Quick note: I’ve got quite a stack of review books piling up next to my computer! This weekend, expect a lot of updates. For the moment, I’m settling into a new semester at school, and it’s a rather difficult semester for me, so that’s taking up quite a bit of my time. Anyway, THE OPPOSITE OF INVISIBLE applies to the 2k8 and 888 challenges, and, without further ado, here’s my review!
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, and 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 talks to. In a very short time, Alice has gone from having no boyfriend prospects that she could 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 Liz 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 is a very real teenage girl, and she 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 151 pages go by far too quickly, though! 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.