"Today I'm officially brave, which is what you are when you're scared but you still show up."
4.5 stars. I came across INVISIBLE while perusing Amazon a few weeks ago (it was and currently still is available as a free ebook). Seeing as it was
1) a young adult book
2) written by an indie author
I knew I had to check it out as I am an indie YA author, too. I wasn't prepared for the kind of story Cecily wrote, to be honest. The blurb pretty much explains the jest of the storyline; but when you read INVISIBLE, feelings come into the picture, too. You feel how Jazmine feels. You get how numb she's become, how lacking the relationship between her and her mother is, how sad it must be to not allow herself to have emotions most of the time.
I don't want to give anything away, but this is one of those books where you want to applaud for the MC at the end because you're so proud of how much she's learned. Cecily does a great job of getting you inside Jazmine's head. The Secret Garden references are neat, but most of all I truly enjoyed watching the little bubble Jazmine kept around herself expand and grow wider, allowing more people and feelings in the further the story goes. The book is a little slower paced through the first half, but as these types of stories go, it wouldn't work if it wasn't. You have to get to know the "before" Jazmine in order to see how far she's come.
One last quote:
"Later, as I'm supposed to be copying safety rules for using the power drill off the board I'm secretly and strangely happy. I never realised before that when someone says 'see you at lunch' it feels like sunshine."
And that's how this book feels by the time you reach the end: Like the darkness around Jazmine and her mother is gone and the sunshine is beaming down on you, empowering you to move on.
Sidenote: Cecily is from Australia, so there are a few references that kind of throw you off if you're from the US, but they're hardly worth mentioning.
(review of free book)