Author: Natalie Whipple
Pages: 368 pages
Format acquired: Paperback (ARC)
Published on: May 21st 2013
Source: Received from publisher (Thanks, Christine!)
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
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.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads.)
It seems that more and more books with very creative storylines have come up nowadays. Or maybe it's really just me getting to know more authors and their respective writing styles. For years I've been trapped in so many repetitive, cliche and overused chick-lit stories that I've become some sort of accurate book analyzer by just looking at the cover/summary. And while I'm not trashing these cupcake stories (by all means, I love to read them every now and then) that leads me to think: "what about those who want more variety?" It really wouldn't kill you to add something new or maybe even crazy to it. I mean, that's why we read books right? So we could magically transport ourselves to another imaginary world while staying in our real one. We readers crave the quirky, crazy side of the literature world and the if you give the impossible a reason to be possible, all the greater and better. Go big or go home!!
So Transparent really came as a treat for me. Invisible teenage girl? Risky mafia business? Possible love interest? Oh boy. Sign me right up, baby! I never thought someone would be brilliant enough to put all those elements together. I had all these questions in my head! "How on earth could you fall in love with someone invisible?!" (I know love is blind, but invisible altogether?! How...) and "How did she get to be that way? Was she exposed to extreme radiation ala X-Men?" and thankfully, all these questions we answered throughout the novel. I also really like how it was written. All the explanations you needed was put in front and as the story progressed, you knew more and more. It really kept my mind rolling so it didn't feel like the book was predictable or dragging in any way.
Fiona for me is a really strong character. She tries to be strong for both herself and her mother but sometimes she's too hard on both of them. I guess this is only because she really doesn't want to be with her father anymore but sometimes, I felt that she wasn't giving her mom enough chance to really prove herself (mother) as a capable parent to Fiona and that she'd keep her word. Granted, this isn't the first time her mom chickens out but still. Fiona also thinks like normal teenagers do. None of that shying away from attention that she wants. I mean, if I were invisible, I wouldn't shave anything because nobody can see me anyway! Fiona and I both agreed on that. Haha! But like her, I would put extra special attention to what my clothes look like because again, it's the only thing people see on you. No pretty face to make up for bad outfit choices (I'm mildly vain like that) I guess the fact that Fiona is invisible is what makes her so versatile for us readers. We all feel invisible at a point in our lives and here is where Fiona's character comes in. I feel that she is made with a huge chunk of "her" missing so that we can relate to her more. Because I don't know about you, but I cannot relate well to a blonde-haired, blue-eyed American as the Asian that I am. Hohoho. While the book is really just about Fiona and her mom running away, I can't help but give it to Ms. Whipple for adding some romance action in there. The romance was cute and sweet. Not really enough for the kissy types of books but just enough to let you know it's there. It isn't in-your-face love. It's more like a happy crush with they way the book projected it. The way Fiona also kind of "grew up" in this book was remarkable. She comes from a shy, touchy girl to someone who now enjoys the company of many other people. Even if it is just two people and their siblings! :D
Most of the past reviews I've read are a love it or hate it kind of thing. You either enjoy the book a lot or you curse it to the end of the world. So read at your own risk. But in totality, I'd really recommend this book to anyone who wants a light, fun read. Awesome job, Ms. Whipple!