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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 pretending that nothing's wrong than it is to admit that she's heartbroken. She starts to come out of her shell when she's forced to be in the school play and even makes friends with bouncy Gabby and chocolate-loving Liam. But can she stand up to the school bully, and is she strong enough to face the truth about what really happened to her dad?
Invisible was a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for 2014.
In this exquisitely written story, 12-year-old Jazmine, who has some hearing loss, is drifting in a self-imposed isolation after the sudden death of her father. Problems at school lead her to working on a production of "The Secret Garden" with an understanding teacher. So far this is a standard plot. Then, Jazmine begins to blossom and make new friends. But the author works within the trope to examine Jazmine as she blunders toward a better life. The writing and pacing are tight, the secondary characters well drawn. The metaphor of deafness as alienation is not overstated. There are also twists that save the story from being mawkish. The garden Jazmine plants dies in an early frost. The bully does not have a tragic reason for being cruel. For those going through teenage angst or those who remember it well, this book explores the fear and confusion beautifully, with a touch of dry humor. Jazmine is not only passing from miserable isolation to happy participation; she is also developing the empathy that comes from paying attention to more than her own misery. This could have been trite and preachy, but the author skillfully turned it into a stunning account of the reinvention of a compelling and sympathetic character.
- Publishers Weekly