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Invisibility Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 7, 2013
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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
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Top Customer Reviews
5 out of 5 gnomes
This book is all sorts of awesome and the ending was unexpected but pretty darn perfect. The dual point of view is so well done and there are so many quotable moments. This feels like one of those stories that you can read over and over and always find something new.
I love all the characters but this book has awesome side characters too. Her brother Laurie is kind of the glue of the family and also understanding when all the craziness starts.
It's great that we actually see the parents of the characters and that they do (well at least one of them does) notice when different things are going on. Lets just say there is a lot of emotional turmoil around both sets of parents.
Elizabeth and Stephen are a really intriguing couple because their circumstances aren’t exactly normal. Their first meeting is funny because it’s so unexpected for Stephen. Elizabeth has a lot to get used to and even more to get used to once she meets Stephen. Her family has had plenty of problems so she's trying to start anew in New York.
Stephen’s predicament of being invisible is heartbreaking because of how much it cuts him off from the real world. It’s hard to imagine especially being alone and invisible, he can’t even see what he looks like. Just imagine being invisible to yourself too, I know if I was I’d probably couldn't even cut my fingernails properly. There's no bad invisible stunts he's just kind of adrift in the world until Elizabeth shows up.
The explanation for his invisibility is well done and adds more twists to the story. The story already felt rather magical and then things get real strange when he finds out why he was cursed.
This story is full of some sarcasm, snark, and plenty of heart. The ending is unexpected and I wish that it was a series, I guess I'll just have to hope for a short story. I highly recommend this book for the stupendous characters and story.
A budding romance ensues, and Stephen is eventually forced to tell Elizabeth about his predicament, especially after her brother Laurie, who can't see Stephen catches them talking to one another. That's when the book jumps the shark. Instead of a sweet romance and interesting meditation on what it means to be human, we dive into a secret world of "cursecasters" and "spellseekers." It turns out that Stephen was victim of a curse cast by his very very evil grandfather against his mother for some vaguely-explained reason. And now the three set out on a quest to reverse the curse and make Stephen a real boy again.
The more we delve into this nonsense, the more convoluted and tiresome the book becomes. It's good versus evil and will end in a showdown that may be exciting for some but didn't do anything for me.
Obviously a book like this demands a large degree of suspended disbelief. But even the world of superheroes needs some kind of internal logic to make it work and this had none. And the characters are 16 going on 32. There's nothing childish or teenlike about them. They are so preternaturally mature and wise.
I have enjoyed other books by David Levithan with various collaborators. I thought I'd enjoy this one too but demons and devils are not my cup of tea and this was a mistake.
Invisibility is something Stephen is used to since he was born that way. Cursed and invisible.
Elizabeth wishes she was invisible so that no one can hurt her. Elizabeth is thrilled with her mother’s decision to move the family to New York City since that way she can easily blend in.
Stephen is soon amazed when he meets Elizabeth since she can actually see him. What amazes Elizabeth is that she wants Stephen to actually see all of her. Soon an invisible world of grudges and misfortunes, spells and curses gets in their way as they get closer. As they are thrust into this world Elizabeth and Stephen have to decide just how deep into they are going to go. That answer could mean the difference between love and death.
This is a book that proves to be engrossing, fun and poignant as the reader reads each page. The characters are well written and really move the story along. It also provides a mystery of just how things happened to Stephen and what is going to happen next. It also proves to be a hard book to put down once the reader starts it. They will want to see how things turn out for Elizabeth and Stephen and hoping for the very best outcome.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Quick & Dirty: This was an interesting read that I enjoyed, but it was really slow paced so it took a while for me to get through...Read more