plotline is familiar, the characters are very well portrayed. I felt as though I had known Alice for so long, she was so endearing; Jewel, Simon and Mandy are also very real characters. The first person, present tense tone is easy-to-read and unique. My only regret was that the book is so short; I wanted to read a little longer about Alice's life.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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on August 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Alice thinks she is invisible. The only person that seems to know her is her best friend in the whole entire world, Jewel. They are the perfect pair. They both enjoy coffee and art, and life couldn't be better. That is until the blood bath dance rolls around. Alice wants desperately to go with the star football player Simon Murphy and never thinks it could happen in a million years. Then the impossible happens. Simon Murphy kisses Alice - the same day Jewel kisses Alice. Alice is overwhelmed. Overcome by emotions Alice goes with the perfect guy, Simon Murphy. They quickly bond, and Simon soon asks Alice to go to the Blood Bath dance. This sends her friendship with Jewel over the edge and it seems like they are no longer best friends. Alice and Simon's relationship gets serious pretty fast, but Simon's a good guy and leaves all the decisions up to Alice. All Alice wants is a friend to confide in. She realizes that Jewel is the only person that has ever been her friend. She soon comes to see that it's o.k. to branch out and that in all reality she is not the slightest bit invisible, if only she puts a little effort in.

I loved this book. I want Alice to be my best friend! She is a thoughtful character who I see so much of myself in. Liz Gallagher created an extremely vivid setting of Seattle, WA. I felt like I was walking the same streets as Alice and I could almost feel the rain dripping on my forehead. The other characters besides Alice also had great depth. Sometimes I feel like authors only put their effort into creating the main character, but not in this case. Each character had their own personality and set of quirks, which made me feel like I really knew them. All in all I highly recommend this fabulous book, and I look forward to seeing what Liz Gallagher has in store for readers next!
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VINE VOICEon September 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
With only 160 pages, this book is short, yet tells an awesome story. It is a cute novel about deeply loving someone and insecurities faced by the most unlikely people.

I love dynamic characters, and The Opposite of Invisible is full of them! Each of the characters faces internal conflicts that many teenagers can relate to. Am I good enough? Is she prettier than me? Will they make fun of me if they know I'm into something considered uncool?

Throughout the novel, most of the characters showed their insecurity, with the exception of Jewell, who is not afraid to show his true self and feelings and Mandy, the cheerleader who takes a stand. However these insecurities make characters like Simon, Alice, and Vanessa all the more beautiful and realistic.

What I enjoyed most about The Opposite of Invisible is that Liz Gallagher breaks through so many stereotypes. She features athletes and cheerleaders who are artistic and intelligent. She shares artists who are not art geeks, but talented and strong individuals. She displays a girl who is a mere painting on a poster, yet plays an important role and gives life to the story.

I highly recommend this book, as it is an impressive and relevant read.
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VINE VOICEon June 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am so glad I found this book. Granted, it isn't a long book, but it has a powerful message that is more important than the number of pages. I liked the character of Alice. Maybe because every teenage girl goes through a point in her high school life that she wishes she could be more than what she is. Alice wants to explore outside her cocoon that she has been living in. She has a wonderful friend in Jewel, who yes is a boy, but she has a crush on Simon. Simon is one of the popular group, and even though Alice is in the artistic crowd, they begin a relationship. Yet just as Alice and Simon start to talk to each other, Jewel professes his love for Alice. Alice must decide which boy is the right path. Unfortunately, Alice picks the wrong path. She finds herself falling down the rabbit hole, trying to figure out what she should do. Finally she figures out what she wants and realizes that she wasn't invisible to everyone, she was just insecure in herself.

You can't help but fall for each of the characters in the story. It is a simple, teen read that packs a strong punch in life lesson. A book I thoroughly enjoyed and can't wait to read the author's next book.

[...]
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