PJV Quickie: With the pairing of David Levithan and Andrea Cremer, I was expecting greatness, as a huge fan of both. What I got was different, the two authors took chances which might not ring well with fans of the genre, but it worked for me. It didn’t blow me away like I expected, but I did enjoy the book.

[frame align=”left”]Invisibility by Andrea Cremer[/frame]

YA Paranormal Romance Novel,
Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

Title: Invisibility by
Author: Andrea Cremer and David Levithan
Type: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Publication: May 7, 2013 Philomel
Source: Provided by publisher

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Review: This is one of those books that starts and ends at two different places, as if it were two books.  You are immediately submerged in the head of Stephen, a boy that has been invisible his entire life. His own parents could not see him. After his father abandoned him, he was left with his mother who was his whole world. She was the only one that he spoke to, the only one that knew he existed. After her death, Stephen is alone, in an apartment in New York. His father has a new family somewhere else, his only joy is watching the lives of other people in the little world around him.

Stephen has resigned himself to never interacting with anyone for the rest of his life. He will one day die and they won’t even be able to find his body to bury it. There is this really poignant scene where he thinks about jumping from the building and people tripping over his dead body below, never seeing it as it rots.

The second POV comes into play with Elizabeth. Elizabeth moves to New York with her mother and brother from Minnesota. Their family has gone through a lot of tragedy and they are looking at New York as a starting over point. In the hallway she sees Stephen and speaks to him. This is the first time that someone has looked at him. From that moment, Stephen and Elizabeth’s lives are entwined. The both of them are so very different, but together they focus themselves and decide to figure out Stephen’s situation. We are also introduced to Laurie, who is Elizabeth’s brother. Laurie was one of the best secondary characters in a young adult novel that I’ve read. I wanted to be within this kid’s head, he was so dynamic.

The alternating point-of-views was a big plus for me, I loved dipping within both of these character’s heads and each of the writer’s styles as they progressed the story. They also would end each chapter very dynamically with cliffhangers or dramatic endings, so it kept the pace of the novel in high-gear.

The novel transitions from an introduction of the characters and a quasi-romantic interplay, a more magical realism type environment then you usually find within the YA Paranormal genre, but then INVISIBILITY slowly progresses to a mystery and urban fantasy type environment firmly cementing itself in the “usual.” It was very different from the usual tropes of intro, exposition, romance and climax. It was reversed out, going from internal to broad external quickly, almost like I was reading two different books. The moment the cursecasters are introduced and Stephen’s grandfather is brought within the scope, the book picks up a very quick pace and the introspective magical romance turns into an action-packed mystery.  It was different. You could definitely tell where Cremer influence took effect.

Overall it was a good read. I liked the chances that Cremer and Leviathan took. I thought it worked within this book. I do think that if they would have spent a little more time flushing the plot out though, this book would have been great. There were a lot of issues within this novel and most of them revolved around the expositions and these cursecasters. The evil grandfather that has no reason to pursue these children but just evil revenge. This aspect of the novel took a very poignant, would-be romance and turned it into a run-of-the-mill young adult paranormal. It is like the authors got scared to go too far with their “out-the-box” mentality and hurried up and stuffed in a Scooby-Do mystery to make it fit with the usual young adult paranormal cliches.

I did expect more, but what I got was a good read.

Recommendations: This is recommended as a good teen read, there is nothing that would make me pause before I handed it over to a 12 year old. I do think some of the themes are a bit mature with a bit of kissing and hand-holding, but nothing that I think a parent should be worried about.

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Rachel Rivera