Tuesday, March 3, 2020

All the Invisible Things by Orlagh Collins


In this contemporary YA for fans of Becky Albertalli, one girl decides it's time to be really be herself--but will that cost her the best friend who once meant everything to her?

Ever since her mom died and her family moved to a new town four years ago, sixteen-year-old Vetty Lake has hidden her heart. She'd rather keep secrets than risk getting hurt--even if that means not telling anyone that she's pretty sure she's bisexual.

But this summer, everything could change. Vetty and her family are moving back to her old neighborhood, right across the street from her childhood best friend Pez. Next to Pez, she always felt free and fearless. Reconnecting with him could be the link she needs to get back to her old self.

Vetty quickly discovers Pez isn't exactly the boy she once knew. He has a new group of friends, a glamorous sort-of-girlfriend named March, and a laptop full of secrets. And things get even more complicated when she feels a sudden spark with March.

As Vetty navigates her relationship with Pez and her own shifting feelings, one question looms: Does becoming the girl she longs to be mean losing the friendship that once was everything to her?

My Rating - 4.5 Stars!

From the start, All the Invisible Things, Orlagh Collin's young adult novel, sucked me in and wouldn't let me go.

There's a while lot going on for all the characters. Vetty is struggling; with grief, with being home again, with trying to figure out who she is, and coming to terms with her new found feelings for both a girl and a boy.

Her friends Pez is also struggling, not able to be himself with anyone since Vetty moved away. Meanwhile, Vetty's younger sister is dealing with growing up without her mother. 

The theme, of dealing with our invisible truths, is set amidst the background of sexuality, grief, and mental health issues. The author illustrates the struggles of discovering our truths, the pain of secretly dealing with these truths, and the fear caused by these truths. It's amazingly relatable, as all people have trouble dealing with their self discoveries at times. I appreciate the manner in which all of this is explored. 

The author impresses in this coming to age novel. The characters are well developed, and the internal monologue of Vetty is written in an excellent manner. Full of twists and turns, I struggled to guess how it would end. I do struggle with some of the dialogue though, as I find it awkward with too many "he says," "she says." Other than that, it's fantastic.

One thing that is missing for me is the conflict with Pez liking March, as I never felt strong feelings between Pez and March. Yet, in the end, I am ok with that too.

All The Invisible Things is a remarkable young adult novel. I definitely recommend this story for anyone looking for an honest exploration of the struggles of being a teenager. Orlagh Collins excels in this interpretations of struggling within a world so firmly set on establishing labels.

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