Monday, April 29, 2013

Review: Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

Invisibility
by Andrea Cremer and David Levitan
Publisher: Penguin
Publication date: May 7, 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
ARC provided in exchange for unbiased review
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Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life — because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible — because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth.
I have enjoyed David Levithan’s previous works and so I was excited to read Invisibility his collaboration with Andre Cremer. He takes his readers on a journey that leaves them in awe at the close of the book(s). From magic, to romance to friendship I was completely caught up in the tale and its characters. While I clearly heard Levithan’s voice throughout the novel, I was equally impressed by Cremer and look forward to explore more of her works.  Invisibility is a book to be both devoured and savored.

The tale begins when we meet a single mom and her two teenage children as they move into an apartment building in NYC. Recently relocated from Minnesota they are fragile and rebuilding their lives after a vicious hate crime tore their family apart. Laurie is attending summer school, Mom is adjusting to her new job and that leaves Elizabeth to unpack the apartment. While trying to open the door and unload packages she spies Stephen and no one is more surprised that she can see him, then Stephen. Stephen was born invisible; no one not even his mother has ever seen him. The tale that unfolds is filled with romance, danger and acceptance.

The tale is told in dual POV’s going back and forth between chapters giving us an intimate look into the minds of Elizabeth and Stephen. Elizabeth is struggling after her brother’s attack and betrayal from people in her life. She immediately connects with Stephen, and while at first it felt a little like insta-love the romance settled and gained more substance. She is really trying to discover herself or reinvent herself and we see this from simple things like trying to change her name to the way she is drawn to Stephen. While I didn’t always agree with her, I understood what drove her. She has moments of kick-ass-ery which I adored, she can be selfish and in the next moment put others ahead of herself. In a nut-shell she is complicated, and felt fleshed-out and genuine. Stephen is strong, an island unto himself and doesn’t realize how lonely his existence has been until Elizabeth and her world collide with his. A part of him embraces all of it and another wants to keep a bubble around himself and Elizabeth. Their romance was pure, slow, tender, and bittersweet. You cannot help but wish them a happy ending. Laurie is a shining star, an optimist and a survivor. He is there for both of them and I adored this young man. Millie, Saul and Stephen’s grandfather help us understand the curse and magical aspects of the tale and added to the overall suspense.

Invisibility is a tale you want to savor, and the tale flows beautifully. It’s the type of book where you slide right into the world, look up and realize you’ve consumed a hundred or more pages. I did not find myself rushing towards the conclusion and instead basked in the unfolding of the tale. The curse, spellbinders, spellcasters and cursecasters were all fascinating. The authors did an excellent job of providing enough history to make it feel plausible and yet I craved more. I loved the descriptive style used to describe the curses afflicting victims and the way Elizabeth was able to see them. There are intense battles, and scenes which were vividly described and I felt like I was right there in the middle of it all. There were lessons to be learned, questions to be asked and ideas to be pondered as I weaved further into the tale. The ending gives us both resolution and unanswered questions but most of all hope. Another book could easily be created and this tale continued or the author(s) can leave us to create our own idea of happily-ever-after.

For fans of Levithan’s Every Day, Invisibility is a must read. If you are seeking an original paranormal with fleshed-out characters that will make you ponder some of life’s biggest questions then this book is for you. Andrea Creamer is the author of the popular NightShade series and I look forward to exploring more of her works.  

Four and half cups of NYC finest coffee out of five
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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54 Comments:

At July 17, 2013 at 10:07 PM , Anonymous Barbara Walker said...

This was on my maybe-list and now it's on my must-list. :) I still haven't gotten around to Every Day, but I just remembered Levithan co-wrote Dash and Lily's Book of Dares with Rachel Conn, so I can at least say I've read *something* by him. Wonderful review, sweetie!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:32 PM , Anonymous Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Wow! This really sounds like a book for me. Especially when you said: "If you are seeking an original paranormal with fleshed-out characters that will make you ponder some of life’s biggest questions then this book is for you." Uh, yea.. it's for me then! :D

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:54 PM , Anonymous Trish Hannon said...

Already on my wish list, I'm even more anxious to get it now. Paranormal with great characters and thought provoking ideas, sounds like a must read soon.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:54 PM , Anonymous Trish Hannon said...

David, I havn't read anything by Andrea yet but I will :-)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:00 PM , Anonymous Sharon - Obsession with Books said...

Wow, the premise for this one sounds really interesting! I have a copy of Every Day but still need to read it & I'm yet to read Cremer as well.

A great review! :-)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Every Day made my list of top 12 YA reads for 2012!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous Maja (The Nocturnal Library) said...

I'll definitely give this one a try just to see how well Cremer and Levithan function together, but to be honest, there's just something about his books that doesn't work for me. Everyone but me liked Every Day, and I suspect that might be the case with Invisibility as well. Still, I can't help but hope things will be different this time.
Lovely review!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh, yeah this has the same flow as Every Day, but I think the dual pov's made this different. It happens, there are books peeps love that I DNF'd or thought meh? I will hope for a sunny outcome:)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous Lauren said...

