THE OPPOSITE OF INVISIBLE, Class of 2k8 member Liz Gallaghers impressive debut novel, is truly amazing. Its 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 Alices 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. Hes her best friend, and practically her whole world. Theyre extremely close, but Alice is getting a little restless. She wants to know other people, to have other friends, but shes not sure its a desire Jewel will like. Simon, on the other hand, is a very new part of her life. Shes been crushing on him for awhile, but it seems like hes finally noticing her backat 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 doesnt really do this brilliant novel justice, though. Its 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 Ive seen in quite awhile, and someone Id love to meet in real life. The first line of this book is perfect: Some girls have journals. I talk to my poster. Its 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. Shes so true-to-life, but also so wonderfully unlike anyone Ive 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 Gallaghers lyrical prose draws the reader right in, and my only wish for this book is that it be longer! Its only 151 pages, and I wanted to spend far longer than that in Alices world. Those 151 pages go by far too quickly, though! This book is definitely one Id love to reread, and I cant wait to read whatever Gallagher writes next. Shes certainly one of the most promising new voices in young adult literature.
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