Invisible I (The Amanda Project Series #1)

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Overview

Mysterious, charismatic, and one of a kind—the only way to find Amanda is to think like Amanda.

When enigmatic freshman Amanda Valentino arrived at Endeavor High, she chose three people—Callie, Hal, and Nia—to guide her through the choppy waters of her new school. Except she didn't tell them about each other. When Amanda leaves, the three must reluctantly work together to figure out why. But once they start piecing together the cryptic clues that Amanda herself is leaving for...

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Invisible I (The Amanda Project Series #1)

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Overview

Mysterious, charismatic, and one of a kind—the only way to find Amanda is to think like Amanda.

When enigmatic freshman Amanda Valentino arrived at Endeavor High, she chose three people—Callie, Hal, and Nia—to guide her through the choppy waters of her new school. Except she didn't tell them about each other. When Amanda leaves, the three must reluctantly work together to figure out why. But once they start piecing together the cryptic clues that Amanda herself is leaving for them, they realize that everything they thought they knew about her is false. The more they dig, the mystery of where—and who—Amanda is deepens.

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  • The Amanda Project Book 1: The Invisible I
    The Amanda Project Book 1: The Invisible I  

Editorial Reviews

Justine Magazine
“An amazingly creative interactive mystery that will draw you in from page one. Secrets, lies, cryptic notes, confusing clues, tattoos and missing persons all contribute to the drama swirling around Amanda as you turn each page. Get addicted to the enigma that is Amanda.”
The Horn Book
“An entertainingly intricate mystery, enticingly structured with submysteries and textured with emotional tension. Amanda is a tantalizingly enigmatic figure. There’s just enough resolved here to satisfy, and plenty of questions left to keep readers anxiously awaiting the release of the series’ next title.”
Publishers Weekly
There are far too many scintillating, hand-clenching facets to this carefully crafted whodunit to count. Doors are purposefully left open and clues expertly planted (in the book's text, artwork—even the endpapers—and on a dedicated Web site readers can explore), all of which will compel readers to pick up the subsequent books in the interactive Amanda Project series. (The books, all appearing under the name Stella Lennon, will be written by various authors, with Melissa Kantor [Girlfriend Material] kicking things off.) In the opener, three unlikely allies—narrator Callie, a member of the exclusive “I-Girls” clique; Nia, the “biggest freak in the ninth grade”–cum–hidden beauty; and Hal, an “uber-cool” artist—are brought together as they attempt to find 15-year-old Amanda, who has disappeared. The story unfolds at just the right pace to build curiosity, but not overwhelm with unanswered questions (Why did Amanda tell Callie, Nia and Hal three separate stories about her past? What's up with the animal totems she gives them?). If there's too much high school social politics at points, the catty backstabbing is unlikely to distract most readers from the mind-bending mystery shrouding Amanda's whereabouts. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
VOYA - Paula Brehm-Heeger
