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Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

*The Opposite of Invisible* by Liz Gallagher- young adult book review  
The Opposite of Invisible
by Liz Gallagher
Ages 12+ 160 pages Wendy Lamb Books January 2008 Hardcover    

The Opposite of Invisible, Class of 2k8 member Liz Gallagher's impressive debut novel, is truly amazing. It's about one girl finding her place in the world, sorting out herself and her relationships in a story where the setting, Seattle, is so important and so alive that it practically becomes a character itself.

Told in Alice's distinctive, honest voice, the story focuses a lot on her feelings for two different guys in her life: Jewel and Simon. Jewel has been a part of her life for a long time. He's her best friend, practically her whole world. They're extremely close, but Alice is getting a little restless. She wants to know other people, to have other friends, but she's not sure it's a desire Jewel will like. Simon, on the other hand, is a very new part of her life. She's been crushing on him for awhile, but it seems like he's finally noticing her back at a very inopportune time: she and Jewel are starting to become possibly more than just friends. The only person she has to turn to when Jewel freezes her out is Dove Girl, her poster of the famous painting by Picasso that she pours her heart out to. In a very short time, Alice has gone from having no boyfriend prospects that she can see, to having to choose between two great guys.

Talking about the plot doesn't really do this brilliant novel justice, though. It's certainly character-driven, and Gallagher captures all of her characters perfectly. Alice is just one of the most perfect, real, and honest teenage girl characters I've seen in quite awhile, and someone I'd love to meet in real life. The first line of this book is perfect: "Some girls have journals. I talk to my poster." It's just so Alice - so unique, so intriguing, so perfect. Alice has real questions that we all have about love, friendship, and life. She's so true-to-life, but also so wonderfully unlike anyone I've ever met. The other characters populating this novel are well-drawn, but Alice is my favorite character of the year so far, by far.

Liz Gallagher's lyrical prose draws the reader right in, and my only wish for this book is that it be longer. It's only 151 pages, and I wanted to spend far longer than that in Alice's world. Those pages go by far too quickly. This book is definitely one I'd love to reread, and I can't wait to read whatever Gallagher writes next. She's certainly one of the most promising new voices in young adult literature.

Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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