im_writing (im_writing) wrote in bookish,

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Things Not Seen- Andrew Clements

Summary: Bobby Phillips wakes up one morning and is invisible. No, not metaphorically, literally invisible. He has no reflection, no one can see him and he barely casts a shadow. His parents tell him to stay home until his physicist father can figure out what happened and how to reverse it. Tired of being in the house, he going to the library and smacks into a girl on his way out. He thinks that his cover is blown but realizes that she can't see anything. Alecia, a blind girl around Bobby's age, helps Bobby deal with being invisible. However, people are starting to wonder what happened to Bobby and if he doesn't become visible soon then everyone is in trouble.

Review: I really enjoyed this more than I thought that I would. I mean, an invisible kid trying to figure out how to make himself visible again isn't usually the type of story that I pick up. Stories like this can either be done really well or really poorly. Clements approached it like a mystery novel. He took you from one clue to the next without losing you. He also showed an amazing relationship between Alecia and Bobby, two kids who are dealing with issues that are pretty unique. Alecia wasn't always blind and Bobby wasn't always invisible and that forms a strong bond between them. It isn't perfect, though, which makes it better. Alecia gets unjustly mad at Bobby a lot and Bobby has no problems getting mad right back at her.

The only criticism I have is that there are some things that are a little heavy handed. Throughout the whole thing, Bobby is trying to get his parents to understand that this is about him and not about them. He's got typical stereotypes for parents: they love their son but what he does always ends up being about how it reflects on them. So he fights this but in an annoyingly typical, teenage angst way.
One good thing is that his parents attitudes don't magically change.  His parents still kind of make it about them in the end but not quite as much as before.  They change but not so much that it's unbelievable.  Also, I love Bobby's mother in this whole thing.  She is so on the ball and fearless and she's still a mother but a mother who isn't going to take anything from anyone, no matter what badges people flash at her.  I recommend this to everyone because I'm always excited to recommend really good YA lit to people.

Rating: 4/5
Next book: The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan (NOT YA lit so it'll take me more than a day to read.)
Books this year: 13

Tags: genre: fiction, genre: mystery, xxx author last name: a-h

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