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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.

350 pages, Paperback

First published May 2, 2013

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About the author

Natalie Whipple

12 books255 followers
Natalie Whipple, sadly, does not have any cool mutations like her characters. Unless you count the ability to watch anime and Korean dramas for hours on end. Or her uncanny knack for sushi consumption.

She grew up in the Bay Area and relocated to Utah for high school, which was quite the culture shock for her anime-loving teen self. But the Rocky Mountains eventually won her over, and she stuck around to earn her degree in English linguistics at BYU. Natalie still lives in Utah with her husband and three kids, and keeps the local Asian market in business with all her attempts to cook Thai curry, Pho, and “real” ramen.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 439 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,990 reviews298k followers
February 4, 2013

Transparent is a decent debut made up of various bits of excellent, some touches of meh and a few dashes of annoying. However, Whipple's humourous dialogue, complex set of characters and inventive imagination make her an author that I still intend to seek out in the future, despite the fact that I found this book only slightly better than okay. It is one of those books with fantastic potential that goes some way towards achieving it but is let down by a gradually-building pile of negatives.

The old goodreads description called it "X-Men meets Godfather" and this is a pretty accurate summary. Transparent is about mutants and mafia, specifically about how the latter exploits the former for personal profit. What I really admire about the back story is how the author ties it into real life events, I know fantasy/sci-fi shouldn't always have to be completely logical but I appreciate it and believe in it more if it makes some level of sense. This story rewrites history and creates a world where Radiasure pills were distributed during the Cold War in response to the nuclear scare, but the side effects were genetic mutations that could be anything as subtle as weird eye colours or as huge as... being completely invisible. Love it.

Fiona Mclean was born invisible, the only way she can be seen is by defining her body with clothes but she has never known what her face looks like. Being invisible also makes her the perfect criminal - and the perfect tool for her father to use. When her dad finally makes the ultimate demand from Fiona, she and her mother flee across the country to hide in a small town, but her dad isn't willing to give up so easily. On top of that, Fiona has to deal with going to school for the first time. I found it interesting how the author explored what this means for a girl who is literally invisible, high school kids can be mean anyway but it is so much easier to dehumanise someone without a face and forget that they have feelings.

I'm going to talk about the positives first (and there are plenty). Whipple creates characters with multiple sides and many faults, even Fiona is difficult to like at first but this is because she has been manipulated her whole life and she suspects everyone of trying to do the same. The growth of her character is realistic and well-paced. Bea is an hilarious character with some of the best lines in the whole book and I love the relationship dynamic between Bea, her brothers, and Seth and Brady. There is a brief touch of romance in this story but it's subtle, gradual and natural so I have no complaints about it.

My main problems, though, were some very basic flaws in the logic of the story that I just couldn't wrap my head around. I posted a status update about it too because I really don't understand why Fiona felt so afraid her dad would find her - how hard can it be for an invisible girl to hide? I know why she feared her dad, he's an abusive, misogynistic creep who has abused his wife, children and employees both mentally and physically - but, I'll say it again, she's invisible. I found it very difficult to appreciate the seriousness of her situation because of this, it took a lot of the suspense out of it for me. Secondly, it was like she was trying to be found. Aside from the fact I was already thinking that Arizona is nowhere near far enough away from Las Vegas, her mother enrolls Fiona at the local high school under her actual name and somehow we're supposed to believe that word of an invisible girl (which is an extremely rare ability) called Fiona being there didn't make it back to her dad.

Seriously, don't these people watch any movies? That's not how to disappear - you always change your name! Stupid stupid stupid. The tagline is "even an invisible girl can't hide forever", clearly not if she's stupid enough to practically wear a sign saying "Find me, I'm here!"

Also, though I said I appreciated the author's decision to make Fiona an unlikable character at times, I found it really challenging to put up with some of her behaviour towards her mother. Fiona's dad has an ability which makes women want to please him and do as he says - it's something to do with his scent - and Fiona admits near the beginning that even she isn't immune to it. Her mother is also a victim of her dad's strange ability, which is why she has always returned to him when they've tried to run in the past, she can't help herself. To me, her mother seems like a regular victim of abuse. Even though in this case its cause is supernatural, it's a similar situation and I felt really angry at Fiona for judging her mother, shouting at her every time she picked up a phone, ignoring her when she speaks (which is just bloody rude), etc. Her mother is an abuse victim who has finally got away from her abuser, only to now receive no support from her daughter. I hated Fiona for that.

