Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Review: INVISIBLE by Cecily Anne Paterson


"Today I'm officially brave, which is what you are when you're scared but you still show up."

Blurb from Goodreads:

Jazmine Crawford doesn’t make decisions. She doesn’t make choices. She doesn’t make friends. Jazmine Crawford only wants one thing: to be invisible. For Jazmine, it’s a lot easier to take out her hearing aid and drift along pretending that nothing’s wrong than it is to admit that she’s heartbroken about her dad dying. She’s been drifting and ignoring her over-worried mum for four years now.

When bad girl Shalini and her mates adopt Jazmine, she quickly finds herself involved in more than she can handle. Sitting in disgrace in the principal’s office, Jazmine is offered a choice: help drama teacher Miss Fraser in the upcoming production of The Secret Garden or face a four week suspension.
It’s Miss Fraser who clinches the decision. “I believe in you Jazmine,” she says. “I know you can do this.” And Jazmine, terrified, disbelieving and elated all at the same time, joins the play.

For a while it’s all good. Drama star and chocolate lover Liam is friendly and Jazmine realises that making friends, talking to her mother and feeling her emotions isn’t as scary as she thought. In a final happy twist of fate, acting diva Angela quits the play and with only a week to go, Miss Fraser asks Jazmine to take on the main role of Mary.

But then Shalini returns from her suspension. She’s out for payback, and she has just the ammunition she needs to force Jazmine to quit the play and go back to her old ways.

Will Jazmine be confident enough to stand up for herself against Shalini? Will Liam still like her if he finds out who she really is? And does she have the strength to face the truth about her father’s suicide?

I came across INVISIBLE while perusing Amazon a few weeks ago (it was and currently still is available as a free ebook). Seeing as it was

1) a young adult book


2) written by an indie author

I knew I had to check it out and, to be honest, I wasn't prepared for the kind of story Cecily wrote. The blurb pretty much explains the jest of the storyline; the only difference is, when you read INVISIBLE, you feel how Jazmine feels. You get how numb she's become, how lacking the relationship between her and her mother is, how sad it must be to not allow herself to feel. (Sidenote: Cecily is from Australia, so there are a few references that kind of throw you off if you're from the US, but they're hardly worth mentioning.)

I don't want to give anything away, but this is one of those books where you want to applaud for the MC at the end because you're so proud of how much she's learned. Cecily does a great job of getting you inside Jazmine's head. The Secret Garden references are neat, but most of all I truly enjoyed watching the little bubble Jazmine kept around herself expand and grow wider, allowing more people and feelings in the further the story goes. The book is a little slower paced through the first half, but as these types of stories go, it wouldn't work if it wasn't. You have to get to know the "before" Jazmine in order to see how far she's come.

One last quote:

Later, as I'm supposed to be copying safety rules for using the power drill off the board I'm secretly and strangely happy. I never realised before that when someone says 'see you at lunch' it feels like sunshine.

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