Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Blog Tour: Invisible by Cecily Anne Paterson (Book Review and Giveaway!)

Title: Invisible
Author: Cecily Anne Paterson

About the Book: Jazmine Crawford doesn’t make decisions. She doesn’t make choices. She doesn’t make friends. Jazmine Crawford only wants one thing: to be invisible.

For Jazmine, it’s a lot easier to take out her hearing aid and drift along in life pretending that nothing’s wrong than it is to admit that she’s heartbroken about her dad dying. She’s been drifting and ignoring her over-worried mum for four years now. But something’s got to give – and soon.

When bad girl Shalini and her mates adopt Jazmine, she follows along without thinking but quickly finds herself part of their plan to vandalise the drama classroom. Jazmine manages to save the key prop, a jewelled headdress, before drama teacher Miss Fraser walks in to find a room full of destruction. Later, sitting in disgrace in the principal’s office, Jazmine is offered a choice: become a ‘runner’ for Miss Fraser in the upcoming production of The Secret Garden or face a three week suspension and a permanent mark on her record.

It’s Miss Fraser who clinches the decision. “I believe in you Jazmine,” she says. “I know you can do this.” And Jazmine, terrified, disbelieving and elated all at the same time, joins the play and leaves her invisible life behind.

For a while it’s all good. Writing in the new journal that Miss Fraser gives her connects her to the memories she has of her father. Drama star and chocolate lover Liam is friendly and Jazmine realises that making friends, talking to her mother and feeling her emotions isn’t as scary as she thought. In the play, Jazmine becomes the prompter and a stand in and discovers to her amazement that she loves the stage and has a natural talent for acting. In a final happy twist of fate, acting diva Angela breaks both her ankles and with only a week before the curtain goes up, Miss Fraser asks Jazmine to take on the main role of Mary.

But it’s not quite as good as it seems. Jazmine is still fearful and doesn’t want to give too much away. She can’t quite believe that Liam likes her, and is worried that if people knew what she was really like, they wouldn’t want to be her friend.

But then Shalini returns from her suspension. In her mind, she has been betrayed. She’s out for payback, and she expects that Jazmine is going to do what she’s told, or else she just might expose her greatest secret...

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My Thoughts:  This was a good read and really made me think about the choices that people make.  I liked Jazmine, even though I was frustrated with her at times.  I lost my dad at 17 after a short illness, so I understand why she wanted to turn off all her feelings and her emotions.  Since she was only 9 when her dad died, and he died suddenly, there would be no time to prepare for the emotions that you would have.  Her mom was dealing with her own demons regarding his death and so was not a strong support for her daughter during this time.  She actually gave her daughter the idea to not share her problems with other people.

It was hard for me to picture the kids in this book being just 12-13 years old.  To me it read more like it was high school kids.  Maybe I am just kidding myself to think that 12 year olds can't be as mean or destructive as Shalini - but having had 2 girls go through middle school already - and only recently hearing some of the bullying that went on - I guess I should pull my head out of the sand.

Miss Fraser was great for Jazmine - just giving her the confidence that she needed (which it sounds like she did for all the kids - not just Jazmine).  It was the boost that Jazmine needed at just the right time to start to live again.

The play that Jazmine was involved in was The Secret Garden and I loved the way the author compared Jazmine to Mary through out the book.  Jazmine even starts her own garden and through it helps to feel alive again. 

As I mentioned, I got frustrated with Jazmine at times, especially after Shalini came back and she wouldn't tell anyone that she was being bullied by her. I get why kids don't tell, because they are not mature enough to see the big picture and only think that by telling that things will get worse for them.  Jazmine even thought that her new friends wouldn't want to have anything to do with her if they find out that she had been a part of Shalini's destructive behavior. So rather than tell them the truth, she tries to keep it all a secret, and in so doing starts to push them away herself.

All in all this was a quick read and I would recommend it to any middle grade/high school student who has felt like they were alone, that they didn't fit in, or has been a victim of bullying.  I liked that Jazmine started making choices in the end, even if they terrified her.  She chose to live.
~I received a complimentary ecopy of Invisible from Reading Away the Days Blog Tours in exchange for my unbiased review.~

About the author:  Cecily Anne Paterson is what they call a TCK, or a third culture kid, which basically means she grew up overseas and has some weird issues. Now she’s a mostly normal Australian living in a small town in New South Wales, although her four children don’t wouldn’t necessarily agree with the mostly normal bit. She’s been an editor, a communications officer, an ESL teacher and now a writer. Her ambition is to write two young adult books a year for the next ten years.

Connect with the author:
Cecily Anne Paterson
Her blog - Cecily. Mostly

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traveler said...

A captivating and profound novel which is unique. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

The story sounds terrific.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Cecily Anne said...

Hi, and thanks for your kind review. I enjoyed writing Invisible, and I have to agree with you: I also got frustrated with Jazmine because she wouldn't tell anyone about what was going on. I remember being 13 and keeping some secrets which, looking back now, seem completely ridiculous. If I'd just said something about X and Y and Z, the problem would have been solved. But there's something about being 13 which makes embarrassment or the fear of the possibility of rejection so much bigger than the problem itself! I see it in my own kids - who'd prefer to be cold than wear a jacket that other kids aren't wearing. I'm glad you enjoyed the book. And I've just finished my next book... can't wait.

Maureen said...

I think it looks like a story with a young woman who needs to find some happiness in life.

ossmcalc said...

I would love to read this book as it is the story of a young lady who needs to find some happiness in her life - just like so many young people today.



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