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.Invisibility by Andrea Cremer, David Levithan
Published by Philomel Books on May 7th 2013
Genres: Paranormal Fantasy, Young Adult
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Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life — because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible — because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth.
This book wasn’t terrible. It began with a lot of good things and won me over initially, but then it quickly fell apart, and here’s why:
Cursecaster, Spellseeker: A Mess of Information
I want to know the cool deetz, yeah. I want to be hip with them kids, yo. As a reader it’s crucial for me to learn all the newfangled traits of the cool fantasy world where the characters live. So tell me and I’ll listen, and I’ll probably be really interested. But when the information just keeps building without stopping, the reading process feels a lot less like discovery and a lot more like I’m being spoon-fed. I really liked where the idea of the spellseeking stuff was going, but I became complacent when it just drawled on.
Return of the Unbelievable Insta-Love
Elizabeth and Stephen fell in love in a matter of what, days? It was kind of ridiculous, and while it’s understandable on Stephen’s part (the kid hadn’t spoken to a single female other than his mother all his life), the devotion component of their relationship, although prevalent in the plot, was incredibly difficult to get behind. In fact, despite moments of cuteness and strength, their relationship didn’t bode well with me.
The ‘I-Keep-Putting-The-Book-Down’ Curse
This book was just really hard to finish, mostly because about half of the way in I stopped caring how it ended. I took long breaks in between reading it, and continuing felt more tedious than willful.
This book did, however, have it’s saving graces!
Stuff I liked: The Writing
Especially all things from Stephen’s perspective. The language and tone were all very well chosen and placed. I adored the description of Stephen’s world before and after meeting Elizabeth, and how the strong writing made such a bizarre circumstance feel almost plausible. Like someone’s actual life.
By far my favourite character in the whole book (though there weren’t very many to choose from) was Laurie, Elizabeth’s brother. Not only was his plot line my favourite part about Elizabeth, he was basically just the rock that carried the others, being equally parts leader and hilarious.
This book had some redeeming qualities, but I’d say that the bad outweighs the good.
Could not agree more with your review. I don’t think the spellseeker/cursecaster details were handled well either. But the first half of the book, and like you said, everything from Stephen’s perspective, was SO well-done. I wish the whole book had felt like that, I think it would’ve been amazing if it had.
Oh no… so sad! There are a lot of reviews who are not so enthused ;( Stil, the premise sounds so amazing!
What a shame, since this is how David’s books usually end up as. A great premise, but doesn’t really deliver.
I was really excited when I first heard of this book, but I’ve not been inclined to pick up a copy yet. There’s just something about this story that doesn’t really click with me in terms of the things I enjoy as a reader, so I still can’t decide if I want to pick it up or not. We’ll see how it goes, I suppose.
This one worked better for you than it did for me, which perhaps gives you an idea how I felt about this book. Basically, Laurie was the only plus for me. Flat characters, instalove (those two do seem to go hand in hand don’t they?), and endless infodumps. Nope, nope, nope.