Transparent

( 11 )

Overview

Plenty of teenagers feel invisible.
Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona's own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona's had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona...

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Overview

Plenty of teenagers feel invisible.
Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona's own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona's had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona's father isn't giving up that easily.

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Superpowers are a dime a dozen in the alternate Earth of Whipple’s debut novel: a Cold War antiradiation drug caused rampant mutations among its users and their progeny, and vast criminal syndicates gained dominance in the following years. Still, some powers are rarer than others: 16-year-old Fiona O’Connell is the first and only person who’s truly invisible. It’s a talent that her father, one of the syndicate leaders, is eager to exploit, and his ability to manipulate women with his pheromone-based powers helps him get his way. When he orders Fiona to kill for him, she and her telekinetically talented mother escape and try to stay undercover in an Arizona desert town. Whipple’s story starts strong but flags as Fiona slowly makes friends and becomes romantically entangled with a pair of superpowered brothers. The pace rapidly accelerates in the final chapters, but too much time is spent with Fiona fretting over exposing her new allies to danger. The novel reads more like a setup for things to come than a full-fledged story in its own right. Ages 13–up. Agent: Anna Webman, Curtis Brown. (June)
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Readers looking for a romantic action/adventure with a fresh and engaging X-men-ish sci-fi twist will find it here.”
Kiersten White
“Debut author Natalie Whipple deftly explores painfully real teen experience through delightfully unreal stories. Transparent is a smart, funny, tense gem of a book, and Fiona claims a spot as one of my favorite heroines.”
VOYA - Erika Schneider
Fiona O'Connell is invisible and has been her entire life; however, invisibility is not her biggest problem. Her father, a crime lord, wants Fiona to use her powers to steal, spy, and murder. When Fiona's father finally asks for too much, she and her mother attempt to escape his grasp. As she escapes her former restrictive life, Fiona meets teenagers her age and makes friends for the first time in her life. She even develops romantic interests. Unfortunately, her father is still trying to find her and bring her back into the criminal life. Will Fiona escape and live a normal life or is she doomed to a life of crime? Although this book has paranormal elements, it is a refreshing read because the superpowers are not the primary focus of the plot. Rather, the book focuses on developing relationships, trust, and the meaning of family. The crime syndicate element of the book adds a fresh twist to a genre that is saturated with books that mimic each other. Although much of the language and dialogue in the book are cliche, the plot is intriguing enough that readers will want to keep reading to find out what happens to Fiona. Teens will like the fast pace and the surprise twists in this book. Reviewer: Erika Schneider
School Library Journal
12/01/2013
Gr 7 Up—In a not-far-off future where an antiradiation drug has caused portions of the population to be born with special talents, Fiona's defining feature is her invisibility. Her father, the head of a crime syndicate, often employs her as an uncatchable spy. But when one of his assignments goes too far, Fiona and her mother flee to a small town in Arizona, where they attempt to live normal lives and Fiona attends high school for the first time. There, with the desert as a backdrop, she befriends three other teens with unusual abilities, including fellow outcast Bea and attractive brothers Brady and Seth, who turn out to be harboring secrets of their own. In the meantime, Fiona's older brother, Graham, pursues her and her mother, while her middle brother, Miles, tries to help. When Fiona's father attempts to recapture the runaways, Miles, Fiona, and Fiona's new friends must combine their various talents to fight for her continued freedom. Like many YA books with elements of the supernatural, invisibility and its effects serve as a metaphor for the process of teenage acceptance and self-discovery. A subplot involving Fiona's unspecified math-related learning disability acts as a reminder that such disabilities are neither an indication of low intelligence nor the sole factor defining a teen's identity. Pair this fun, and often funny, offering with Andrea Cremer and David Levithan's Invisibility (2013) or Andrew Clements's Things Not Seen (2002, both Philomel).—Jill Ratzan, I. L. Peretz Community Jewish School, Somerset, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
An invisible girl finds it hard to hide in this X-Men–meets–The Godfather debut. Ever since Radiasure was invented as an anti-radiation pill during the Cold War, genetic mutations have become widespread, and 16-year-old Fiona is the world's first invisible individual. She has been living in Las Vegas as a spy for her crime-lord father. When he decides to upgrade Fiona's status from spy to assassin, the teen and her telekinetic mother run away to a small town in Arizona. Despite a few improbabilities (most notably, presuming that a world-renowned celebrity would not be turned in to the media), the quick-paced story, set in the present day, ticks along. Attention to worldbuilding gives interesting details of Fiona's lifestyle, such as the way she accessorizes to draw attention to the outlines of her body. Even as she constantly worries about her father and her brother, his henchman, catching up with her, she begins to trust and befriend fellow classmates with equally impressive and secret powers of their own. The slow buildup of romance with blue-eyed Seth and the revelation of his special ability heighten the tension and leave Fiona wondering if she'll ever have a chance at a normal life. A great fit for fans of unusual love interests, happily free of all the brooding of Twilight. (Science fiction/romance. 13 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062120168
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/21/2013
  • Pages: 350
  • Sales rank: 210,132
  • Age range: 13 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Natalie Whipple loves testing new concoctions in the kitchen, and sometimes pretends she's actually mixing potions instead. Her food has yet to curse anyone, which she supposes is a good thing. Along with cooking, Natalie loves anime, kdrama, drawing, and exercising (so she can eat more food). She lives in Utah with her three kids and husband.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    For a while now, I wanted a different read. And this folks is it