I love both Andrea's Nightshade series and Levithan's books, especially Every Day. I'm thrilled to hear you loved this, I'm planning on tackling my ARC this weekend *hopefully.* I plan on savoring it like you said, so the weekend just makes sense. :-) Lovely review!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Enjoy Lauren, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous Cricket said...

I'm going to have to read this one. Great Review!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Cricket have a great night :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

*nods head* ooh I say that daily!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh you need to read Every Day, thanks Barb!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous candacerobinson said...

Oh YAY! I have been SO eager to read this one! I'm very excited to read your good review! I want to drop everything and start reading right now!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Ooh I hope you enjoy it as much as I did :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous Jennifer Bielman said...

Um Wow, I love the concept. So original. And the characters sound great too. So happy you loved it. I guess I have to add to my wish-list again. lol.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

huge David fan here, and it was cool

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard said...

I've been on the shelf about this one, but your description of the characters, and how you describe "sliding into the world", are winning me over. And it is indeed an original paranormal in a field of (way too many) vampires and werewolves and a growing population of mermaids. ;-)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I could not believe how quickly I fell down the rabbit hole with this one, the tale flowed wonderfully for me

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous Jessica@a GREAT read said...

Great review!! I am curious about this one! I come from the opposite of you in this sense. I have read and enjoyed Andrea but have yet to read any of David's books! Cannot wait to read this one for myself soon!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh Jessica I will be curious to see what you think as a Cremer fan :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Toni, have you read either author before?

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous Toni @ My Book Addiction said...

No, I haven't.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

hope you enjoy it Catherine:)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous Catherine said...

Thanks...and I'm also adding Every Day to the list based on all the comments :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

yeah from the power of the curses, to relationships it was all there:P

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous Heidi said...

I have not tried either of these authors, yet but I do have Everyday scheduled sometime this summer. So happy to hear that this collaboration worked! I will definitely try and check it out.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

oh yes Christy and I will insist you read Every Day..LOL

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:10 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I love dual POV's too Ellen, you so need to read Every Day by David!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:10 PM , Anonymous GRgenius said...

DEFINITELY on my wish list. Sounds great! ^_^

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:10 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

hope you enjoy it :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:10 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

hope you do and eek gads woman go snag a copy of Every Day it made my top ten last year!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:10 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh how exciting I am jelly!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:10 PM , Anonymous Christa said...

I love David Levithan and I love books that make you forget the world around you. It's been too long since I've read a book like that. Very excited to read this book.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:10 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I really liked that I lost track of time and the story just transitioned like a movie in my mind as I read.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:10 PM , Anonymous Toni @ My Book Addiction said...

This sounds excellent! Adding to my TBR right now. Thank you for the great review :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:10 PM , Anonymous Michelle@ Book Briefs said...

Wow! How did I now know about these two authors working together. I am so out of the book loop lately. But this looks AWESOME! Great review Kimba. Thanks so much for bringing this book to my attention. It makes me want to break my book buying ban and preorder a copy!

Hope all is well with you :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh well if you love both authors, you made need to go to the library then if you are on a ban...god love ya I could never do it..LOL

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM , Anonymous Kat (AussieZombie) said...

Ah this sounds so good - I'm a huge fan of David Levithan's solo work, so I'm excited to hear this one has all the emotions! Great review!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh Kat if you loved David like I love David I think you will enjoy this, his voice was very clear.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM , Anonymous brandileigh2003 said...

The magic and friendship make me want to read this even more. I haven't read anything by Leviathan but I want to read this one and some of his other stuff as well. I am so drawn to the dual POV as well, because it gives a more rounded picture and there is no guessing what the other is thinking/feeling

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I really like dual POV's especially when they transition well and bring out the characters.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM , Anonymous Nick said...

This sounds like a really good book, Kim. I haven't read anything by David Levithan, but I've heard wonderful things about his writing. It's good to know that this presents something original in the YA paranormal genre. Love the sound of the characters and the romance. Definitely going to be on the look-out for this one at my library!
Lovely review, Kim!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

you haven't read Every Day *gasps* We need to fix that, stat!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM , Anonymous Catherine said...

This sounds like a fantastic read! Putting it on my TBR immediately!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM , Anonymous kindlemom1 said...

I am so relieved you loved this one because I really want to read it but I haven't seen a whole lot about it yet (which I am sure with the release date around the corner that will change here soon).
Great review! I can't wait to savor this one! ;)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

*happy dance*

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh hope you enjoy it, I really like David's writing style.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I will say, I looked today and reviews are all over the dang place, but I really like David's writing style and the characters connected for me..hope you enjoy it!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM , Anonymous Christy (Love of Books) said...

This is the first and only review I'm going to read for this book until after I've read it. And I'm going to read SOON. I'm already trying to fit it into my May schedule.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh my the pressure! Well you know I have mad love for David's writing style!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM , Anonymous Jenny Zemanek said...

So glad you enjoyed this one Kimba! I had a few small issues with it, but overall I really enjoyed both Elizabeth and Stephen. Stephen in particular got to me, his opening chapters just about broke my heart and I could feel the loneliness pouring off him. I hope David and Andrea decide to pair up again in the future, lovely review!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

it wasn't perfect, but I have mad love for David.

 

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