Amanda Valentino is missing. What could popular Callie, newest member of the "i-girl" clique who rules the school, possibly know about the disappearance of someone as odd as Amanda? As it turns out, Callie knows quite a lot. Torn between her desire to unravel the mystery surrounding Amanda's disappearance and her need avoid associating with outsiders in order to maintain her new incrowd status, Callie covertly meets with lessthan- cool classmates Nia and Hal, who are equally interested in Amanda's whereabouts for their own reasons. Although the trail of cryptic clues left by Amanda does little to help the trio locate their missing friend, it leads Callie to confront a horrible, possibly life-destroying secret that she has been keeping for months. Is Amanda's disappearance and her friends' discovery that Amanda had lied to them about her background just her way of forcing Callie to face the truth or is Amanda mixed up in something much deeper and more dangerous than any of them could imagine? Told in alternating real-time and flashback sequences, this story is loaded with more plot twists and drama than any high schooler should have to handle. It is a genuine mystery involving one strange clue followed by another with enough suspense woven into the tale to keep the reader engaged. Lennon is clearly setting up a series, making the story long on background and explanation and sometimes short on action, but the characters are appealing. And you cannot help but leave this first installment with a strong need to find out just who is Amanda Valentino and what has happened to her? A Web site that is linked to the series, The Amanda Project, invites readers to become part of the search for forthe missing teen (http://www.amandaproject. com). Reviewer: Paula Brehm-Heeger
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Freshman Callie Leary wishes that her mother hadn't mysteriously disappeared, that her family still had money, and that her father wasn't drinking. So far she has kept the state of her family a secret, but it's becoming more difficult. Then one morning Callie is called to the vice principal's office with two other students, Hal and Nia. It seems that their classmate, Amanda Valentino, painted the vice principal's car with graffiti, left clues on their lockers, and then disappeared. Unsure of the connection between Amanda and themselves, they decide to follow the clues and solve her disappearance. But as they dig deeper, they find that Amanda wasn't exactly truthful about her life and finding her will not be easy. Billed as the first in a series of eight, this is a satisfying mystery with a few minor flaws. Callie is likable, and her emotions are genuine as she stumbles to find her way after her family falls apart. However, her realization that her friends are shallow and that she prefers spending time with Hal and Nia is too predictable. But, it's the many subplots and unanswered questions that will either leave readers annoyed or wanting more. Those who can put aside these minor irritations will find the book a page-turner, and with a Web site tie-in, it should prove pretty popular.—Kelley Siegrist, Farmington Community Library, MI
Kirkus Reviews
According to popular Callie, Amanda Valentino was a quirky math genius who lived in a pretty, Victorian house. When Amanda disappears, however, Callie learns that Amanda was a friend to two estranged classmates, Nia and Hal, both of whom believe completely different things about her, and the three work together to discover what's happened. This illustrated series opener invites readers to interact with the text and solve the mystery along with Callie, while the related website, amandaproject.com, provides subtle and not-so-subtle encouragement for readers to spend time and money with its business partners (one quiz reveals what stores participants might be, among other things). The author-Melissa Kantor, one of several writers using the Stella Lennon nom de plume-works in some side plots about Callie's missing mother and a terrible secret concerning a disfigured classmate. The ending has no resolutions for any of the story lines, which bodes well for the series but not for frustrated readers who have sat through 300 pages to get there-but they can play at the website, right? A baldly predatory attempt to get into teens' wallets. (Mystery. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061742125
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/22/2009
  • Series: Amanda Project Series , #1
  • Pages: 292
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 41 )
Rating Distribution

