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 April 22nd 2014
Genres: Family, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Siblings, Social Issues, Special Needs, Young Adult
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.
In the past, I had heard so many good things about Marcus Sedgwick which is one of the reasons that I really wanted to give She Is Not Invisible a shot. I wanted to experience the supposed fantastic writing for myself because as we all know as all may have different opinions of what fantastic writing can be. Not to say that I don’t trust you all but some things you just need to experience for yourself, right? I was also intrigued at the premise of having the main character who is a blind teenager and who would do absolutely anything for her family. Even enter a world that she is not really familiar with if it meant saving or protecting the ones that she loves. On the surface, it really had all the elements that I thought would really grab my attention and keep me invested. But did it? Yes it did. Hook, line, and sinker.
The main character of this story is told from the perspective of a teenage girl named Laureth who like I said is legally blind. It was really interesting for me to read this book through the lens of a character who is blind as it is not something that is usually portrayed in YA novels. Or in any novels really at least in my experience. I really liked how Laureth did not let her disability get her down and how she was so devoted to her family members. Her personality really shown through as a determined, smart, caring, young lady. It was interesting to see how these traits led her to make the decisions that she did such as traveling from England to New York to rescue her father who she believes to be in grave danger. It was also interesting the way NYC was used as a new environment for Laureth with its sometimes massive chaos and how her younger brother Benjamin had to help her navigate and understand what was going on around her. NYC can be scary for anyone on a given day but putting myself in Laureth’s shoes, I would have been terrified but she wasn’t. She remained strong-headed and rational even when rationality didn’t really seem to be an option. She was a very well rounded character and the way that she was written definitely made me think about my own privileges and the things that I may sometimes take for granted without even realizing that I’m doing so.
It is because of this that I can see why so many people like Marcus Sedgwick as he really is an excellent writer. I can’t complain about that even in the slightest. Time flew by as I was reading She Is Not Invisible. So much so that I read it in just one sitting. His descriptions of the settings which Laureth and Benjamin were finding themselves in within NYC were so good. Sometimes I really felt as if I was there because I could visualize it so well. He also did a really good job of giving both of these characters a voice. They were both very distinctive characters in their own right. The same can also be said for their father who Laureth believes is in terrible danger. All of the characters in this book have a voice and a reason for the things that they do or the things that happen to them. In fact, all of the things that happen to them happen for a reason as much of this book is all about coincidences. Trust me, the coincidences part of the book is very interesting and in a way is a giant mind game that you can’t help but get lost in.
She Is Not Invisible was a fantastic introduction to the writing style of Marcus Sedgwick because I know that I will be on the lookout for more books by him after my experience with this one. I really loved how he was able to take such a complex issue as blindness and write about it in a way that wasn’t demeaning but instead gave a strength as well as a vulnerability to the character. The family dynamics of this story were also so fantastic. I adored the relationship between Laureth and the rest of her family because it felt real and wasn’t forced at all to me. I did like added mystery to the story but if I had to pick between all the elements in the story I would definitely say that I preferred his character building, the family dynamics, and the settings over the mystery and the story of coincidences. To me that was the strength of this particular story and what made it so enjoyable for me.