Friday, October 4, 2013

Transparent by Natalie Whipple

Transparent by Natalie Whipple

"Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl."

Fiona is one of those whose genes have been affected by change. Her particular mutation makes it so that she appears invisible to everyone around her. When she looks in the mirror she doesn’t even know what she looks like. In fact, she often feels like a tool and she is an extremely useful one to her Father, the leader of a crime syndicate.  When her father has plans to send Fiona overseas to kill somebody her mother decides it is time to get out.

They sneak off to a small town in the middle of the desert, and Fi actually gets to go to a normal school. There she begins to make friends and have an almost normal life. Life is almost perfect except for the fact that her brother, her dad’s henchman, keeps coming around the check on them. Fiona can’t trust the fact that he’ll keep their location a secret. She has to rely on her new friends to stay out of her father’s long reaching clutches.

Alright, I know this sounds x-men, and I’m not really a huge fan of this mutant trope, but I loved the small scale of this novel. A vulnerable girl trying to navigate her way through high school, her first crush, and her seemingly insurmountable family issues . I loved the details of how Fiona’s invisibility affected her everyday life, her sense of self, and her relationship with others. I have to say that I loved the way the teen romance worked out in this book. Like the setting it is small, subtle and in a market saturated with epic teenage love stories with protagonists that just can’t keep their hands off each other even in the most unlikely of circumstances Whipple presents the exact opposite. Without a single kiss Fi and Seth build a tender and honest relationship. An excellent read that I’d recommend to everyone.

The sequel Blindsided comes out January 2nd and I can’t wait to finish reading Fi’s story. Find out more about Whipple's work at her website.

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