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(18)

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(14)

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(4)

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(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 4, 2009

    Captures Teen life perfectly while telling a fun mystery

    I just finished an advance reader's copy of The Amanda Project and was quite impressed. Since I work with teen girls I was curious to see if this was something worth getting them into. I was highly impressed with Lennon's understanding of the teenage psyche. She got the attitude, motivations and mindset of the teen years just right, especially their social interactions. While the plot does stretch the limits of reality a bit - are we really to believe that Amanda, a mere freshman in high school, is really capable of pulling all this stuff off or that a 14/15 yr. old is really caught up in that much intrigue?? However, I don't think those two points will be particularly problematic to the teen audience.
    I also really enjoyed the fact that the book was very wholesome (i.e. no sex, drugs, underage drinking, only one use of bad language, etc) and that characteristics such as independence, being true to yourself, not being afraid to stand for what's right, acceptance, looking beyond stereotypes, etc are all emphasized.
    This book has alot to offer readers and I think many teenage girls will enjoy following this series!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Lauren Ashley for Teens Read Too

    Callie has a secret. Her mom is missing and her dad is letting himself fall apart. The only person who really seems to know what is happening is Amanda Valentino, the best friend that Callie hides from her popular social clique, the I-Girls. Except things get a lot more difficult when Amanda goes missing, leaving behind various clues as the search for her begins. Callie finds herself becoming closer to outcasts Hal and Nia, also secret friends of Amanda...leading the question: Who else knows about Amanda, and can they add up all the pieces to find her? INVISIBLE I is just the start of a new book series and I'm definitely excited. As you read, you realize that Amanda kept a lot of secrets, even from the people she was supposedly really close with. She seems like a genuinely good person though, as she does try to help Callie, Hal, and Nia...the only friends of hers we know of - yet. This book does not reveal Amanda's whereabouts, of course, but with the ever-accumulating notes and clues, it seems like Amanda might not be that far away. But Amanda is not the only one missing, either. Callie has no idea where her mom went and, as you read, she starts to second-guess the ideas she once had. But who can she talk to, when Amanda's gone, as well? I love the idea of this book, and that it will be a series with various authors picking up the storyline under the name of Stella Lennon. The next book doesn't come out for another year, sadly, but I do know it's written in Hal's point of view (not Callie's), and that the author is a male instead of Melissa Kantor. If you view the book's website, you find all sorts of fun ways to get involved, and you never know what or how you may show up in the series. It's all very fascinating and definitely a wonderful way to get people reading these books, even if they aren't normally readers.

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  • Posted July 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Makes you curious!

    http://scholarberry.blogspot.com/

    "'My own person,' I said quietly. 'I'd like to be my own person.'"

    Simply intriguing and sophisticated, Invisible I is the first book of the Amanda Project! Although it is written by "Stella Lennon," it is an alias that which a group of authors will use. Melissa Kantor is the author of Invisible I.

    The narrator in the book is Callie. Callie is one of the I-girls (which is a group of 4 girls with their name ends in 'i'; Traci, Kelli, Heidi, Calli(e)) and she met an extraordinary girl in her math class.

    Amanda Valentino is eccentric and witty. She's blunt at the same time she's so mysterious, her words are clear as day although at first it confuses you.

    In the beginning of the book, Callie, Nia and Hal were called to the Vice Principal's office, because of Amanda Valentino. She apparently drew on the VP's car, and all the clues she hinted to the VP led him straight to call Callie, Nia and Hal.

    Nia was on the bottom of the social status at Endeavor (their school).

    Hal was a dork. He was a hottie, but he's still a dork.

    So how could Callie be possibly dragged together with Nia and Hal?

    Throughout the book, Callie finds that it doesn't matter where Nia or Hal stands. The three of them searches for Amanda Valentino, refusing to go back to their lives without her. Amanda Valentino is missed, and they want to know why she left.

    What I love about the book: It made me curious and it left me wanting more! I like how Amanda is so mysterious, but how she's very kind and thoughtful of others.

    What I dislike about the book: That I have to wait for the second book to come out.

    http://scholarberry.blogspot.com/

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2010

    TheAMANDAProject. Invisible I Review

    This book was amazing. I really can not wait for the next book to come out. I really love Amanda, and the way she acts towards other people. She has her own way of doing things and can be secretive when she wants to be. She also tries to help her friends in any ways she can. I can really relate to Amanda, and her style. I really hope the seconds book comes out soon. By the way is it only me or does anyone else think that Hal and Callie should go out?

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  • Posted January 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    What Happened To You Amanda Valentino?????

    Amanda Valentino, you quickly learn, is someone who isnt liked very much at Endeavour High, but secretly she has three friends in school. When the three friends, Callie, Nia and Hal, are brought together by the Vice Principal, they start the process of finding out the truth from the fiction. And there is alot of fiction in what Amanda said during her time at school.
    The book is great because it makes you look harder at things and there are alot of great illustrations and clues all thru the book and even on the end papers to solve.
    There is not a satisfying ending to this book, but its meant to be the beginning of a 6 part series so there is alot of ground to cover. It still is a great start and makes you really wonder what the remaining books will be like.

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  • Posted October 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Where-and who-is Amanda?

    From http://lisally.blogspot.com

    Callista Leary is a member of the popular clique at Endeavor High, the I-girls. However, she's also secretly the friend and guide to eccentric new girl Amanda Valentino. When Amanda doesn't show up for school, Callie finds herself called to the Vice Principal's office along with Nia and Hal, two students outside her social stratum. It seems that Amanda has disappeared, leaving a bold statement behind linking the three students together. It seems Callie was not Amanda's only guide, and the three students soon find themselves working together to find out where-and even who-Amanda Valentino really is.

