Young Adult Review: Invisibility by David Levithan & Andrea Cremer

Invisibility by David Levithan and Andrea Cremer
Hardcover, 358 pages
Published: May 7, 2013 by Philomel
Source: ALAMW
Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life — because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible — because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth.

I’m a huge David Levithan fan, so this was a must read for me.  I was very excited to give it a shot and was curious how he and Andrea Cremer would pull this book off. In the end, while I did enjoy the book, it felt a bit flat for me and hopefully my review can explain that for you all.

Stephen was a character that I liked pretty well.  He’d spent his whole life invisible so he never had any friends or anyone to spend time with other than his mom who died awhile back.  Because of this I felt very bad for him and was excited that Elizabeth could see him.  I felt like their interaction was, well…. I wouldn’t say I disliked it, but it felt flat to me.  David is known for having characters that really *spark* and have a lot of life to them.  They always say witty funny things and keep me entertained.  Stephen just didn’t quite have that spark to him, but I did still like him, he just could have been more.  I could say the same thing with Elizabeth.  She was interesting enough, but could have had a bit more OOMPH to her.  I will say that they both are good about putting others first and protecting their friends and family.  I also enjoyed Elizabeth’s interaction with her brother and Stephen with his father. 

The one who DID have that *spark* was Laurie, Elizabeth’s brother.  He was often the voice of reason for them but he also often cut in with something humorous to throw in and kept things a bit more interesting.  I really enjoyed his character a lot and hope that he got his own happy ending.

The romance was okay.  I felt like the ‘I love you’s’ came way too soon.  I wasn’t yet feeling a vibe and a strong connection between them and in all honesty I never really did.  I felt like we were told that they loved each other but never shown that true connection.  However, I think that they made a good couple.  I think that they probably had that special spark I just wasn’t given enough to feel it myself.  I think they compliment each other well and that they each are what the other needs.

The paranormal aspect of the book surprised me.  Yes, Stephen is invisible and there has to be a reason for it, but I still had it in my head that it would feel more contemporary.  But once the paranormal came into play it was easier to accept Stephen’s little ‘issue’ to really understand why he was invisible.  I think it worked well to make everything believable.  Or to explain a lot of things.

The ending is something I’m unsure about how I feel.  I understand that not everything is happily ever after for everyone, and that’s just real life.  And it’s not that it’s a bad ending, but it has a lot of ‘accept your situation’ kind of stuff going on.  While some things are solved, not everything is.  That’s all I’m going to say. 

By what I recall this book was pretty clean.  I recommend this one to fans of the authors, but go in knowing this is something different for both of them.  Try to keep your expectations reasonable and it’s possible you’ll be quite entertained by the story.

Disclosure: I received this book for free at ALAMW, all opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way. 

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  1. I haven’t read anything by David Levithan (I know. What’s wrong with me?). But I’m a huge Andrea Cremer fan so I’m looking forward to this. But I have heard mixed reviews about it. Luckily my library is getting it in.

  2. I was really excited to read this book when I first saw the synopsis. Now, knowing that there won’t be a happily ever after, makes me not want to read the book anymore, cause I’m asucker for those. That’s fine though, cause if I ever get the chance to read it, I won’t expect too much, thus I won’t be disappointed too much. :)

  3. Oh no! I think yours is the first review I have read where the reader wasn’t in love with it.
    I am sorry that the characters lacked the author’s normal spark he breathes into them. That can make it so hard when co=writing. It just goes to show how much that can change the feel of a story or the characters have from the rest of the author’s work.

    I am still looking forward to giving this one a try, mostly because I haven’t read any of his other work (but I have Cremers) so maybe that will work in my favor with this one!

  4. I’m really curious about the blending of these two authors’ style-I find Cremer’s writing very fast and easy to read and am hoping that will hold true for this book too. Wish the ending was happier as that’s my preferred kind!

  5. The whole concept of someone who not only feels invisible but is, quite literally, invisible is an interesting one. I’m sure most of us have felt that way at some point (especially when I’m standing in front of one of those automatic doors and it doesn’t open so I have to wave my hands like a lunatic and it still doesn’t open until someone else walks through them? Yeah. That.). The romance sounds a bit rushed, though.

  6. I felt exactly the same way Candace! Laure was an absolute favorite, but I wanted more from both Stephen and Elizabeth. The love happened too fast, I get that Stephen would be quick to fall for her given she could see him, but the words I love you felt hollow. The two of them didn’t have enough time to build anything to make those words feel genuine. Lovely review as usual though, we are of the same mind on this book!

