Title: She Is Not Invisible
Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Publication Date: October 23, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Find It: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, Book Depository
Rating: 2 stars – you are getting sleepy
Laureth Peak’s father is a writer. For years he’s been trying, and failing, to write a novel about coincidence. His wife thinks he’s obsessed, Laureth thinks he’s on the verge of a breakdown. He’s supposed to be doing research in Austria, so when his notebook shows up in New York, Laureth knows something is wrong.
On impulse she steals her mother’s credit card and heads for the States, taking her strange little brother Benjamin with her. Reunited with the notebook, they begin to follow clues inside, trying to find their wayward father. Ahead lie challenges and threats, all of which are that much tougher for Laureth than they would be for any other 16-year old. Because Laureth Peak is blind.
Laureth’s father has gone missing. At least she thinks he has. He won’t return her calls and her mom dodges her questions about his whereabouts. When his notebook is found in New York, Laureth decides to take her little brother to New York to find him.
I didn’t really know what to expect with this book, but the premise intrigued me. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book from the point of view of a blind protagonist before. While I thought Laureth was a well written character with a really unique point of view, I found other aspects of her personality to be very frustrating.
It was really hard for me to believe that someone as smart as Laureth would decide that the best way to find her father would be to trick her little brother into flying across an ocean, blind and without a real clue as to where her father is. Why doesn’t she call the police or confront her mother? Going to a country you don’t know with a small child doesn’t seem like the most efficient way to find someone. While I could set aside my disbelief that Laureth would think that flying to New York with her little brother was the best way to find her dad, I did not understand the choices that she makes after she gets there. There are several points in the book where Laureth thinks to herself that she should get help or call her mom, but then she decides not to listen to common sense and forges on. I might not have been so annoyed if these decisions affected only her, but they put her little brother Benjamin in danger, too. Knowing how much Laureth cares about Benjamin, it’s really hard to believe that she would keep endangering him.
Even though Laureth’s actions annoyed me, she was likable and I wanted her to succeed in her crazy mission. She has a really unique perspective, one that isn’t often seen literature. It really made me think about how much I rely on my sight to do pretty much everything and how different life would be without it. Simple things like using a texting and getting onto an airplane suddenly aren’t so simple when you don’t have sight. It was really cool to see how a blind person handles these everyday tasks. Laureth’s very independent and is a pretty normal teenager in most respects.
While I had my issues with the book, I commend Sedgwick for writing a character with such an original voice. Seeing the world through Laureth’s perspective really made me think and look at the world a little differently. I definitely plan to read more of Sedgwick’s books in the near future.