    For a while now, I wanted a different read. And this folks is it! Jackpot!
    1. Uniquely Different. Look folks, when you’ve read over 1500 books in your lifetime, plot lines and twist began to become repetitive. I enjoyed this book immensely because it caught me off guard. I love that. I love that it was different. A different world, new powers and of course a plot that is nicely written.
    2. Plot. This plot is built up nicely that I couldn’t help but let myself fall into the story. I was so drawn to the world that the author created that it literally pulled me in. Hook. Line. Sinker.
    3. Love interest. After reading this book, I had countless thoughts on what it would be like to be invisible my entire life and then one day, a guy could see me. WOW! The emotions and thoughts running through my head were almost similar to Fiona. I’m excited to where this love interest would go. Oh, and for the love of God, please no love triangles. It is fine as is!
    4. Minor characters. The best  part about this book are the minor characters. They each carry a unique role in Fiona’s life. Some good and others bad. Still each characters fulfills role for the destine of Fiona. My fave character is the “worthless son.” Once you read the story, you’ll understand why.
    5. Comedic relief. The author does a great job in creating hints of laughter and enjoyable moments through the story. One moment, you’d be so wound up and the next, a joke or a stupid pick up line that lets then reader relax. I really loved how well this element is used.
    This is a fantastic story. Brilliantly written and superb in the plot, Transparent is the start of an excellent series.  Spicing up the YA-world, Transparent shines like no other.  A well anchored story that leaves me craving for more, Transparent rocks!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Transparent is a gem. Rarely does a book have me submerged into

    Transparent is a gem. Rarely does a book have me submerged into its world as deeply as this one did. From
    start to finish, I lived and breathed with the characters.

    Fiona was born into syndicate life. As soon as her father decided she was ready, he began weaning her into the
    criminal business, from pickpocketing to erasing evidence of his crimes and stealing big things. After finding out
    his latest plans for her, Fiona knows that she has to get out and runs away with her mom. In light of what she's
    lived through, it isn't surprising that it takes time for Fiona to open up to people. Any moment, someone might
    turn her in to her dad or a rival syndicate leader in spite of her pretense that everything is all right with dear old
    dad.

    When she does make friends, she can't choose better. Bea and Brady are two cool, believable people, as are
    their family members. Fiona couldn't have found a more loyal crowd than she does with them. I especially love
    Seth. He gets to a bad start with Fiona, which results in a lot of entertaining exchanges. Nevertheless, he means
    well; he just doesn't know how to express himself. I always supported a relationship between him and Fiona,
    though she crushes hard on Brady from the start. (Totally understandable. I'd also look more at the sweet guy
    over who I think is a sarcastic jerk.) The romance is slow to start and comes upon Fiona before she knows it. It's
    real and cute.

    I also love how the story doesn't make a big deal out of superpowers. For that, the minimal world building that
    we receive suited me just fine. Sure, Fiona is the first invisible baby, but the doctors hand her right over to her
    parents when they realize they can't cure her. This is because much of the general population has mutations
    that give them abilities from something as small as a strange hair or eye color to stronger powers like
    superstrength and telekinesis, stronger powers that syndicate leaders would love to control.

