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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review: Transparent by Natalie Whipple

It's one thing to not be noticed by anyone, but to be invisible?

Title: Transparent by Natalie Whipple
Release Date: May 16th 2013
Published by: Hot Key Books
Source: Publisher (Thanks Olivia!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


High school is hard when you're invisible.

Fiona McClean hates her family, has had to move to a new school and seems to be completely invisible to the boy she likes. So far so normal, right? But Fiona really is invisible. She doesn't even know what colour her own hair is.

Born into a world where Cold War anti-radiation pills have caused genetic mutations, Fiona is forced to work for her mind-controlling mobster father as the world's most effective thief. When her father announces she must become a murdering assassin, Fiona and her telekinetic mother make a break for freedom. Running to a small Arizonian town, Fiona finds that playing at 'normal life' with a mother on the edge, a brother she can't trust, and a boy who drives her crazy is as impossible as escaping her father.

Fiona is invisible, which means no one can really see her. If she wasn't wearing clothes you can bump into her, step on her foot and you'll never even know she was there. It's a handy genetic mutation, but if your father is a crime lord, your ability can be useful in a lot of ways you don't expect. Forced to flee when her father wants her to graduate from being a petty thief to a killer, Fiona now struggles to find a place for herself, people to trust, a family she can call her own and finally escape from her father's clutches, but is she strong enough to do so?

Coming from a family with a telekinetic mother, an older brother who can imitate other people's smells, another one who can fly, and a father who can influence women to do whatever he wants, Fiona's had it tough. Her father's a mobster who treats his family members as tools for his trade. It was natural for Fiona to become paranoid and not easily trusting her friends, but it somehow irritates me whenever she doubts every single action her friends do. She's also a stubborn girl with a temper, sometimes a brat as well. But all of these flaws of hers were nothing if you think of her ability: she's invisible, literally. She can be insecure most of the time, she doesn't even know what she looks like! She's a girl who has everything and yet nothing. Her father doesn't love her, her mother was busy getting over her father, and she has an older brother with questionable intentions and a violent tendency. I liked Fiona, ultimately, because despite what her family does, she wants to become normal, someone good, someone ordinary. Just your typical girl who wants to enjoy life and not be the cause of trouble for everyone else.

There's an abundance of people you'd hate and you'd like in this novel, the typical villains and good guys. Seth was one of the male leads with the worst personality I have ever read of. He might be smart, but he's also rude. But he grew on me a little bit, for being so sweet to Fiona, eventually. They were like cats and dogs, always fighting, the worst of enemies. But Seth has a fierce sense of family, eternally kind to his younger brother and can be shy when he wants to. He's the complete opposite of Brady, the cute boy with super strength but with an extremely kind personality. He's the type of guy you can never hate, popular but isolated because of his ability. Much like Bea, who should be everyone's friend. I hated Fiona's older brother, Graham, with a passion that I cannot properly express in words. But that didn't stop me from loving the dynamics in Bea's family. It reminds me of what it's like to be in a big family with such a loving parents and a riot of brothers. Carlos made me laugh out loud!

Transparent had a simple but very engaging plot, and Natalie wrote it in a way that the story is continuously flowing without making the readers lose interest in it at all. The characters go through the difficulties a typical teenager goes through, with or without powers, and readers will be able to relate to every problem Fiona tackles with her family and her pack. The sense of friendship among them was admirable, the romance so sweet though unusual, it just puts a smile on your face, and there's plenty of laughter to go around. This book has plenty of conflicts that will keep the reader entertained, and though it is about a bunch of people with powers, there is surprisingly less action than what you expect in a novel with this theme. It's ingenious how the author wrote this with less explosive scenes, no cars blowing up, no massive destruction or epic explosions yet you will feel that the characters are different from ordinary humans, and you see how they try to cope with life because of their abilities.

What do you do when you've been invisible all your life and you just want to be seen? To live an ordinary life where you wouldn't live in fear of your father, without feeling used, without wondering if those around you are friends or not? Fiona will teach you in this wonderful, engrossing, light, funny and romantic story.

Content (plot, story flow, character):
Before I knew it, I was devouring this novel! I would have given this a 5 were it not for the anticlimactic ending. I was expecting a somewhat strong ending, but still, Natalie wrapped up the story in a very clever way.
Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:
This cover depicts the story better than the US one.


  1. Great review! This actually sounds like a super fun read so I'm all for it. :D

  2. Hi Kai,

    I'm about to review this book and will be giving it 4 Whales because of the ending too :D Glad we're on the same page on this :D


  3. Love reading about invisibility in books. Unfortunately, I think I've only come across one in the YA section, with the exception of this one. Definitely going to check this one out!

  4. This book wasn't really a fave with me but I love this cover so much more than the US version-I really get a feel for Fiona's life as an invisible girl.


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