Review: Transparent

Transparent - Transparent

Title: Transparent
Author: Natalie Whipple

Who’s it for? Teen

What’s it about? High school is hard when you’re invisible. On the run from her crime lord father, Fiona has to blend in to keep herself, her family and her new friends safe. 
But even in a world where everyone has a superpower, being completely transparent means that it’s impossible to disappear.
An invisible girl hiding out. Go figure.

(Blurb taken from the book)
 

What’s good about it? The premise is really interesting. It’s a new take on the X-men angle, except that instead of only some of the population having a superpower, everyone does. Although, as with everything, some powers aren’t as super as others. Still, I really enjoyed the reasoning behind why everyone has these powers, plus I liked that having these powers had consequences – massive consequences for some characters over what they can and can’t do.

 
I liked the world building – I loved the idea that the authorities were no longer truly in control but that the crime syndicates and the vigilante groups were the real leaders, it made for an interesting spin on things, but it was mostly told, to be honest, and not really shown.
 
Fiona is an interesting character, I mean people say that they’d love to be invisible for the day but she’s been invisible from birth. It makes for a corker of a first line (which is actually what made me buy the book) and it’s fascinating to see a character who genuinely has no idea what she looks like.
 
Her father was suitably disturbing too. I felt so sorry for her mother, how hard it must have been for her to escape him, and Fiona was never exactly nice to her. Bea and her family were wonderful characters though.
 
What’s bad about it? There’s a reasonable amount of telling-not-showing. Most of it works but there are bits that don’t.
 
The romance was a little too insta-love for me. It didn’t come out of nowhere, but at the same time there seemed to be deep feelings which had sprouted over very little time. 
 
I’m not entirely sure why she didn’t change her name when they escaped her father. Or that they didn’t go further away from their home (Miles, Fiona’s brother, points out that going further wouldn’t matter but I still think it would’ve helped!).
I don’t like the cover. There. I said it.
The verdict? This was an enjoyable read. The story line is entertaining and the pacing is pretty good. The writing does veer into telling-not-showing territory at times but parts are quite funny, romantic and, yeah, upsetting (Fiona’s interactions with her mum spring to mind).
The whole population having superpowers makes for an interesting idea and I liked the execution of it. All in all it’s a decent, fairly quick read.

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