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Invisible Me Kindle Edition
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|Length: 206 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Portia has travelled from school to school all her life, being the daughter of a military man. The added complication of her unusual appearance has left her pretty negative about friendships, she doesn't expect any and doesn't go searching them out.
Her latest move finds her in a fairly typical American secondary school and she is very surprised to be singled out by the most popular girl; to go spying on her boyfriend whom she suspects of cheating on her. In addition, another girl approaches Portia for help with maths.
What follows is an interesting reflection on teenage friendships, with all their complexities, except that this did feel as if it had bit of a - help one another and don't judge - moral attached, which was well presented.
This would be an interesting discussion novel for young adults and I would recommend it for teenage libraries.
The only thing that did seem to be missing was any discussion about the problems of actually being albino; there was no mention of Portia's reaction to light or severe tendency to burn.
Portia, the 13 year old main character of this story, is the narrator. Because of her dad's job, her family has to move a lot, which is tough enough as it is. To make things worse, Portia is an albino, so kids tend to mock her or be afraid of befriending her.
Portia is cold and hardened towards people. That's certainly understandable, and many kids feel and act the same way she does when put in similar situations. However, she can be difficult to relate to, and I wouldn't call her a role model. She's the kind of character a reader sometimes has sympathy towards, but other times just want to shake until they come to their senses.
I believe the themes in this book would be good for discussion groups. There are plenty of questions to be asked and real issues that people can benefit from talking about. However, it also seems to be a rather mature book, and I wouldn't recommend it to just anyone, especially not those already struggling with the same types of problems Portia is. I feel like it would only drag them further down, because it is inconclusive and the main character is self-absorbed. If someone is already feeling down, this book won't help them get any better. It would, however, be good for people to learn how to understand people who feel like Portia.
It's also hard to tell what audience this book is intended for. It's written in such a way that it may seem cheesy to too juvenile for older readers, but at the same time it's innappropriate for a younger audience. Maybe it would be best for older, mature teens who struggle with reading more difficult books. It is a fairly thin book, and isn't difficult to understand or read. I zipped right through it.
The one thing that bothered me the most about this book was the constant use of strong language. This is one point I stand most firmly on, especially in children's books. The f-bomb is dropped a dozen times along with other strong words that I would never allow my younger sisters to read, let alone recommend to other kids.
My job as a book reviewer is two fold. I am to help the authors, and I am to protect the readers.
To the author I would say this: You have writing talent that just needs a bit of polishing. That's okay, writing is a craft that we never stop perfecting. Keep working on it, because you will have a bright future and career if you keep it up. I appreciate that you aren't afraid of touching on real-life issues. However, I would appreciate it if you were a little more cautious in the future since you're dealing with young people here, and they are a delicate group that should be handles wisely.
To readers and parents of readers: Use caution when reading this book or giving it to children to read. Once things are in a person's head, they never leave. If you do allow your children to read this, be available to talk to them about it, and encourage discussion. If you are a kid who wants to read this book, use discretion and understand that the way Portia acts and feels is her own decision, and you have the option to make better choices than she does.