I love author David Levithan. His book, Every Day, which came out last year, blew me away, and his collaborations with authors like Rachel Cohn and John Green have resulted in some of my all-time favorite books. Therefore, I was very excited when Invisibility, Levithan’s upcoming collaboration with Nightshade author Andrea Cremer, arrived on my doorstep. First, I totally didn’t know Levithan had a new book coming out so soon, second, I have an opportunity to become familiar with the work of popular Andrea Cremer, and third, the story about an invisible boy and visible girl falling in love in NYC is right up my alley. Clearly, the pros of reading this book were out weighing the cons.
Unfortunately, all that expectation marred the reading experience for me. Invisibility is well-written, but the story leaves quite a bit to be desired, and the chemistry between Levithan’s and Cremer’s writing don’t compare to his past collaborations.
Invisibility follows two characters, Elizabeth and Stephen. Stephen has been invisible all his life, due to an unexplained curse his mother refused to tell him about. Now, after the passing of his mother, Stephen lives a lonely existence in his NYC apartment until one day when his new neighbor, Elizabeth, greets him, rather taciturnly, in the hallway.
Elizabeth just moved to NY from Minnesota with her mom and brother to start a new life. Elizabeth is having a hard time getting over what happened in Minnesota, in turn making it hard to trust people. But when she meets Stephen, her feelings begin to change. It all seems too good to be true until the truth and the past shatters their pleasant little bubble.
I know most readers biggest complaint would be that Stephen and Elizabeth fall in love too fast. That wasn’t a big deal for me. These too aren’t ordinary, and they clearly have a connection, so how can they not fall in love? In fact, I’m happy the authors spared us from a dragged out slow-burn romance. Another point to Invisibility is that it’s quick, fast paced read. It keeps things moving, which made it easy to finish.
However, the plot and mythology at play in this narrative was very lacking and unoriginal. I was hoping that Stephen’s invisibility would be treated with ambiguity, and that the story would be very character driven, exploring how two people can be in a relationship that strange. It was hardly like that at all, turning into some witch/spellcasting thriller. It was at that point that my interest began to plummet. Luckily, I liked the main characters enough to keep on reading to see what would happen to them.
Levithan and Cremer had a great premise, and I wish they did something more exciting and thought-provoking with it. Still, Invisibility has entertaining moments, the right pace and interesting enough characters to make it a decent read. If you’re fans of either of these authors, adjust your expectations or you’ll probably be disappointed.
Invisibility by David Levithan and Andrea Cremer will be available wherever books are sold on May 7. 2013. Support The Young Folks and order the book from our TYF Store, powered by Amazon.
Publisher: Philomel (May 7, 2013)
Length: 320 pages (Hardcover)
Source: ARC (Provided by publisher)
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Completed: April 2013