    The story does a wonderful job of portrying Fiona's insecurities over her invisibility, what it means to be visible,
    and how Fiona's invisibility influences her life. I recommend Transparent to those looking for a story that deals
    with superpowers in a realistic, matter-of-fact way, allowing the characters to take the stage and carry the story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

       I love the premise of this and it drew me in quickly. I liked

       I love the premise of this and it drew me in quickly. I liked the simplistic but fun set-up. There were of course complexities to the plot, and I was on the edge of my seat wondering how things would play out.
       Fiona is a character that is easy to root for. I totally cannot imagine being invisible! In some ways, it would be awesome, but it others it would suck. And we get to see both of these drawbacks through her eyes. I felt so sorry for her how her dad treated her like a tool, a means to his end. It is so brave of her and her mom to try to get a fresh start. 
       Liked her relationship with her older brothers. Seemed realistic, and cool that they were close. The way they grew up and what they went through together made that bond even stronger. The protective side that Miles has, and their covert communication added another whole element to the story. 
       Bea is a lot of fun. She is a girl at the new school who befriends Fiona. She also is gifted and her and Brady are the strongest and the ones ostracized in a community of mostly normal mutations. She is able to throw her voice, and Brady has strength. I liked Fiona and Bea's friendship, and how Fiona (and myself as a reader) had to work through the trust issues, and see her for what she was. I liked how she was bold, and told it like it was. She didn't pretend like Fiona wasn't unique, and didn't sidestep around her abilities. She also was so funny. I loved her lines and she made me laugh a lot. 
       The other characters are great too.  Brady, as I mentioned earlier is a guy at her new school, who is hot and has abilities. Seth is a hot math tutor, more of the broody kind that keeps to himself a lot. Bea has a ton of brothers, and I love the dynamic there as well. The dialogue feels authentic and it is downright hilarious at times. But there is a lot of emotional connections and depth when you look below the surface.
         She eventually lets them in, but she is keeping to herself at first, so there is just the minor flirting with whom I will not say but I def had a clear team and would love to talk to someone about it if they have read. I liked the slow build of the romance though, and the bantering that helped lead up to it. I am glad that Fiona wasn't afraid to speak her mind to this person because it made him respect her more I think. 
        The town she is in just assumes that she is a spoiled brat and her dad put her there as a statement. Fiona's dad has a conflict going on with the leader of the area that Fiona and her mom are hiding it--hiding in plain sight, because they counted on her dad not thinking they would move into Juan's (his enemy) land.   
        It wrapped up pretty well, but I have the feeling that there will be a sequel. While it was a good ending, and tied up the book, I just sense that the resolution can't last forever. But I could be wrong.
        
    Bottom Line: Great premise, executed well, with surprising emotional depth and well developed characters that are easy to root for. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2014

    Lovedddddd this book!!!!

    This book was incredible. I loved it. I read it non-stop. The invisible girl trying to esacpe her idioctic father that used her. Lovedit. Shes going tfall for a guy who may be able to see the true her despite what others say or think.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    ..

    This story is a great read .

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  • Posted January 1, 2014

    This is your "typical" teen story EXCEPT this teen has

    This is your "typical" teen story EXCEPT this teen has been invisible from birth! Many people have unusual abilities due to the after-effects of anti-radiation treatments.
    Fiona's father is happy to take advantage of her ability to go places without being seen to further his "empire."
    When she tries to escape and live a separate life from his control, things get very complex.
    You have to read to the end to find out if she can manage this and what she goes through as she tries.
    Well worth the trip.

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  • Posted November 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I really enjoyed this book, like complete awesome read. Once I s

    I really enjoyed this book, like complete awesome read. Once I started I didn’t want to stop. I wanted to keep going… I wanted all my questions that was stirring in my head to be answered and I couldn’t sleep til I got those answers. With the sleep thing: having a 5-year-old, and an infant the sleep thing means a lot, haha!
    Fiona’s honesty was so blunt, and her dry humor reminded me a lot of my mother, haha! She was definitely a likely character in this book. I loved watching her character grow as the book went deeper into the storyline. Fiona has never seen herself due to being born with differing ability of invisibility. People could see her clothes, but not her body. I thought that was different from other “invisibility” characters from what I have read before.
    I loved how Fiona got to meet people her age, and got to see how her transformation started to take place. All the characters in this book were so great, and I can’t imagine how they will develop more into the series, but I will definitely have to keep my eyes open for the next book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    If you like X-Men, you'd probably like this one. I really liked

    If you like X-Men, you'd probably like this one. I really liked the characters, found the premise intriguing, and I'm excited that there's going to be a sequel. I will definitely read more books by Natalie Whipple.