    Callie, the protagonist of the first in the eight book Amanda Project series, is definitely a bit off putting at first. She and the rest of her friends, the "I-girls" (so named for the fact that all their names end on the same vowel), come off as the worst popular high school girl stereotypes. Each is rather interchangeable, and their attitude towards the other students at the school make Callie and her friends appear as very unlikeable cardboard characters.

    It soon becomes apparent this isn't the case, as the reader soon learns that Callie is very insecure about her social status as well as her home life. Much of Invisible I revolves around Callie's struggle to become comfortable with herself as an individual, and she becomes much more sympathetic as the story goes on.

    The mystery of Amanda is intriguing in itself, although little is actually revealed in this book alone. What little information is discovered leads to the main characters finding out just how little they actually know about the titular character. Amanda herself is more a MacGuffin than a character, appearing only in flashbacks. There is also a secondary mystery revolving around the disappearance of Callie's mother that may or may not be connected to the major plot.

    Also of note is the book's tie-in alternate reality game at www.theamandaproject.com. In-universe the website is created by the three main characters (Callie, Hal, and Nia,) and readers can share information about Amanda that may be incorporated in future novels. It's a fun concept, and it will be interesting to see how it works out in regards to the progression of the story.

    The cover is credited to "Stella Lennon", which as the website explains, is a pseudonym that will encompass the entire series. Each novel will be written by a different credited author, with the next two books set to be told from the perspectives of Hal and Nia.

    Invisible I was a pleasant surprise, and The Amanda Project looks to be a fun series, with an intriguing mystery and good character development.

    This review was based on a review copy provided by Barnes and Noble's online community.

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  • Posted September 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Where are you Amanda Valentino?

    Callista Leary, better known as Callie, is an I-Girl. I-Girls are the most popular girls in school, and they don't associate with people of a lesser rank. Callie on the other hand, doesn't judge others as easily as the rest of the girls in her clique. She's smart, gets good grades, and enjoys learning. It's no surprise that when a new girl comes to town, it's Callie who will be showing her the ropes.

    When Amanda Valentino comes to town, it's Callie's job to tutor her. She starts as a mere study partner, but soon becomes good friends with the newcomer. Amanda tells Callie that she will be her 'guide' while she is going to school at Endeavor High, and this makes Callie feel special. So it's not unlikely, that when Amanda Valentino goes missing, Callie is extremely upset.

    When Callie finds out that she is not the only 'guide' Amanda has, she becomes distraught. Why would Amanda lie to her? Why would she tell her she was special, only to tell another the same thing? It's even worse that Amanda was also friends with two of the biggest freaks in school, Hal Bennett and Nia Rivera. With the clues that Amanda leaves behind, these three students, who are absolutely not friends, must stick together to solve the mystery of their missing friend.

    There is a lot going on in this first installment to The Amanda Project, but it all flows extremely well. The story is told in the present, but Callie has flashbacks along the way. During these flashbacks you learn tidbits of her life that she didn't realise were so significant until the current day. Callie learns who she is, all the while learning who she can trust. It's a novel of friendship, and what you will do to protect those you care about.

    I really enjoyed this book by authors Stella Lennon and Melissa Kantor. It was full of mystery, including little clues that you could try and decipher for yourself. I particularly liked that there were pictures showing you exactly what the characters in the book were seeing. You can even go to AmandaProject.com and sign up to solve the clues with other readers. I'm excited to read the next installment of this series, as it leaves you on a cliffhanger wanting more. I'd like to thank Barnes and Noble for sending me a ARC of this novel to read and review. It was a quick read, and I didn't want to put it down.

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  • Posted September 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Good YA Read

    I was fortunate enogh to recieve an advanced reader's copy of the Amanda Project, and I was excited to begin reading it. The mysterious plotline immediately captured my attention, and I often found myself reading on in eager anticipation. The mystery known as Amanda kept my interest throughout the book. Try as I might, I still haven't deduced the answer to Amanda's true identity or her motives. It is this fact that leaves me anxiously awaiting the next book in this series. While I would have prefered that the characters had been develped to a further extent, the Amanda Project is a book that I would reccommend to anyone who loves a good mystery coupled with the dramas of being a high school girl.

