03 August 2013

Review: Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

Pages: 358 (hardcover)

Published: 7 May 2013 by Philomel

Genre/s: YA, Paranormal, Romance

Source: Own library


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.

My Thoughts

I'm going to warn you in advance - this will be a ranty review.  And not because Invisibility was terribly bad, but because I was terribly disappointed. I mean, David Levithan is an author who cemented his place on my very small auto-buy list with just ONE book - Every Day.  Now, I know, I shouldn't really compare one book against the other, but when you hold an author in such high esteem, it's nearly impossible not to do so.  

The basic plot is intriguing, if not necessarily completely my cup of tea.  But I'm an open minded kinda reader, there's very little I won't read, and there have been a few paranormal romance-type books that I've enjoyed immensly. After all, how bad could it be?

Firstly, lets start with the romance.  There's very little more to say than it's insta-love, to be frank.  Stephen and Elizabeth meet, and after an undisclosed amount of time (which can't be longer than 2-3 weeks), they are IN LOVE.  With capital letters.  We're talking die-for-each other kinda love, which, I'm sorry, doesn't happen within a matter of weeks, especially at sixteen and I do not want it in books I read.  Ever.

Now, if they were both fabulous characters that I felt an awesome connection to and wanted nothing more than a happily ever after, I probably could have overlooked this flaw - I did with Every Day and I LOVED that book.  I hugged it for fucks sake.  But neither Elizabeth, and to a lesser extent, Stephen, are characters I wanted to cheer from the sidelines.  Elizabeth has the makings of a great character - she wants to be a comic book writer, she's got artistic talent to the eyeballs and shes dedicated to her younger brother, Laurie.  However, somewhere along the way she seems to have misplaced a very important part of her character - a personality.  Stephen is much the same, there's just not much substance there - yes, he's invisible, his life is hard, but why not turn it around and make him some daring adverturer who sneaks into clubs or onto airplanes or just SOMETHING other than moping about.  

There is only one character that held this whole thing together, and that was Elizabeth's younger brother, Laurie.  He's at the heart of the reason her family moves to New York and unlike the main characters, he has personality to the eyeballs.  It should have been HIS crush that was invisible, dammit.  Or him - in fact, although he's a secondary character, he's got the personality that would have made Stephen far more likable.

The paranormal aspect is actually the one thing that saved me from DNFing the whole shebang, and although it didn't feel exceptionally well done (and the climax seemed way too quick to me), the actual premise of spellseekers and cursecasters was different from other paranormal novels that I've read recently.  

The writing worked for me for the most part, and felt more like the high-side of middle-of-the-road but there was none of the Levithan quote-fests that I've come to know and love, and there were some parts that I just wanted over and done with and others that I really enjoyed.

Overall, although Invisibility wasn't a book for me, I can see how it would appeal to other readers, particularly those who enjoy a unique plot more so than characters than can fall head over heels in love with.  

Just one more thought and then my rant is over - screw you, expectations, screw you.


  1. I don't know if I should even try this one. The basic premise doesn't really appeal to me and the talk of insta-love in the reviews I've read have turned me off even more. Sorry you were disappointed in it, Kat. I hate when I'm so looking forward to one of my favorite author's works and it's not what I wanted.

  2. Well this is sad to hear! "However, somewhere along the way she seems to have misplaced a very important part of her character - a personality." I can't handle people like this in real life. I certainly don't want to read about one. Boring.

  3. It sucks when you're going into a book with high expectations and it can't life up to them... Sorry the book didn't work for you, and by your mention of insta-love... it wouldn't work for me either!

  4. Oh no! I loved Every Day and thought Levithan a must buy after that as well....so sorry to hear that this disappointed!

  5. I'll say Invisibility was close to terribly bad. LOL.

    Instalove for sure. But they're meant to be because she's the only one who can see him! Ummm, no. Screw this romance. Your review is so much like my review that I am giggling. Seriously, Stephen, DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR SUPERPOWER.

    Lol and I also thought that Laurie was the only good character.

    What really pissed me off: that there was never a reason why she could see Stephen. Her magic didn't explain diddly. It's like they weren't even trying.

  6. Damned expectations get in the way every. single. time. It's so disappointing to hear that our man, Levithan, didn't quite deliver this time around. I've actually seen that a lot of reviewers ended up disappointed with this one. Perhaps this is a book that gears moire towards a younger audience? Either way, the super-mega-insta-love is NOT my cup of tea.



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