I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
Also by this author: She Is Not Invisible
Published by Macmillan on 2014-04-22
Genres: Family, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Siblings, Social Issues, Special Needs, Young Adult
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Laureth Peak's father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers--a skill at which she's remarkably talented. Her secret: She is blind. But when her father goes missing, Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin are thrust into a mystery that takes them to New York City where surviving will take all her skill at spotting the amazing, shocking, and sometimes dangerous connections in a world full of darkness. She Is Not Invisible is an intricate puzzle of a novel that sheds a light on the delicate ties that bind people to each other.
The thing about Marcus Sedgwick that I am fast discovering is that his books take me about a single day to read, but stay with me long after the day is over. Granted, I’ve only read two of his books so far, She Is Not Invisible and Midwinterblood both books are brilliant and smart and kind of over my head. Still, I love that these books stretch the boundary of their age market, which seems to be YA. They are really more literary than they are commercial and filled with symbolism and things that I would totally be into analyzing if I could be bothered with all that. She Is Not Invisible is another victory for Sedgwick, I feel, because it’s a sharp book about love. Not in a romantic sense, but in a family sense and I can’t help but think this book does a superb job of showing why in some cases, family is everything. But it’s totally more than that though.
She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick kind of has a bizarre premise but I think that you should roll with it, because excepting logic, it’s intriguing. Laureth hasn’t heard from her dad in like a day and she’s really concerned that he might have committed suicide in New York City. FYI, Laureth is in London with her mom and brother. And so, instead of telling her mom her concerns, Laureth packs up her brother, Benjamin who is seven and the two set off for New York City to look for their author father. Oh, and twist? Laureth is blind and has to figure out how to navigate NYC and customs and money. Granted, Benjamin does help her, but he also has something odd about him and can’t touch electronics because he fries them. Along the way, the two have an extraordinary journey in New York City and meet fascinating characters and you know there’s patterns and themes and things come together and it’s such a mind blowing read. I mean, maybe some people might think it’s gimmicky, but for me, my mind was kind of totally blown.
A note about Laureth: She’s awesome. I think I say that about every strong female character, but really, Laureth is pretty great and it’s fantastic to see how even though she’s been shafted in some areas of her life, she’s pretty strong. However, it’s not like she’s a martyr or like a perfect differently-abled person. I can’t speak to disability and for those who are disabled, but I don’t know, I just liked that Laureth wasn’t a cliche and that she was kind of really bad ass and actually quite independent. She certainly wasn’t treated like a child, despite having no vision.
Going along with Laureth and her disability, I am going to put it out there that Sedgwick wrote Laureth as a blind girl. Is he accurate in his representation of a blind person? I don’t know. I thought he was respectful and made her full dimensioned and human. I thought he did a good job of not erasing the disability and showing that there are limitations for Laureth. Yet, he doesn’t make her helpless. He also puts in some things that I never really thought about, like how Laureth makes sure to try and pass for a seeing-person, in that she wears sunglasses and tries to look in the direction of the voices she hears because apparently people freak out when you don’t do that. I never ever really thought about that, but it’s a good point to make. She Is Not Invisible definitely made me think about able-bodied privilege.
She Is Not Invisible is totally a literary read, but one that doesn’t get bogged down in being smart and intellectual and full of itself. It’s not an example of puffed up writing in the least.I said before that this is a book about family and love, and it is. That’s kind of the big overarching theme. Well, that and coincidences that aren’t quite coincidence. Also, patterns and numbers. Anyways, it was amazing to see the lengths that Laureth went for her dad who as a reader, I didn’t think was worth it at first. Until, well, you’ll see. But yes, this book is special and amazing and as much as I want to delve and tell you every little thing about it, I think you need to read it for yourself and make up your own mind. Trust, it’s special.