I have been longing to read this book since meeting the author, Liz Gallagher at ALA Midwinter in Seattle. THE OPPOSITE OF INVISIBLE is an incredibly refreshing novel that examines what happens when two teens, best friends Jewel and Alice, move from being "invisibles" at their school to being part of the more popular crowd. It is a world of change for the two. Alice and Jewel used to spend every waking moment together, two halves of the same whole. Now ALice is involved with the boy of her crush dreams, Simon and Jewel is seeing Vanessa. The changes are almost too much for them to handle. Most of all A;ice misses being able to talk to Jewel about her feelings and experiences. Maybe the new Alice needs an invisibility cloak?
My summary, I realize, does not do justice to this book. Gallagher so totally captures the rhythms and patterns of two adolescents emerging from almost cocoon-like existences. The butterflies that do crack open their carapaces are not fully comfortable in their newly metamorphosed beings. There are doubts about exactly what kind of new creature has been spawned. Readers know and learn so much about Alice and Jewel that they will come to care about what happens to each of them. Is friendship more important than romance? Can two people repair a friendship split by romantic tension? This is relatively unexplored terrain for YA novels. Gallagher plants her feet firmly on a new road and cuts her swath through the forest of friendship and romance stories to forge her own way.
I know Natalie beat me to this book as there are more than a few dogeared pages. I will be anxious to hear her take on this one, too.