Author: Marcus Sedgwick
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Shelves: Realistic-fiction, Hot-like-meh, Let-me-down
Story: this book is the ultimate troll.
Yet it could have been so much fun, if only. If only it hadn’t been hellbent on making me believe, disbelieve in coincidences, stuffing in my mind all the concepts that I already might or might not believe. In a way, She Is Not Invisible became preachy, too preachy.
The plot is double cool with knobs: a blind girl, her little brother with crazy supernatural powers seek to rescue their father’s secret notebook and find the father, too, who they believe, is lost in a single weekend while her mother is away at her aunt’s. And a sagacious kid. And trains. WIN WIN WIN! On every bloody account.
The combination of each of those elements makes for a very unique reading experience, which is further embellished by the themes of pattern, coincidence, synchronicity, Carl Jung v/s Einstein going on. It’s a story, it’s an author that could open one’s mind to millions of possibilities, some apparent like dust and the rest a kaleidoscope.
I had fun, so much fun and with these endless possibilities floating around: what are those words? what does that mean? for real?, it had me believing despite the fact that I may already have known and accepted that, it had me believe I believed; it persuaded me to question what I thought I believed; and to go out with a bang, it gave me goosebumps. Because it was frightening, and while unrealistic, being caught up in the mood of the novel, I was very much invested and ergo, panicked like Laureth did. But those were the choice moments; otherwise, the book simply enervated me with its seemingly disingenuous
and forceful commentary on synchronicity.
However, these feelings of mine are for one side of the schism that divides the story, for every alternate chapter that was a snippet from the secret notebook of Mr Peak. It stymied the solid three star I would’ve given otherwise by turning the book into a discordant piece, with the narrative being interrupted exactly when I was beginning to get interested.
The residue of me includes enjoyment, a coupla ‘yahoo!’, the occasional ‘meh’ and ‘blah’ and in the end, shock and disappointment.
Marcus Sedgwick is a perspicacious author; his characters illustrate that. Laureth isn’t a indigent for her visual disability, nor is her little brother annoying-cute-idiotic in the way that little brothers definitely aren’t. The parents aren’t written up/off as side characters’ usual lack of depth, nor is that one green-eyed guy who appears for a few minutes in what could considered a filler scene, but frankly, how else is the reader supposed to spend the flight? There is no administration of pathos, yet it manages to be a poignant story- for a while. The writing is simplistic but very, very oft evocative, and, when it aims to be, chilling. In short, Sedgwick writes and its effect is conveyed almost completely.
Laureth and her brother’s journey through shit and muggers and NYC airport was riddled with problems they miraculously overcome: he has superpowers, someone has brothers, serendipity and coincidence, and get the gist. For once, I didn’t mind(wouldn’t have minded superpowers anywho). It’s an adventurous story that appealed to every part of me, and will surely be a hit with many readers. Similarly, the attempts to make it give it more depth will turn off many readers.
As to the ending, the resultant egression for which caused much distress and loss of gray cells, it was a paragon of trolling. My feelings about it are the opposite sides of the same biased(due to a chip on the less recurring side(manufacturing problems and all)) coin: I feel irked that after so much hard work, albeit exasperating hard work, this is what it comes to; because, DAMMIT! I paid attention and tried hard not to let my mind divert towards moths fluttering under the streetlamp. And still, I think I am somewhat glad that it was resolved this way, because it was getting too much. Back to the earlier argument, though: precisely because it was getting too much, it shouldn’t have ended like that. I felt like there was something she would take away, but I have no idea if she did.
In short, the ending is:
It could’ve been great, it was but then, no more.