Title: The Invisibles
Author: Cecelia Galante
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Source: copy received for honest review through TLC Book Tours
Plot Summary from Goodreads:
Thrown together by chance as teenagers at Turning Winds Home for Girls, Nora, Ozzie, Monica, and Grace quickly bond over their troubled pasts and form their own family which they dub The Invisibles. But when tragedy strikes after graduation, Nora is left to deal with the horrifying aftermath alone as the other three girls leave home and don't look back.
Fourteen years later, Nora is living a quiet, single life working in the local library. She is content to focus on her collection of "first lines" (her favorite opening lines from novels) and her dog, Alice Walker, when out-of-the-blue Ozzie calls her on her thirty-second birthday. But after all these years, Ozzie hasn't called her to wish a happy birthday. Instead, she tells Nora that Grace attempted suicide and is pleading for The Invisibles to convene again. Nora is torn: she is thrilled at the thought of being in touch with her friends, and yet she is hesitant at seeing these women after such a long and silent period of time. Bolstered by her friends at the library, Nora joins The Invisibles in Chicago for a reunion that sets off an extraordinary chain of events that will change each of their lives forever.
Every once in a while, I need a good bit of women's fiction in my life. You know, a book about a group of friends, who help each other through the highs and lows, and hopefully with some nice plot twists or mysteries thrown in. (I fully credit my obsession with The Babysitter's Club in my formative years for this occasional need.)
The Invisibles was just the ticket as far as friendship-based novels go, though it went above and beyond by surprising me with an especially gut-punching conclusion. Galante has written YA novels in the past, and her strength in that area was on display here, as her flashbacks to Nora & co's teenage years were particularly absorbing. I was drawn into their individual histories pretty quickly, and that interest carried me into their present tales as well.
That said, I found some pieces of the novel to be terribly cliched. The epic, spur-of-the-moment road trip to help Monica felt like some kind of overdone Hollywood plot element. And the one that took the cake was when they found a baby bunny whose mother had been killed by a fox, and they made a frantic attempt to save it--dear God, please gag me. Four mostly-orphaned women, trying to help the parentless bunny? Must we beat the readers over the head with the symbolism? It was a bit much.
While I do feel like those criticisms have to be mentioned here, I hope, my dear readers, that you will still give this book a read, because as I mentioned earlier, I was a particular fan of the ending. Nora is keeping a secret through most of the novel, and it builds up until the absolute END (truly...I think it was revealed around the 95% mark on my Kindle. GAHHH). For the entire book, as this secret loomed large, all I could think was, "This BETTER be worth the wait." And for me, it was. Galante teeters on the border between "purposely misleading the reader" (a technique that I am rather leery of) and "taking creative license with the narration", but it goes just far enough onto the "creative" side that I loved it. A truly surprising, emotional, thought-provoking ending that will leave you wanting to re-read (and re-interpret) many previous parts of the novel.
The Invisibles is certainly a good pick if you want a bit of girl-power and friendship in your life, even with the occasional cheesy elements that are built in. But this book delves into some weighty issues as well, and will leave you with much to ponder long after the final page.
As always, much thanks to Trish and TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour!
HERE. And connect with Cecelia Galante on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.
GIVEAWAY TIME! I was shipped extra copies of the book, so 2 lucky readers (in the US/Canada) can win a copy of The Invisibles for their very own. Just enter using the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends August 26!
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