Reviews for Invisibility
Booklist Reviews 2013 May #1
Since birth Stephen has been invisible--the result, perhaps, of an arcane curse. "I am like a ghost who's never died," he thinks wistfully. And like a ghost, he remains unseen until the day he encounters the abrasive Elizabeth, newly moved to New York from Minnesota. "She sees me," he thinks, amazed. And yes, the two fall in love. But what about that curse? How is it that Elizabeth is the only one who can see him? It must mean something, but what? And, most important, can the curse be broken? Questions abound in this enigmatic mash-up of fantasy and romance set in contemporary real-world Manhattan. If there are sometimes too many coincidences and plot conveniences, the collaboration of Levithan and Cremer creates a seamless narrative that, after a slow start, picks up appreciably as answers begin to emerge right up to the equivocal ending that suggests a sequel. And that's good news for the many readers who will be left eagerly waiting for the story to continue. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: With two New York Times best-selling authors behind it, this title will almost sell itself, but a major marketing push has already generated anticipation well beyond the collaborators' already vast fan base. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Fifth grader PJ McGee fancies himself a private investigator like he believes his absent father to be. In these books of letters and drawings to his father, apparent crimes arise at school. PJ volunteers to solve the cases, missing every clue in the process, but, predictably, getting it right in the end. A suitable new series for fans of the Wimpy Kid books. [Review covers these titles: Clueless McGee and Clueless McGee and the Inflatable Pants.]
Kirkus Reviews 2013 April #2
A story of doomed love on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Sixteen-year-old Stephen has been invisible—literally—all his life and spends most of his time watching television or wandering through Central Park, alone and depressed. No one in his life has been able to see him, so he's totally taken aback when a spunky teen girl in his building, Elizabeth, spots him in the hall. A schmaltzy love story between the two ensues, enlivened by the added friendship of her younger, gay brother, Laurie, who may be the most fleshed-out character in the novel. The novel stumbles at first as Cremer and Levithan work to build their world together, introducing some minor plot contrivances that are tied up eventually (clothes conveniently disappear when Stephen puts them on, for example). Things pick up quickly, however, at the halfway mark, when the trio learns more about Stephen's situation. From there on, the novel races forward with lots of supernatural action, complete with witches, curses, spells, a villain and much more. Though it begins as a stumbling, near–coming-out story (for Stephen), the novel deftly switches gears to a fast-paced supernatural thriller that will surely leave readers wanting more. This love child of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Levithan's Every Day (2012) is surprisingly successful in the end. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 March #3
Levithan (Every Day) and Cremer (the Nightshade series) again prove themselves masters of their craft in a story that alternates between Elizabeth and Stephen, two 16-year-olds in New York City, caught up in a family curse that unites and threatens them. Stephen is invisible; not even his parents have ever seen him. His father left years ago, and after his mother dies of an aneurysm, Stephen is left alone and isolated in his Manhattan apartment. One year later, a girl named Elizabeth moves into the building--having fled Minnesota after her younger brother was badly beaten for being gay--and sees Stephen. The inventive, enrapturing story that follows involves spellseekers and a curse-casting grandfather, but Stephen's and Elizabeth's journey is largely about redemption, self-acceptance, and love. The authors hit all the right notes, from the wry humor of Elizabeth's brother to the protectiveness Elizabeth and Stephen feel for each other. Cremer and Levithan make Stephen's invisibility something every reader can relate to, and therein lies the magic. Ages 12-up. Agent: (for Cremer) Richard Pine and Charlie Olsen, Inkwell Management; (for Levithan) Bill Clegg, William Morris Endeavor. (May) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC
School Library Journal Reviews 2013 June
Gr 8 Up--Stephen has always been (quite literally) invisible. For 16 years, no one, not even his own mother, has seen him. Alone since her death a year ago, he spends his time as an outsider, observing the lives of others in New York City who don't know he exists, so it comes as quite a shock when his new neighbor, Elizabeth, sees him and speaks to him directly. She is the only one who has ever seen him, and together they set out to discover the truth about the curse that has plagued him. Cremer and Levithan craft a tale of love and magic in their first collaborative effort. Told in alternating first-person voices, the novel allows readers to get to know each character's hopes and doubts, but it's Stephen who truly carries the story. Filled with conflicting emotions, he comes across as an authentic teen who just happens to be invisible. Elizabeth, by comparison, isn't as well developed and seems detached-even after she learns that she has latent magical abilities. Although they are immediately attracted to each other, the deep love they quickly feel seems rather unbelievable in a story in which readers are also asked to accept that cursecasters, spellseekers, and invisibility are real. This is a promising contemporary romance with elements of magical realism, but ultimately the story is overwhelmed by its own ambitions, becoming just another work of paranormal fiction.--Audrey Sumser, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Mayfield, OH [Page 118]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
VOYA Reviews 2013 June
Sixteen years ago, Stephen was born invisible and has lived lonely and alone in Manhattan since his mother died last year. When Elizabeth's family moves into the apartment two doors down, she is the first person who can see him. The two form a quick connection that feels a lot like love, and Elizabeth vows to help Stephen break his invisibility curse. Together they learn that Stephen's grandfather, the dangerous and malicious Maxwell Arbus, is a cursecaster; Elizabeth is a spellseeker who may be able to siphon off curses; and the good and bad luck in the world is not as random as it seems. As the cursecaster's hold on New York City expands and intensifies, Elizabeth and Stephen decide they must hunt him down, even at the risk of their own lives Stephen's solemn voice is tempered well against Elizabeth's feisty one, and both contrast nicely against Laurie, Elizabeth's witty and supportive brother. The pace of the first seventy-five pages is slow to moderate, but once the trio sets out to discover how to break the curse, they propel the novel forward in a unique and action-oriented direction. The rules of the cursecasters and spellseekers are clear and well enforced, and the end is satisfying although huge fans will clamor for a sequel. The authors' well known names in the shelves of young adult fiction will make this a popular choice for teens. Pair with Holly Black's Curse Workers series for more urban curses.--Deena Viviani 4Q 5P J S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.