  7. I have this one to read, but haven’t gotten to it yet. Quick love is a turn off for me, but hopefully I will still enjoy the book. It sounds interesting. Fab review!

  8. I love Andrea and David separately, so I was really hoping this collaboration would be knocked out of the park, but from everything I’m hearing, it seems like it’s just ok, and it’s missing that extra something special I’m used to from them both. I don’t mind a realistic not-so-HEA ending, but I hoped to care more about the romance and characters leading up to it, and it’s a shame they didn’t overly impress you. Thanks for your fantastic honest review Candace! :-)

  9. Hmm… I honestly wasn’t that interested in Invisibility to begin with, Im not sure why. I haven’t seen any reviews that have changed my mind. I’m glad you enjoyed the story overall.

  10. Well, that’s a little disappointing. I’ve only read Levithan’s writing in Dash and Lily’s, and I really loved the characters, so I understand what you mean by the “spark”.

    Thanks for the great review!

  11. The brother sounds great; love a witty character. I haven’t really read much by David yet, and nothing by Andrea…so I might like it if I read it son. Lower expectations and whatnot. It has an intriguing premise at the very least. Too bad the romance moves a bit quick. I’m not usually a fan of that myself either.

  12. I’ve been reading some mixed reviews on this one. It seems all the fans of both authors are gravitating towards it. I enjoy Andrea Cremer so I am curious to read it. Not sure how I feel though with all the hesistancy I seem to be getting from reviews. It might be one I try out someday though! Great review, Candace!

  13. I have only read lukewarm reviews of them. They all have the same issues that you do with the book. Too bad. I don’t think I want to read this one based on the so so reviews.


  14. I really enjoyed this, especially the magical aspect with the casters. While it felt insta-lovey to me in the beginning, I thought it settled down into an ok romance. I actually loved the open ending, and felt it left room for a second book or it could stand on its own. I am a total David fan though!

  15. I know I won’t like that romance, but it didn’t seem to be overwhelming to the book so I think I can set it aside to enjoy the rest. I still might wait for that second book. I’m guessing there will be one. Still, it might be a good summer read for me.

  16. Okay, I’m not reading your review yet because I’ve been so excited for this book for so damn long. I’m counting down the days until I can fit it in.

  17. Aww, I’ve been looking forward to this book for the longest time! I loved Levithan’s Everyday, and this concept just sounds too great. I’m sorry it fell flat for you, but it’s totally understandable when a character just doesn’t have that spark. At least one of them did! It’s a shame that there was that insta-love, which, crossing my fingers, I’ll be able to tolerate. I still want to give this book a try, but my expectations have been lowered. Thanks for the wonderful review, Candace!

  18. I LOVE David Levithan!!!!! He’s probably in my Top 3 if I actually made a LIST!!! I’m SO looking forward to this that I’m scared it will disappoint bc I’ve built it up so high! And now you’re telling me it’s a three star read?!?! *bites nails*

  19. I haven’;t tried either author yet. so I would go in with a clean slate. I am sad this wasn’t a bit better for you. Hey even though the ending din’t rock your world at least it wasn’t a cliffhanger! I think I will read Every Day first. Happy Weekend!

  20. I’ve been seeing mostly average reviews for this one and it’s unexpected with 2 great authors (not that I’ve read either but I’ve heard they were awesome lol). But it’s all about the characters for me in most books so if I don’t feel that spark like you say I usually don’t enjoy the book half as much as if I would. I will have to read some of David’s other books though I think I even have one here somewhere >.<

  21. I’ve read Andrea Cremer’s book and her storytelling is very good. That’s why I feel bad that this collaboration didn’t turn out to be so well. Flat characters don’t work for me. I think I’ll skip it. Thanks for the review :)

  22. Ah, yes, I’m actually not one of Levithan’s many fans. For some reason, his books just feel empty to me. I’m sorry the romance here didn’t work for you. I hate it when the I love yous aren’t timed well, but at least the paranormal element made up for it.
    I doubt I’ll be reading this, but I’m happy it had at least some redeeming qualities.

  23. I have yet to read a book by David or Andrea but I’m not sure this one will be it. As you said, I’m not sure how I’m going to like the characters. Both just sound boring to me which really sucks!

  24. I have yet to read a positive review of this book, which is very disappointing, though most say that they didn’t like the paranormal aspect. I’m glad that is something that you did enjoy. I will probably skip this one, but thank you for the honest review.

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