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Transparent by Natalie Whipple Review

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Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.

Plot:

Fiona McClean was born invisible. No matter what anyone does, she can’t be seen. Her father is the head of a vile syndicate, collecting and controlling the world’s greatest illegal resource–a shiny, blue drug known as radiasure. As can only be expected, she’s helped her father with his work for years.

That is, till he asks her to kill. Fiona’s mother puts her foot down and they make a run for it. Hiding out in the territory of a rival syndicate, Fiona has the chance to do something she’s never done before: Live a normal life. But this is a hard thing to pull off when everyone recognizes you as a wealthy, syndicate baby, you don’t have a clue how to do math, the guy you like can’t see you, and you think your life here is about to be snatched away from daddy.

Can I just say wow? While Transparent wasn’t as intense as I expected, it was good and interesting. Within the first few pages, I was completely hooked. I mean, an invisible girl, powerful syndicates ruling what seems like an otherwise normal world, and people being born with mutations (well, there had to be some reason she’s invisible)? I thought it got a bit cliche during the last hundred pages or so, but overall I really enjoyed it.

Plot: 4 out of 5

Characters:

The reason I was hooked within mere pages were the characters. Her dad in particular. Fiona was just there to please him and did what he asked, but he asks her to kill some people for him and gets all brutal when she asks him not to make her? That slap is what got me hooked. From that moment, I wanted him defeated.

The characters didn’t really seem that fleshed out in most cases, though. Take her friend Bea’s brothers, after all. Hector supposedly speaks a lot of languages (or was that Joey?) and has a temper in the mornings. Joey? Uh. . . I don’t remember. Carlos was probably the most developed of the brothers, what with his cat eyes, night vision, and the fact that he was a total flirt. Bea never really stood out too much to me. I could go through the list of the other characters, but it’s mostly the same. There was a lot of room left for development, though, and I hope it’s expanded upon in Blindsided.

Fiona was a good main character, however. She seemed lost and confused. I think a lot of readers will easily be able to connect with her and how different she feels.

Characters: 3 out of 5

Setting/Writing Style:

I might have hinted at this during the plot, but this setting was so interesting. I’m not sure if this is an alternate history or a future world, but I almost think it’s an alternate history. Things seemed too modern and the same. But imagine this: A drug was made to protect people from the impending doom of nuclear warfare, but it had nasty side effects. It created mutations in the human body. Even though the drug was banned, all the generations after continued to form mutations.

Anyone and everyone can be a superhero. People are gifted with flight, telekinesis, and even the ability to give off any scent.

But I think my favorite part is how the world is run by syndicates fighting over radiasure. I never heard any mention of another government, so why the drug is still supposedly illegal? I don’t know. The book focused mostly on Fiona, so we only get a taste of the world she lives in, but I can’t wait to read more about it.

I don’t have anything amazing or new to say on the writing style, but the setting was beautiful.

Setting/Writing Style: 4 out of 5

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars. Loved the book. It’s a really fast 350 pages and was pretty clean. There was some mild language, so parents of younger readers might want to take that into thought, but most books have that these days. Want to buy it and it’s lovely cover? You can buy Transparent on Amazon.

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