One of my best friends recommended that I read Transparent by Natalie Whipple because it had an X-men feel to it and was on sale at Amazon for about $2.
Since I highly value her opinion in books, I snapped it up as soon as I knew it existed. It was perfect timing, too, because I had finished reading all my other awesome books and I needed something adventurous to fill the void.
Transparent was right up my alley – solid characters, intriguing plot, fascinating setting, and good clean fun all wrapped up in a young adult novel.
A Quick Look at the Story
Like so many others close to her, Fiona McClean is a mutant. She is the invisible girl – not by choice but by birth. She can’t turn it on and off like wearing an invisibility cloak; rather, she is invisible all the time. This makes her useful for her crime lord of a father (she’s the perfect thief and spy!), but it makes it difficult to pretend to be a normal girl in high school.
When her father takes his crimes one step too far, Fiona decides its time to escape with her mother. Together they travel to Madison, Arizona, a small town in the middle of nowhere – and hopefully out of his reach. There they try to lead a normal life, or at least as normal as it gets for a pair of mutants.
Fiona not only has to adapt to public school and all its problems (making friends, passing classes, etc.), but she also has to cope with the possibility that her father could come after her – at any time, anywhere – and take them back to a life a crime.
My Experience With the Book
I LOVED IT!
I could not get enough of Transparent, so when I finally finished it, I was disappointed that I couldn’t get the second book, Blindsided (Transparent) for as cheaply as the first one. Of course, $6 isn’t that much compared to buying a full hard back book, but I only have so much money I can spend on books that I’ll finish in a day.
The book was told from Fiona’s perspective, so I got to see her character develop a great deal throughout the book. She starts out being selfish, angry, vengeful, and angsty – life isn’t fair and she’s constantly on guard against getting caught by her father. As she adjusts to her new life in Arizona, she starts to trust her new high school friends, she lets go a lot of the selfishness, and she becomes willing to do anything to keep her new friends.
However, just because we see the world from her eyes doesn’t mean that the other characters don’t develop as well. Her mother becomes braver and her friend Steve becomes more open and kind. Each of the characters have his or her own history, and every action is a result of that history and the choices the characters make. Everything fits together like a perfect puzzle piece, so you’re left focusing on story and the action.
The book also has a great pace – the action bits are intense while the slower scenes are expositional without being boring. The world has been developed in such a way that it feels natural, despite the fact that mutants are common rather than fantastical.
I feel like Transparent is more than just an easy-to-read, young adult novel; it’s a world to explore. There’s plenty of fuel for the imagination, so for those creative types, it provides the perfect playground for inventing stories.
I highly recommend reading it!
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