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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review: Invisiblity

Invisibility is a young-adult novel by Andrea Creme and David Levithan. Levithan, you'll recall, is the author of Every Day, and the voice in this novel is very similar to that novel, despite being told alternatively from two perspectives, Stephen and Elizabeth.

The hook in the novel is that Stephen was cursed to be invisible from the day he was born. The novel details all the issues this brings. Stephen seems to have done a good job coping with life as it is, until one day, neighbors move in and Elizabeth is able to see him. We start with a quiet love story, set in New York and its environs, while Elizabeth and Stephen work through their budding romance.

Once Elizabeth discovers that she's the only person who can see Stephen, however, the action revs up and the novel goes into high gear. She quickly discovers why, and starts trying to figure out ways to solve Stephen's problem. At this point, Stephen quickly shifts from being the center of the story to becoming almost a by-stander.

What I like about the novel is that the characters are faced with no easy answers, and have to sacrifice in order to stay together. The authors also do not try to resolve the situation arbitrarily and let the rules they have in place run the climax and conclusion.

While this novel started slowly, towards the end I found myself captivated, flipping pages relentlessly to find out what happens next. That the novel doesn't cheat itself by trying to set up for a sequel (unlike Every Day) is another point in its favor.


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