Friday, May 21, 2010
Invisible Girl by Mary Hanlon Stone
When poor Boston girl Stephanie is abandoned by her abusive mother and taken in by Annie’s Beverly Hills family, she feels anything but home. Her dark complexion and accent stick out like a sore thumb in the golden-hued world of blondes and extravagance. These are girls who seem to live life in fastforward, while Stephanie is stuck on pause. Yet when a new rival moves to town, threatening Annie’s queen-bee status, Stephanie finds herself taking sides in a battle she never even knew existed, and that feeling invisible is a wound that can only be healed by standing up for who she is.
Brilliant newcomer Mary Hanlon Stone delivers a compulsively readable insider’s view of growing up in a world where money and privilege don’t always glitter.
When a publisher goes so far to say the phrase "brilliant newcomer" in correlation with the author's name, you begin to get high hopes. Well, at least I do. So going into this I was expecting well brilliancy or at the least a compelling, captivating read. Though, while I did somewhat receive that, I felt that Invisible Girl wasn't as nearly as fantastic as it could have been.
First, let's start with the aspects I did like; one would be the characters, Stephanie in particular.
Stephanie was a girl that you couldn't help but feel the need or want, perhaps, to save. Since, in her short fourteen years of life she's felt more pain and sadness then most people have in a lifetime. From the lack of love her abusive mother shows to the unwillingness from her father to stand up for his own child, Stephanie feels like she's unwanted and that begins her feelings as an invisible girl.
It was outright compelling to see her journey as she attempted to find her place in this world apart from her worthless parents. It's an absolute given, in my opinion, to say that I was rooting for her because who wouldn't? Plus, I really enjoyed how Ms. Hanlon made her emotions jump right off the page from the start and become a part of you.
While some of her new California friends weren't the greatest out there, a few did manage to shine with one being Amal. Amal is the new girl from the South that quickly falls into the group Stephanie herself had months before, and even though Amal and Stephanie are completely different characters, I still felt that they complemented each other a way that only best friends can. Since through their time as friends, they pulled each other as the other fell down and with that implied they would be there through the good and bad times; something that most don't mind having in a best friend.
Sadly enough, the plot wasn't as nearly as great as the characters. Since because of the lack of a fast pace, I had to push myself to get through parts of this. Also I sometimes felt that Invisible Girl was one story that I've heard before.
With saying that though, Ms. Stone still contained to shine through her characters and writing, which left this to become a mostly venial problem.
The one other aspect that brought this down a couple of grades was the ending. I felt that it anti-climatic and left some key plot points wide open by shoving them aside, which made me somewhat angry. Since, I would have loved to seen more closure. Though, as I think of it, maybe the point of this is to let the reader decide were Stephanie goes next and whether or not she gets her happy ending. (<< highlight to see. It's not really a spoiler, but I don't want anyone mad at me.)
Overall, Invisible Girl is still a stunning book even with the flaws it had.
Lastly, it's a book dealing with a very important issue that needs more light, so with that I'll leave you with these last words: READ IT!
Invisible Girl will be published on May 27, 2010 by Philomel.
Source: Publisher/ Publicist for reveiw. Thanks Penguin/ Anna!