by Judith Hayn
Cremer, A. & Levithan, D. (2013). Invisibility. New York, NY: Philomel Books.
Stephen and Elizabeth share a love story set in NYC; however, this 16-year-old boy was born invisible, and new neighbor Elizabeth is the only human who has ever seen him. Told in alternating first-person accounts, the story follows the pair as they determine to free Stephen from his grandfather’s punishment. The vengeful old man cursed his wayward daughter through a cloak of invisibility for her son. Indeed, Stephen is the focal character here, and his voice is poignant and powerful; he lives isolated in an apartment although financially supported by an absent father who remarried after he left them. His mother has died, and he is indeed alone, wandering the city isolated in his own shell.
This changes after Elizabeth, her mother, and younger brother Laurie move to NY from Minnesota after Laurie was savagely beaten by gay bashers. Her mother works many hours, which leaves the trio of teens able to focus on the curse and attempt to reverse it. Cremer and Levithan create a tale of love and magic in their first collaboration. Traveling with this paranormally gifted couple through a city populated by cursecasters and spellseekers results in a tension-filled tale as the inevitable violence threatens and then erupts. Can the forces of justice ever truly prevail over the malevolent? Can love really conquer all? Fans of the genre will love this riveting novel.
Dr. Judith A. Hayn is a professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
This article is part of a series from the Special Interest Group Network on Adolescent Literature (SIGNAL).