Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements (4/5 stars)

I got this book on a whime, because the premise sounded interesting. It was a decent book overall; although not so spectacular that I want to read the next two books in the series.

Bobby wakes up one morning to discover that he is invisible. No one can see him and he can't see himself. What seems kind of cool at first, is actually quite a problem as Bobby and his family try to figure out what happened and Bobby tries to struggle through normal everyday life. He ends up meeting a blind girl named Alicia; they are both invisible to people in their own way. Bobby and Alicia form an unlikely friendship that helps Bobby to deal with his invisibility.

This was a pretty good book. Bobby and Alicia are likable characters, as are their parents. Bobby has to struggle with interesting issues as an invisible person. He can't go to school and can't even go out places unless he goes au natural. Bobby's condition is dealt with in detail given that his dad is a successful physicist that is determined to fix his son. We learn strange facts like the fact that Bobby's spit is invisible, but things he holds in his hand do not become invisible.

Of course this book, like many books dealing with teenagers, is about more than Bobby becoming invisible. It is about how Bobby felt invisible before he actually became invisible and how his parents react to his invisibility. It is about how people, including surrounding society, deal with disabilities. It is also about Bobby and Alicia, from very different social circles, form a steadfast friendship because of their respective disabilities. They would have probably never even tried to get to know each other if it wasn't for Alicia's blindness and Bobby's invisibility.

The book is a quick read and keeps you engaged. The writing is not spectacular, but it is very readable. Overall it was an interesting read and deals with some interesting topics. I liked it. The story wraps up very nicely at the end. I actually had no idea that there were two additional books dealing with Bobby and Alicia until I looked up this book on Amazon. Will I read those books? Probably not, I got what I wanted from the book and am not really all that interested in what happens to Bobby and Alicia next.

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