Tuesday, February 25, 2014

She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

This cover gives the
impression of a historical
ghost story. It is not
either of those things.
Marcus Sedgwick's writing is kind of hit and miss for me. It's not easy to say why, just a bad fit for my tastes. Usually, I like some aspects and dislike others within the same book. I've read five so far (mostly because they were chosen by my YA book group), and Revolver was the one I liked best, with some reservations. (See my review here.)

She Is Not Invisible is different. I loved everything about it: the two main protagonists, 16-year-old Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin; their clandestine departure from England to New York in search of their missing father, a writer; the vividly detailed setting; the power of obsession; the clues; the stylistic recurrence of number 354; and the subject of coincidence.

"Coincidences in fiction just do not work. And even in real life, they tend to fall into two sorts. The ones that are so pathetic that they don't excite anyone but you, and the ones that are so incredible that they are literally just that; unbelievable."

I learned a new word (always a plus): "Apophenia is a fancy word, but all it means is that thing we all have inside us, a desire, a tendency, a need in fact, to spot patterns. The human mind is very good at spotting patterns. It's an evolutionary development."

The human mind is also very good at creating connections where none exist. What is real? What is pure coincidence? She Is Not Invisible is a quick and intriguing read. The questions it leaves are the very best part.

Readalike: Picture Me Gone (Meg Rosoff).

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