In fact, I think the real tragic victim of this whole book is Fiona's mother. She's the one who's taking a risk, she's the one with something to fear because she isn't invisible. Everyone gives this poor woman a hard time for everything and Fiona reaps all the sympathy. Take this example of when Fiona is reminiscing about a shopping trip with her mother:

"Those clothes look great!" she'd say.
Not you look great. Not you look beautiful. The clothes did - I didn't look like anything. I was just the perfect mannequin.
"What about me?" I asked her once. "Don't you think I'm beautiful?"

I'm sorry, it must be difficult being invisible, but what the hell is she supposed to say to that??? If I were invisible and someone said to me "you look beautiful", I'd think they were making fun of me. If this is supposed to be an example of her mother being neglectful or not caring about her daughter, then I'm not buying into it. Another thing I couldn't believe in was

One last thing and it's a nitpicky thing. It doesn't really bother me that much but I feel like someone should suggest it to Fiona. Putting make up on. Or face paint. Or whatever. Because she wants to know what her face looks like and she's invisible... but things do stick to her like clothes, water, dust, etc. So use something to define your face! Obviously, it won't be a mirror image but it's better than nothing. I can't believe she hasn't tried that once on her life.
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,917 followers
May 17, 2013
3.5 stars
Look, Mom, it’s a standalone! I feel like I haven’t read one since the 90’s. Such a rare bird! I totally want to dissect it.

In some ways, Transparent is a wonderful surprise. The worldbuilding is fairly simplistic, but that is far more preferable to a messy, underdeveloped world. During the Cold War, a pill was developed to neutralize the risk of radiation, only it had unforeseen consequences on DNA of those who took it (and of their children). Abilities like super strength, telekinesis, or even flying became a part of everyday life. There are sport teams and competitions especially for the gifted.

Most often, the gifted are somehow connected to the mafia. If someone has an ability the syndicate bosses can use, they always find a way to get that person to cooperate. Fiona’s father is one of those bosses, and to make matters worse, he is a Charmer. He uses his gift of persuasion to keep those who work for him compliant. Fiona and her mother tried to run from him many times, but he always found a way to bring them back.

Again on the run, they find a place for themselves in a small town where Fiona’s father can’t easily reach them. For the first time, Fiona is allowed to go to school and make friends. Naturally, she is mistrustful, careful not to get close to anyone. But two gifted families take her under their wing and Fiona is suddenly surrounded by friends and a boy she likes.

While it was both entertaining and well-paced, Transparent was far from being without problems. A couple of things made very little sense, including Fiona’s lack of knowledge about her own appearance. For example, she didn’t know whether her hair was curly or just wavy, but surely hair dye would have helped her see. Her facial features were a mystery, but wasn’t there some sort of heavy makeup that would have allowed her to see herself, at least for a minute or two? (Supposedly, when her skin absorbs something, it becomes transparent as well.)

One character’s transformation (or should I say redemption?) came completely out of nowhere and made very little sense. Surprising your readers is good, but things need to click together in retrospect. Making a random thing happen with absolutely no foreshadowing isn’t the same as tricking your readers into thinking one thing when you’ve been leaving clues about something else throughout the novel. The ending was awfully abrupt and entirely unbelievable. If there was a sequel planned, I’d understand, but Transparent seems to be a standalone and for a standalone, a rushed, implausible ending simply didn’t work.

Nevertheless, Transparent is enjoyable and fairly original. I recommend it for a slow, lazy day when you want to be entertained and not much else.

Profile Image for Kim.
102 reviews
January 1, 2013
I LOVE THIS BOOK! It's spunky, exciting, and full of surprises!

I just finished reading Transparent a second time and I LOVED it as much as I did the first time!!!
Profile Image for Jenni Arndt.
438 reviews330 followers
April 10, 2013
Oy. Looking back I may remember reading TRANSPARENT as one of the most unpleasant reading experiences I have had. Ringing in at only 231 pages on my Kindle I was hesitant to DNF because it was such a short read but those 231 page took forevvvvver. This book lost me so early on because it failed to make me give a damn about anyone or anything that happened in the story. I mean it’s the story of an invisible girl on the run from her father. I repeat: It’s the story. Of an INVISIBLE girl. On the run from her father. Forgive me for not worrying about her safety.