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  • Posted June 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Fiona McClean, the main protagonist, is invisible. Fiona McClean

    Fiona McClean, the main protagonist, is invisible. Fiona McClean's power is used as a weapon by her own father, who is part of this major organization who steal and do crimes. Transparent definitely didn't start off how I wanted expected it to start. It was actually shocking but fun to see how Fiona is actually part of a "mafia" that is led by her own father. All of her family have different powers. Her father is able to make any female totally fall in love with him, and bow to all of his orders. Her brother can fly, her other brother produces smell, and her mother is able to mind transport (is that what it's called?). Anyways, each person have their own unique powers, but some may be awesome while other might be totally useless. When Fiona is asked to go on a mission to murder someone, that's when Fiona wants to escape. Fiona and her mother start their escape.It was cool to see that her mother and Fiona were taking a stand against the father. He was really frustrating me with how we was basically controlling all the women around him. Fiona's mother was very supportive, and I really liked that she was doing this for her daughter. Fiona, being home schooled all her life, never set foot in high school. Everything was new to her, and what was even worse, was that she was basically "transparent". It's a bit tricky here, because basically people can see what she's wearing, but the just can't see her skin of her hair. Imagine seeing floating clothes, sneakers, and glasses. I guess that was a reason why I also wasn't able to connect very well to Fiona. I found it a bit hard to be able to put a face to her, when she was never described. Also, in school, everyone knows that there are those who have powers, but they are usually just ignored. When Fiona starts, she meets two students who welcome her with open arms. I really liked how throughout the book, the mission was for the girls to not get found out by Fiona's father, and also for Fiona to adjust to a normal life. Fiona's younger brother was so awesome, and I totally loved him as a character! The romance in this book was very unexpected, which always makes a story much more interesting! It was shocking for Transparent to be a stand-alone, as most paranormals are trilogies. The ending was really great, and I ended the book with a smile. Overall, Transparent was a very good book with good characters and a great storyline. I really liked Natalie's writing style as well! Will be looking out for future books by her!

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  • Posted May 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The thought of an invisible girl sounded really awesome to me. T

    The thought of an invisible girl sounded really awesome to me. The thought of her father using her was disturbing to me and I needed to know more. This was an intriguing book to me. There are people with extra powers due to a certain drug that is now illegal. The concept was great, and I thought it was done pretty well. What I had a hard time with was a few of the characters. I thought that it was almost rushed through also, but I do understand that books tend to be that way sometimes so it's not like a million pages long.

    Okay so Fiona is invisible and her and her mother have run off. Her father wants to take things too far and she's not willing to do what he wants her to do. You don't defy him though whether you are family or not. She is at a new school with people she doesn't know and of course people know who she is and don't know what to think of her. She makes a few really great friends and is now welcome in their "pack". I liked that she was really worried about their well being and she didn't want to get too close, not because of her own walls, but because she didn't want them to become a target for her father. She did struggle with her own issues, but she really had a good heart and wanted to be a good person.

    There is a love interest, or two actually, but I'm not going to go into that. It is a part of the story, but honestly it was also more of a way to move the plot and the real stuff along. More than anything, she has friends and she likes it where she is. She doesn't want to run away from her problems. She wants to stay and stand up for herself and what is right. There are a few twists and things to keep this interesting too.

    The audio for me wasn't great and I was glad that I had a physical copy to fall back onto. I listened to most of it on audio and the narrator did a great voice for Fiona, but I cringed at some of the male voices, especially Carlos. That is one of the reasons that I was glad to switch to reading the book instead. I tend to be picky about how female narrators do male voices so that's just how I felt. It might not be as hard for other people to listen to.

    Overall I did really like the book though. I liked the whole super powers thing and the different people who were in charge of each area. I thought that it was creative, fun, and had quite a bit of action. It was explained well how people got their super powers too, which is very important to me. I don't like when there is no why to things. Most of the characters didn't really do much for me and they all were just kind of there, but I did like Fiona. This was an enjoyable book that I had fun reading and listening to.

    * A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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