“Most days drift by like clouds. Others burn deep into your life and make a blister, like a bright white moon in a black night sky. And you’re left wondering, forever.
Then, I might as well have been invisible for all Dad and Amy cared. They’d been busy making massive decisions about my life without even thinking about me, or bothering about how I might feel. They’d obviously been plotting and planning for weeks, whispering under the covers at night, painting the walls of our flat with lies.”
In 24 hours Gabriella Midwinter’s life has drastically changed. She has lost her home, her dad, her best friend and her school. She finds herself moving to Manchester and somehow alone. She tries to focus on the good things but after losing everything all she can think about is finding her brother Beckett. But how can she even start to do that when she hasn’t even got a home as a starting point?
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Invisible Girl and I didn’t quite realise that is would be as serious as it was… it just goes to show that you cannot judge a book by its cover and whilst it wasn’t my usual type of read I did find it interesting and compelling.
The story is so sad. Gabriella is only twelve and has already had a rough life but once her dads new girlfriend gets her claws dug right in there is no longer any room for Gabriella, she is truly invisible. She has to move to Manchester to live with her mum but her Dad pretty much abandons her and as she’s terrified of her mum, so she pretty much doesn’t want to go there. Instead Gabriella ends up wandering the street of Manchester alone, and is taking under the care of an older street kid. I didn’t realise until I started reading that is was Gabriella who ended up living on the streets, thinking it was her brother, and the story is full of impact because of the events leading up to that.
The characters were fantastically written and I have to commend Kate Maryon for that. Gabriella was incredibly naive and I did think that for someone who had gone through so much she was a little young for her age, but I did like her and I felt for her. Her parents, Amy and her mum’s husband were all awful and I hated them all, but you were meant to really. I was really conflicted when it came to her dad because he wasn’t all bad… he was just weak and kinda pathetic. I didn’t trust Henny but loved Tia and I loved most of the adults that Gabriella came across.
There were a few things that I didn’t like in the book and mostly these were the references. I fail to believe that a 12 year old nowadays would know what the Little House on the Prairie was as the TV show is long over and the books aren’t that popular…. I also thought that the story was a little predictable and whilst I liked the end, it was all a bit nice-y nice.
I think that Invisible Girl is the type of book that needs to be read by younger teens to help them understand certain things about life and whilst it didn’t completely win me over I can definitely see its merits and I honestly believe that at 13 or 14 I would have adored it.
Invisible Girl was published on June 6th by HarperCollins Children’s Books. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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