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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Intelligent Thriller for Teens and Beyond
She Is Not Invisible is a gem of a read, a thought provoking and intelligent thriller which can be read on so many different levels. On the surface, it's an adventure story with our heroine, Laureth, accompanying her younger brother, Benjamin, on a quest to discover the whereabouts of their father, famous author, Jack Peak. Sounds straightforward enough but then...
Published 9 months ago by Lovely Treez

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3.0 out of 5 stars it's just ok
i read this for a book club and, while I thought it had some good ideas and some really nice passages, it was just ok. i probably read a lot of books of a similar quality when i was a teenager but I don't remember them, just like i won't remember this in a month's time. there's no reason not to read this, but by all accounts sedgwick's other stuff is much better
Published 2 months ago by philldtyler


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in parts, but often too preachy for my liking., 15 Dec 2013
By 
Prof TBun (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: She Is Not Invisible (Hardcover)
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I do not share the author's emotional response to coincidences. I feel most strategic thinkers will also feel the same way, as coincidences are things that we strive to make happen and to profit from. Because I could not feel anything enigmatic about coincidences, I found that part of the plot uninteresting.

Laureth's blindness is directly referred to throughout. Sadly it is often done in the form of a lecturing narrative. There was nothing wrong with exploring the difficulties and fears associated with her handicap, but it could have been done without making readers feel talked down to. Through Laureth it is suggested that in fiction blind characters are either pitifully weak or they have superheroic qualities. That has not been my experience , for example R.L. Stephenson's villains Blind Pew and Duncan Mackiegh. H.G. Wells wrote a short story, "The Country of the Blind", in which an entire community is blind.

At it's core "She's Not Invisible" is an adventure story. It reminded me in a quite few ways of "Walkabout", but perhaps the similar themes were just coincidences. At the start it seems like just an anxious naive 16 year old, worried about her father making stupid decisions that cause her to journey abroad in search of him. The mystery starts to deepen when she arrives in America.

The reader should be prewarned that Laureth's father's research into coincidence involved the ravings of psychoanalysts, which will be uncomfortable for many young readers. Those who are not already familiar with the mathematical aspects of coincidence, may find that aspect of the research interesting. I profoundly disagree though with the author's clear assertion that computers are bad at non-specific pattern finding.

As the adventure reaches its climax Laureth and Benjamin encounter violence. The first scene is genuine thrilling. Sadly I found the action in the final confrontation unconvincing. For example even "IF" a person could not see in a dark hotel suite, surely he would still expect there to be a bed in a bedroom.

There is always a warmth and simplicity to Sedgwick's characters that is very appealing. That alone is likely to keep you reading through to the end. The mysterious, seemingly superhuman, "Benjamin Effect", will also keep you intrigued.

Overall a writing style suited for younger teenagers, combined with a lot of adult themes, makes for a novel that I find quite hard to recommend reading for pleasure. On the other hand the plentiful psychological themes, makes this an ideal book for a student book review. Young writers would also benefit, from looking at what works and what doesn't in this ambitious novel.

==================

For anyone also interested in a non fiction book about an individual's experience of blindness, I can recommend "Emma and I" by Sheila Hocken.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll love the characters, you'll be engrossed in their story, 13 Nov 2013
By 
K. J. Noyes "Katy Noyes" (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: She Is Not Invisible (Hardcover)
Coincidentally (irony intended) I only read J.W. Ironmonger's 'The Coincidence Authority' within the last fortnight. A very different take on the subject of coincidence, chance and synchronicity is the talented Sedgwick's latest, for a teenage audience.

Skipping around in time, we find ourselves at the airport with Laureth, 16, abducting her 7-year-old brother Benjamin and his toy raven Stan. They are travelling to New York to find their missing father. jack Peak is a popular writer, once known for his funny books, now obsessed with the subject of coincidence and the number 354. It might be a straightforward 'quest' story, but it's not. Laureth is blind. She needs Benjamin to be her eyes on their journey. She has no idea where her father is in the city, only that his writer's notebook has been found there and a reward sought, starting Laureth's determination to find her dad.

It's one of those books that's hard to describe. To describe in any more detail the plot would spoil the marvellous events that happen. We get to see Jack Peak's notes as Laureth and Benjamin try to piece together clues as to his whereabouts. We also get little insights into Laureth's dark world and how she copes with it.

It's a very entertaining read that had me racing to finish in a day. I really admire the ideas and writing of Sedgwick, each book completely different. This would be a superb book for a teenage Book Club to discuss (and comes with ready made readers' notes in the back).
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and Intriguing, 28 Oct 2013
By 
This review is from: She Is Not Invisible (Hardcover)
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I am a big Marcus Sedgwick fan so expected a lot of this novel. Where it succeeds brilliantly is in giving us a real insight into what it must be like to be blind, so much so that you actually feel that sense of continually groping to find things other sighted people take for granted. The characterisation is excellent. Laureth - the blind character, and Benjamin,her seven-year-old brother who acts as her eyes when they run away to New York, are both very believable. Where the book is not so strong for me is in the notebooks of their father, the writer Jack Peak. As he rightly points out, other people's coincidences are not as exciting as your own. Although I wanted to engage with all the material in Jack Peak's writer's notebook, I found myself inclined to skip over it to get to the main action of the plot. Although the notebook informed, it also seemed to interrupt the narrative.Some of it I thought a seven year old boy would have a lot of trouble reading out. I also found the explanation for Jack Peak's disappearance a bit of an anticlimax - these you would think would spoil my enjoyment....

