By Andrea Cremer and David Levithan
May 7, 2013
Ages 12 and up
Philomel (Penguin USA)
INVISIBILITY by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan had potential in the beginning, but a bipolar change in story and style in the later half blemishes what could have been a perfect pairing of authors.
It was interesting to see what Stephens life was like at the start of INVISIBILITY. This is when the novel was bordering on the near-brilliance of David Levithans Every Day, and when INVISIBILITY certainly had the potential of being a 5-star story. Then something happened. Spellseekers got involved in the plot and Stephens world suddenly got overshadowed by Elizabeth and her witch-in-training storyline. This is when INVISIBILITY suddenly became less about Stephen and his interesting lifestyle and more about magic and who the heck knows what else. It was like an odd mish-mash of The Craft, and Teen Witch and David Levithan all together. And I just dont know if that combination works.
So while I had absolutely no issues with the first quarter (or perhaps even third) of the book, here is what bothered me about the remaining majority of INVISIBILITY:
- Insta-love: What initially appeared to be a gradual meshing of two lost souls (Stephens and Elizabeths) suddenly became a full-bloom insta-love fest after only 2 or 3 encounters. Ugh* I thought that their first encounter was sweet and awkward, even the second and third interactions between the two characters was cute and creatively played-out. But then, after about 70 pages or so, suddenly these two were in love and they had barely even taken a walk in the park together (literally). The characters became boring and their relationship were suddenly infused with unnecessary angst. (Even given Stephens unusual situation) Which leads me to my next issue
- Avoidance: While Elizabeth was undergoing her (poorly described and quite boring) Spellseeker training, for some reason she also felt the need to avoid Stephen. I HATE unnecessary avoidance in the pretense of protection when it occurs in the books that I read. The act alone creates unnecessary drama that, especially in the case of INVISIBILITY, sticks out like a sore thumb. The only thing that avoidance ever accomplishes is that it irritates the reader. In the end, Elizabeth apparently forgets why she ever chose to stay away from Stephen, because all of a sudden she decided to pay attention to him again, and he just says ok with no is this really how youre supposed to treat the man you love?? Ugh. Worse than nails on a chalkboard, I swear.
- Main Character Flipped (and Flopped): In the beginning, I was happy with the idea that this was Stephens story, with the female perspective included for a well-rounded tale of romance between two unlikely characters. If that had been the case, INVISIBILITY would have most likely worked out better than it did. While the first part of the book felt like it was more about Stephen, the later part was undeniably not. I have said it before and I will say it again, the change in the storys focus is quite possibly INVISIBILITYs biggest downfall, at least for this reader. Thats not to say that Elizabeth isnt an interesting character, because she is especially in her initial interactions with Stephen and her ongoing relationship with her flamboyant brother, Laurie but her snarky attitude and everything else I initially liked about her was thrown out the window when she discovered that she was a Spellseeker. Why? I have no idea. Just as I cannot exactly pinpoint at what point in the novel that things fell apart, I also cannot find any reason as to why Elizabeth had to change so much as a character. I guess finding out that the world is a magical place, full of bad people who abuse their powers, is quite a shocker, but still, I just dont think that the plot nor the characters were ultimately handled as well as they could have been in this novel.Even Stephen lost his spark somewhere along the way. Perhaps thats because because in the end I didnt get to see enough of him. (Pardon the pun.)
If anything, I was expecting something very special with INVISIBILITY largely because of the unusual collaboration but in the end what I received was yet another run of the mill, same old cliche, paranormal romance. I dont know if any single author involved in the collaboration is to blame or if both authors got lost somewhere along the way, but I really wish that these two creative minds could have done more with their story.
Granted, the climax is alarming and does make things a bit interesting for the characters. As a result, I have a feeling I will read the next book with the hopes that the continuation is more on par with the earlier parts of INVISIBILITY and not the later. (This willbe a multi-book story, right? That was quite an unfinished cliffhanger of an ending.)
I am EXTREMELY interested in hearing your thoughts about INVISIBILITY. Please share them in the comments below!