Review & Giveaway: Transparent by Natalie Whipple

TransparentTransparent by Natalie Whipple
Published by: HarperTeen on May 21, 2013
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Science Fiction
Pages: 368
Source: ARC From Publisher
Buy on AmazonBook Details
Rating: ★★★★

Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona's own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona's had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona's father isn't giving up that easily.

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.

Transparent was so much fun! I thought this book sounded awesome, but then I got nervous when I read several ‘meh’ reviews of it. But luckily, I ended up really loving the book!

In some ways, Transparent almost read like a contemporary book. It’s not super heavy on the sci-fi stuff or the world building. A lot of it has to due with a girl running away from her abusive father and trying to fit in at school despite being a bit of an oddball. Fiona is invisible, but that’s not as awesome as it seems. People can’t see her, even if she wants them to. She has no idea what she looks like, people can’t see her body language, they can’t make eye contact with her since they can’t see her eyes, etc. Fiona struggles with accepting this, and the book really made me understand how difficult life must be for her.

I loved nearly all the characters in this book! There are a lot of them, but they all have such unique voices. Bea was an awesome best friend, Carlos was kind of annoying but he was almost so absurd that it was funny, and Seth is a great example of first impressions not always being correct. I like how all the characters played a significant role in the book and everything came together nicely in the end!

“Whatever. I could strip down, break into your house, and kill you before you even woke up.”
Fiona, Transparent by Natalie Whipple

There is a bit of a romance in Transparent but it’s pretty subtle, which is kind of nice. It’s a great compliment to the whole “trying to fit in” part of the book. One of the problems with being invisible is figuring out how a relationship can even work. And Fiona’s understandable trust issues just make it even more complicated! But the romance developed slowly and ended up being a good part of the book! I really enjoyed it!

Transparent by Natalie Whipple - Sometimes you love things that are bad for you

There were a few moments when I was really annoyed with Fiona though. View Spoiler »

Ultimately, I think Transparent’s only downfall is the lack of world building. Because I interpreted Transparent as more of a contemporary book, it didn’t really bother me. But if you go into it expecting loads of information about the powers, how the world works with them, and what the new society rules are, then you might be disappointed. We do get a bit of background information on how the powers came about, but ultimately the book wasn’t exactly overflowing with world building.


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The Verdict


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I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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    1. Yeah, bummer, but it was still a good book! Some nice world building would have made it even better!

  1. It always surprises me to hear people labelling this one as more of a contemporary, considering all of the science fiction themes touched on in the blurb. It seems like such a strange direction to take Transparent, but obviously it’s working for a lot of readers!

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