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  • Posted September 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Bravo! :D

    Amanda Valentino is a freak. Everyone in the ninth grade knows it and her clothes, wigs, temporary tattoos, and even her school grades prove it. Amanda is the new girl at Endeavor High, who just happened to arrive on Halloween. No one wants to be seen with her, especially Callie, one of the popular I-girls. She doesn't want to admit that she has a friendship with Amanda but when Amanda disappears and leaves clues behind for her, that's a hard thing to keep secret. When Callie finds out two other students are (or was) friends with Amanda, they have to put their differences aside and help save her . But who exactly is Amanda Valentino?

    Each page of The Amanda Project: Invisible I was mysterious, yet in a way I was satisfied with the knowledge I had acquired by the end of the book. Though never having a complete ending (being the first installment of a six-book series) and none of the big secrets revealed, I was still enthralled when yet another secret of unknown origins was added to the mix. I never really felt close to any of the characters but instead I thought I was invading their privacy. The main character, Amanda, doesn't seem like she would be a friend of mine. The storyline was, not considering the unfortunate circumstance of disappearance, fun. It was filled with back-and-forth emotions but while still keeping the essence of the story. This was just a great book. Bravo!

    For more book reviews, check out my blog ReadingToMyself.blogspot.com!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2009

    Pretty Good YA Read

    Right off the bat the storyline catches your attention, and doesn't let go. The mystery that is Amanda keeps you guessing and curious. Like a previous reviewer said, I do think it lacks some character development, but perhaps that just adds to the intrigue. Who are these three girls? And what about Amanda? I'll be looking forward to the next book to find out.

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  • Posted August 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Exciting new YA series!

    I just finished up and can I just say WOW! I must say I was a little skeptical about this book because normally YA books are hit & miss with me. This one was a hit in a big way. This story is solid, well written and had me intrigued very early on in the book. The characters are amazing and I love the fact we get to see them grow and come into their own. The mystery is deep (I can't wait to solve it myself) and will keep any adult entertained while still being exciting and suspenseful enough to keep young readers engaged. It is well written and with such a light touch I will happily allow my 11 yr old to read it. I'm looking forward to book 2 and can't wait to find out more about Amanda.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2009

    More questions than answers

    After reading the first book in this series, I am left feeling frustrated and annoyed. The book has potential and the concept is good, but the characters are under developed and the plot doesn't have much substance. I felt like the entire book was spent rehashing what we already know - that no one truly knew Amanda, she's missing and none of the three classmates knows why they are pulled into the mystery.

    I wanted to know more about the three classmates, such as their backgrounds and how they knew Amanda or how they spent their time with her. I couldn't identify with any of these characters because I didn't learn anything substantial about them.

    The plot didn't advance as well as I'd hoped. I'm all for leaving the reader hanging to make them want to pick up the next book in the series, but this book basically set up a string of unrealistic scenarios and left the reader with nothing but unresolved situations.

    Based on this first book, I'm not intrigued enough or invested enough in the characters to want to continue the series.

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  • Posted August 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Start to what could be the next big thing!

    Invisible I is a promising start to what could be a great series! Invisible I takes you through Amanda's disappearance and her 3 "guides" quest to find her. It was definately a page turner, because I kept thinking Who's Amanda? and What's She Doing? This was a totally fun read.

    My issue with Invisible I was that it didn't seem come to any point. For Book 1, I don't necessarily want all the answers for the series, but I'd like a little more information. When Book 1 finishes, I want some issues resolved and also putting something new on the field. I felt that I was just running in the same circles throughout the entire book. All I really figured out was that Amanda told about a bajillion different stories. I also found it a little hard to believe everything she managed to pull off - though maybe that's a topic for the next 7 books.

    The ending is totally intriguing, it sets up the next book and makes readers want to know exactly what will happen next and get the answers to their questions.

    I love the page design on the book, there's different designs on some of the pages, and "notes" on others. I also really like the cover.

    I'll definately check out Book 2, I want to see where finding Amanda leads Callie, Nia, and Hal next and how their friendship grows.