BUT this book asks lots of questions about writing - such as how much of a coincidence is too much when creating a believable plot,and should a writer write to please himself or his fans? So any perceived weaknesses in the writing are reflected back to the reader as questions about what makes a successful novel.I thoroughly recommend this as a book which will make you think, and even better, make you ask questions about books and the nature of coincidence.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for all ages but maybe a little rushed at the end, 15 Jan 2014
By 
Arkgirl (North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: She Is Not Invisible (Hardcover)
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Puzzles, mystery, an introduction to some psychology and some lovely twists this is definitely a book I would recommend to any young adults as fun, engaging and well told. Laureth and her brother, Benjamin, are heading to New York because an important notebook of her writer father has been discovered there ... but where is he and why isn't he responding to her texts? The story of Laureth and her brother's journey is interspersed with pages from her dad's notebook; the book introduces us to his fascination with the idea of coincidence/co-inky-dinks.
You quickly become engaged with their story and it is a fast paced plot but it is the 16 year old Laureth who is the main focus and she is a great character. The story does end rather quickly and I would have liked a little more depth to the ending but overall I feel Sedgwick has created a great story for most ages but slightly more YA than top primary as there are a couple of scenes [aggressive sexist banter in a bar and a hint of a proposed rape] that mean I would feel slightly uncomfortable recommending to a 10/11 year old although it would probably just go over there heads.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars top class children's writing ?, 26 Dec 2013
By 
C. Bones "surreyman" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: She Is Not Invisible (Hardcover)
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I'm an adult reviewing a children's book so please take that into account. As usual when reading some other reviews I wonder if I've read the same book. There is a professional reviewer who is quoted as saying that it is only at the end of the book that the seven episodic plots are pulled together and that all becomes clear. Well I must have missed all of that. Seven episodic plots ? Everything is revealed at the end ? That's not how my copy read.

This is a good adventure yarn concerning the unlikely hunt for their father by a blind girl and her young brother. So we get the twin dramas of Laureth and Benjamin struggling to survive in an alien landscape (New York) plus the mystery of why their dad has disappeared. The coincidence thing is sort of thrown in as something to think about while the story unfolds. It ultimately doesn't have any bearing on the outcome.

I would think this is top class writing for children. An unusual plot, always plenty going on and the ideas around coincidence are there for the reader to get involved with or not as the fancy takes. This is the first Marcus Sedgwick book that I have read but I can see why he is so popular.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sedgwick fans won't be disappointed., 25 Dec 2013
By 
Fiona Millar "cookiemum" (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: She Is Not Invisible (Hardcover)
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There's a lot to like about this book - the writing is Sedgwick's usual high standard, and the plot and it's running thread about coincidence and how much of the truth writers tell, is compelling. Unfortunately the one thing I really didn't like was the main character, Laureth.
Worried about her missing father and the mysterious appearance of his notebook in a country he's not supposed to be in, she spends the majority of the book making frankly stupid decisions, whilst dragging her increasingly tired and hungry 7yr old brother around in taxis, because she's blind and therefore needs his help. It meant that while I was interested in the story and wanted to know where her father was and the meaning of his notebook ramblings, I was in equal measure frustrated by Laureth's refusal to employ common sense. Her brother Benjamin was a more interesting and sympathetic character, as was Michael Walker, who finds their father's notebook.
I'd certainly recommend this to Sedgwick fans, but I'd have liked it a lot better with a warmer protagonist.

The book also continually refers to her blindness and how others treat her because of it, but the first person narrative often just sounds like someone with a chip on their shoulder
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leaves you thinking about it after you have finished the last page for days, 27 Nov 2013
By 
S. A. Broadhurst "SBroadhurst" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: She Is Not Invisible (Hardcover)
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This is the first Marcus Sedgewick book that I have read and really enjoyed. The main character is a young girl who is blind and she kidnaps her younger brother. They travel to New York to find their father who is missing. It is a story of their adventure along the way, but it is so much more than this. To tell anymore of the storyline would spoil it for readers who will keep turning the pages to find out what happens when they promised themselves just one more chapter.
It is one which will enjoyed by young adults and parents alike. A must this Christmas time!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Great Book, 4 Nov 2013
By 
L. Hardt (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: She Is Not Invisible (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Laureth ("it's Welsh") and her little brother Benjamin set off to New York to find their father. Their adventure is thrilling and intriguing, involving a mysterious recurring number and a slightly supernatural ability to mangle the minds of machines.

Sedgwick weaves in a number of interesting ideas, touching on Einstein, Jung and Poe, all wrapped up in the exploits of the two unusual young people and the characters they meet. At its heart, there is the tale of a family possibly teetering on the brink, and a writer struggling with his own story.

There is a subtlety to Sedgwick's writing - the heavy emotional stuff is downplayed somewhat for the exciting stuff to take centre stage. But that doesn't stop his characters sparkling with charisma, often exposing their hidden depths. There is also a playful enjoyment of esoteric codes and hidden messages, which makes for an alluring read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Omg omg omg, 17 Oct 2013
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This book is so good it had me on edge towards the. It talk lot about coincidence which just gives me this thrill and a shiver down my back. Anyone Will love this

-best reviewer
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She Is Not Invisible
She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick (Hardcover - 3 Oct 2013)
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