On the run from her mind-controlling father, the infamously invisible Fiona McClean hides in a small town, hoping to finally rid herself of the crime world she has always known. But playing at “normal life” with a mother she hates, a brother she can’t trust, and a boy she can’t stand proves more difficult than she ever imagined. Soon her father is hot on her heels, and it’s up to Fiona to protect not only her family, but the friends who’ve taught her that life doesn’t have to be as lonely and cruel as she thought.
The X-Men meets Godfather vibe in this story makes for a fun, fast-paced read. Fiona is an engaging and interesting heroine whose voice immediately draws the reader in. Seth and Miles are also notable characters who will pull readers into the story (for different reasons). The plot moves quickly, and the conflict builds steadily. I especially enjoyed Fiona's efforts to solve her own problems rather than sit around and wait for her brother or her new friends to save her. She often makes mistakes along the way, but that feels authentic. In fact, authenticity is a strength in this story. Never mind that we're dealing with people who have superhuman abilities (due to mutations) or that the number one crime boss in Vegas is involved, Fiona and most of her friends act like typical teenagers. Fiona blushes when she's around the boy she likes, she says and does awkward things while trying so hard not to, and she feels that the impact of every choice she makes will be permanent. Readers who love contemporary voices with a flair for honesty will really enjoy this book, along with fans of X-Man and stories that veer toward the paranormal.
Another thing to note is that the story is very clean in terms of profanity or swoony scenes. Younger readers or those more sensitive to content will enjoy this story.
What Left Me Wanting More:
The mutations aren't very well explained, and I spent a lot of time wondering how the world got to the point that so many people had superhuman abilities. I also had some issues with the romance (at first, though it did grown on me) because the boy starts off acting like a jerk in many ways. Again, I did warm up to the romance, but it took a bit longer for me to fully invest in that relationship.
Action-packed plot, authentic voices, and a super fun X-Men vibe make TRANSPARENT a story readers won't want to put down.
The plot of Transparent was bizarre - bizarre and weird and I loved it. It was so uniquely refreshing from what else is out in the world of YA.
Fiona is a really fun character whose story I loved following. I'm anxious to see where her story will go in the sequel.
I am definitely intrigued to read more from Natalie Whipple in the future. I loved her writing style and the story she chose to share with readers.
Powerful criminals then start manipulating the people with special abilities and fighting for control of the pills. Fiona's father is one of the biggest crime lords, and she was born as the first invisible person in the world. Sadly, that makes her a pawn in her father's hands. I mean an invisible person is every crime lord's dream come true. Her father's ability is that he is able to pretty much make women do whatever he wants them to do. Which makes manipulating Fiona and her mother, a telekinetic, so much easier.
Living as a pawn of her father, she didn't exactly live a normal life. When her mother decides that she really wants to escape, Fiona has to learn how be normal. It's not really easy to be normal when you are invisible. I mean I'm sure it would seem weird seeing a walking set of clothes. Plus, being the only invisible person in the world and the daughter of a well-known criminal tends to follow her.
The story was quite interesting. I know that there were a couple of things that bothered me while I read, but the story really was captivating. The friends that Fiona makes in her learning to be normal, as normal as you can be when you are invisible, are incredibly interesting. I really enjoyed getting to know them. Fiona's two brothers were interesting as well. Graham was a jerk and Miles was wonderful. And the boy that Fiona ends up falling for has a power that is just what Fiona needs.
I found that the novel was well-thought-out and quite interesting. I love reading books about people with super powers. Some people might get all focused on the science, but that's never really been a problem for me. I found Transparent to be funny, with sweet and sour moments, and a concept that I found incredibly interesting. Granted, I was just looking for some light reading. It was what I needed at the time.
Fiona is a character that is easy to root for. I totally cannot imagine being invisible! In some ways, it would be awesome, but it others it would suck. And we get to see both of these drawbacks through her eyes. I felt so sorry for her how her dad treated her like a tool, a means to his end. It is so brave of her and her mom to try to get a fresh start.
Liked her relationship with her older brothers. Seemed realistic, and cool that they were close. The way they grew up and what they went through together made that bond even stronger. The protective side that Miles has, and their covert communication added another whole element to the story.
Bea is a lot of fun. She is a girl at the new school who befriends Fiona. She also is gifted and her and Brady are the strongest and the ones ostracized in a community of mostly normal mutations. She is able to throw her voice, and Brady has strength. I liked Fiona and Bea's friendship, and how Fiona (and myself as a reader) had to work through the trust issues, and see her for what she was. I liked how she was bold, and told it like it was. She didn't pretend like Fiona wasn't unique, and didn't sidestep around her abilities. She also was so funny. I loved her lines and she made me laugh a lot.
The other characters are great too. Brady, as I mentioned earlier is a guy at her new school, who is hot and has abilities. Seth is a hot math tutor, more of the broody kind that keeps to himself a lot. Bea has a ton of brothers, and I love the dynamic there as well. The dialogue feels authentic and it is downright hilarious at times. But there is a lot of emotional connections and depth when you look below the surface.
She eventually lets them in, but she is keeping to herself at first, so there is just the minor flirting with whom I will not say but I def had a clear team and would love to talk to someone about it if they have read. I liked the slow build of the romance though, and the bantering that helped lead up to it. I am glad that Fiona wasn't afraid to speak her mind to this person because it made him respect her more I think.
The town she is in just assumes that she is a spoiled brat and her dad put her there as a statement. Fiona's dad has a conflict going on with the leader of the area that Fiona and her mom are hiding it--hiding in plain sight, because they counted on her dad not thinking they would move into Juan's (his enemy) land.
It wrapped up pretty well, but I have the feeling that there will be a sequel. While it was a good ending, and tied up the book, I just sense that the resolution can't last forever. But I could be wrong.
Bottom Line: Great premise, executed well, with surprising emotional depth and well developed characters that are easy to root for.