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  • Posted August 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Don't miss the start of this series!

    "Invisible I" is a promising start to an intriguing series. The story tells of how one girl's self-planned disappearance brought three dissimilar teenagers together to find her. The mystery creates a subplot of growing friendship and collaboration. It left me wondering where Amanda is, well after the book ended. I didn't want to set this book down. I look forward to participating in the interactive website and following up by reading the series as it progresses with reader input.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

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    What a great read!

    As a future middle school teacher, I am always looking to build my library with really good books for teens, and I have to say this is a definite add to my collection. I really enjoyed the book. I like books that keep you interested and books that are hard to put down and this book was really hard to put down. It had a great story that was very current and trendy, but at the same time it wove in classics in literature, movies, and other genres that made the story really interesting. My first impression of the book, with the pink cover, was that it was going to be a "girly" book, but I think this book would appeal to both boys and girls. I also liked that there were many different levels to the story not just the story of Amanda going missing. Each of the characters had their own story and problems, and I liked how everthing flowed together and made you want to keep reading to find out what happens. I am anxiously awaiting the next book in this series that I am sure will be a hit!

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  • Posted August 7, 2009

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    Great Book!

    When Amanda goes missing three of her friends must work together to find her. Who is Amanda? Amanda is a new girl at Endeavor High, she is artistic, random, well travelled, and sometimes considered a genius. She asks three kids to guide her trough life at Endeavor, she goes missing and this kids have to work together to make sense of the clues she left behind. In the progress they discover that everything that she ever told them was a lie; where she lives, her favorite places to go, where her parents are. Who is Amanda Valentino? She is a mystery. In the hopes that someone would know where she is the kids launch a website (www.theamandaproject.com).


    I enjoyed this book; it is different from anything I've ever read before. The characters and the situations are very relatable. The author does a great job of capturing what a teenager is without the sex and drugs. The website is real and lots of fun, you can post art or short stories about Amanda, design apparel inspired by Amanda, and much more. Visit the website and help them find Amanda! I look forward to reading the sequel and see what's next for the characters.

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  • Posted August 6, 2009

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    Pulled me in

    I read the book in two days. This is a great beginning to the 8 book series. The story is about 3 teens who are brought together because their friend Amanda is missing. Amanda is able to leave clues to help guide the teens as they try to solve the mystery of her disappearance.

    The writer has captured the teen scene quite well and without sex, drugs or violence. Thank you!

    This first book will leave you with lots of questions and no answers. There is a website that goes with the book and it will give more clues.

    I will be looking for book 2.

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  • Posted August 6, 2009

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    Invisible I

    The first book in the Amanda Project series, Invisible I, was definitely great. As the story unfolds, more and more is revealed about the Mysterious Amanda, as well as the main character, Callie- through memories of Amanda and clues she leaves for Callie to find.
    This book feels like it's setting you up for the rest of a series, but it doesn't do so in a boring way. It leaves you wondering how Amanda knows so much, and what she's trying to communicate.
    This is the start of a great mystery! Not only would I reccommend the Amanda Project to someone looking for an awesome read, but I also plan on following the rest of the series and finding Amanda along with the characters, and all the fans that these books are sure to develope.

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  • Posted August 5, 2009

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    The Amanda Project: invisible i

    I thought it was wonderful. I enjoyed that this story could be a serious and interesting book without including profanities, sex or drugs. It was pleasantly innocent. I would like to see the next few books from a different person's point of view, such as Nia or Hal or even Amanda. Having everything told by Callie got a bit monotonous, as she is a bit shallow and confused. She represents only part of the teenage mind. I also think the stereo-typing in the book was a bit much. Even so each character seemed well thought out and deep enough to carry on through all eight books. The Amanda Project: invisible i is a very intriguing mystery that is really keeping up-to-date with it's interactive website. I recommend checking out their website, which I previously blogged about and helping guide the story yourself. I am very excited to see how this story will turn out and am planning on keeping up with this lovely new series. Find out more about this review and others at my blog: http://thewordnest.blogspot.com/

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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