Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Opposite of Invisible

Gallagher, Liz. 2008. The Opposite of Invisible.

Some girls have journals. I talk to my poster.

Once you meet Alice, you'll want to either be her, or be her best friend. Okay, maybe I can't safely guarantee that. But I sure did love Alice. When we first meet Alice, we see an invisible girl. Not an outcast, not a loner. But someone usually invisible with the popular people in her school. Her best friend is a guy named Jewel. But he's not just her best friend, in a way he's her only friend. But then Simon enters the picture. He's newish. He's popular. And he notices--really notices--Alice. The more time she spends with Simon, the less time she spends with Jewel. And soon that friendship is threatened. What's a girl to do when two guys want to be with her? When she likes them both?

There is something so right about Gallagher's writing. It's satisfying, appealing, easily accessible. The characters. The storytelling. This one just begs to be read.

He looks at me.
He keeps looking at me. With those eyes.
Then he does something amazing. Puts his fingers under my chin.
Simon Murphy, whose perfect girl had to be a cheerleader. That's what I thought. That's what Jewel and I joked about.
He kisses me. He kisses me with candy still on his lips.
So quickly I'm not sure it really was a kiss.
If it was, it was my first.
My heart is trying to beat itself out of my chest. I hope he can't feel it. I hope he can. My toes are bent up in my shoes.
Then he kisses me again, for real. (43)

And here's her description of her planet wobbling moment with Jewel

Jewel is just ahead of me. I stumble and he turns around to grab my hand. We each have our junk shop bag in one hand, and now we have each other's fingers in the other...Jewel keeps my hand. We let our bags rest on the stone.
Then my planet wobbles.
His hand.
That wanting-to-be-close feeling starts to come over me again. I have the urge to lay my head on Jewel's sweatshirt, on his shoulder. To feel how solid he is.
Did kissing Simon release something in me? Or would I feel this way toward Jewel right now anyway?
As if we're at the slow-motion point in a movie, Jewel reaches across my body to my cheek. He pulls my face toward his. His fingers feel like hot ice. They're cold but they burn me.
My eyes close as he kisses me.
I kiss him back, a dream I've never had.
This kiss is so soft, it's almost like rain falling on my face.
I've never realized the softness of Jewel's hair before.
His skin.
Jewel kissing me, me kissing him, feels like a rocket.
Like blastoff.
Finally, I pull away.
I'm thinking we shouldn't be doing this. I'm thinking it feels too real...
He says "Wow."
I think, Tell me about it.
I think, Have you honed your mind-reading skills yet, 'cause I hope not...(52-53)

I'll leave the rest to your to who she chooses. The Opposite of Invisible is the perfect kind of teen romance. I definitely recommend it.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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