Published by Roaring Brook Press on October 3rd, 2013
Genres: contemporary, young adult
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Laureth Peak's father is a writer. For years he's been trying, and failing, to write a novel about coincidence. His wife thinks he's obsessed, Laureth thinks he's on the verge of a breakdown. He's supposed to be doing research in Austria, so when his notebook shows up in New York, Laureth knows something is wrong.
On impulse she steals her mother's credit card and heads for the States, taking her strange little brother Benjamin with her. Reunited with the notebook, they begin to follow clues inside, trying to find their wayward father. Ahead lie challenges and threats, all of which are that much tougher for Laureth than they would be for any other 16-year old. Because Laureth Peak is blind.
I was a bit hesitant to start this one, since I read luke-warm reviews regarding this novel, which steered away from his usual theme. However, She Is Not Invisible doesn’t disappoint. Marcus delivers, yet again, a mind blowing adventure while giving full attention to the human factor of a story.
Sedgwick is like your brain on genius crack – there is always something to trip out the deeper parts of your brain, the part you only brought out when it was calculus or chemistry time in school. Fortunately, Sedgwick is magic with keyboards and knowledge, and his delving into something more never bores you out of your mind. He only makes your head hurt with all of the SCIENCE.
Using a blind protagonist is very tricky, since the record tends to show writing for characters with disabilities tends to paint an author in the corner. Some books have beautifully addressed this issue, and while stepping into the mind and thoughts of a character that thinks and functions in a different manner, Blind Girl doesn’t suffer from the lack of research on the author’s end. We are able to “see” the world through someone without sight, but other senses.
The extra layer of discrimination is a perfect touch, not straying from the main concept, but portraying the daily prejudice that exceptional people face every day. It was heartbreaking and uplifting all at once. Lacey addressed the rejection from a possible partner due to her blindness as something that shouldn’t evoke pity, but instead displays this instance to make her point that this occurs so often that she has nothing left inside her to give. She knows it will occur, she knows there is nothing to be done about the thoughts of others, and she takes her bitter medicine with more integrity that I could muster.
True to any Sedgwick novel, the art of math and science plays a very major role in the novel. Probability and coincidence is the key idea tackled in She Is Not Invisible. It took me a while to draw the line between “blind luck” and “blind MC”, but I finally was able to take off the dunce cap once I connected the dots.
The author is able to describe the theory more eloquently than I ever could, since my mind is still reeling over the concepts. Come prepared with your thinking caps on and your mind ready to engage. This novel is going to challenge your brain while coloring a very realistic and eccentric family portrait of an author driven crazy by his obsession with his ideas and a wife teetering close to the edge of DONE.
The only issues I ran into with this novel was that the ending and the events leading up to it seems so cheesy, something I do not expect out of a Sedgwick novel. Out of all of the books I have read by the author, I have yet to come across a theme or event that was silly or wasteful, but statically, I suppose it has to occur.
Another hit from my favorite male author. Go read this novel for a mind-kicking fun time!