In the dystopian world of TRANSPARENT people are born... different. There are some that are born with purple or green skin and some that are born with super powers. We see telekinetic’s, strong men, and people with x-ray vision. All of this came to be because of a pill that was widely distributed during the Cold War to protect people from the effects of radiation, well that didn’t go well and it forever changed the gene pool. Fiona is the only person who was ever born invisible, she is our MC and I hate her. This girl seriously had nothing going for her that made me empathize with her in the slightest. She was impulsive, thick headed and annoying. I think that these attributes were supposed to make her come across as strong and independent to the reader but they were so over the top that they just made me want to punch her. Essentially anything that happened to her in this novel was due to her stupidity and inability to listen to the people around her. It’s one thing to be smart and independent, it’s another to be dumb.

There were hints at a love triangle for much of the book but that ironed itself out pretty smoothly which was a relief but I didn’t care much for Brady or Seth. Much of their life is kept such a mystery that I didn’t get to connect with why they were the way they were until very late in the book. Even the details that we do get are sketchy at best when it comes to their father. Sketchiness seems to be a theme in this book because even the details surrounding the state of the world are not fully developed which left me longing for some solid world building. We know that there are syndicates running different parts of the US, and China is mentioned in passing near the end but I didn’t have a sense of how the world was at all and to be a strong dystopian these days there needs to be some good world building.

My final complaint about this book is that some of the actions were just so weird. Like when Fiona befriends Bea and they get onto the topic of whether or not her spit is invisible. Well to test this out Bea makes Fiona spit on her in the car, yes you read that right, she talks Fiona into spitting on her. She then touches the spit and comments on its goopiness and then book goes on, that’s so ridiculous! I don’t care if spit is invisible! Fiona is invisible and she is still a tangible human being therefore her spit is spit! Also, when Fiona is staying away from her house because she thinks there is a chance that her father has found out about where her and her mother are she deems it important enough to go home and grab a bathing suit so that she can go swimming. I mean come on, if you are going to put a character in a dire situation for some reason, at least make it a good one.

There was so much to this story that was worthy of eyerolls and not enough to make me give a damn so I don’t have anything good to say about it. It’s definitely a novel that fell flat for me and one that I won’t be remembering (for any good reasons) in the future. Skip this one folks.

An Advance Reader's Copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


You can read all of my reviews at Alluring reads.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
114 reviews405 followers
November 24, 2015
Life is too short to read wannabe X-Men stories. I could solve this INVISIBLE girl's daddy problem in one sentence: Join a nudist colony.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
662 reviews2,256 followers
April 26, 2013
ARC Giveaway on the blog! (US) http://somelikeitparanormall.blogspot...

Fiona has been her dad's tool all her life. His power is that he is basically irresistible to women so he controls Fiona, her mom, and a ton of other females. Fiona is invisible and that makes her a great thief but when her dad finally wants to make her commit murder, her mom grabs Bea and they run. They have tried to run many times but her dad is very powerful. Fiona has low self esteem because she is literally completely invisible. She has no clue what she looks like and has never had any real friends. In Fiona's world, everyone took a drug called Radiasure to avoid a nuclear holocaust but it mutated the entire population. That doesn't stop prejudices. People with certain powers like super strength and invisibility are still outcasts. Fiona meets Bea and Brady who take her in as true friends. If she can just make sure her dad never finds her.

I loved the world building. Totally awesome to have a world full of people with so many different powers. It was interesting to discover each characters strengths. Bea and Brady are both great friends and secondary characters. My favorite characters actually might be Bea's brothers that they call The Pack. A bunch of rowdy boys with some very humorous lines but all loyal friends and good guys. I also loved Brady and his brother Seth. The romance was interesting because Fiona was immediately drawn to Brady but as she hung out with Seth I just knew there was something there too. It doesn't feel like a love triangle though because she develops a friendship with both boys before finally figuring out who she wants to move forward with. While Brady was openly sweet, Seth was a little more guarded and harder to warm up to but I eventually loved him.

Fiona's brothers were also surprisingly enjoyable characters. One is very protective and one seems on the dad's side but they both ended up surprising me. Fiona also had great character growth. She was very closed off at the beginning because of her life and how her father treated her. Then when she gets Bea, Brady, and Seth's support she really becomes stronger and more confident. Her Dad is a major douche but I was proud of the way they all stand up to him and how well everyone comes together to help Fiona. The ending wraps up perfectly but I feel things are open enough for another book. I'm not sure if this will become a series but I really hope so!

"Dad is a drug--a mutation in his pheromones makes him practically irresistible to women."

"Radiasure was invented as an anti-radiation pill during the Cold War, and people popped it by the dozens in hopes of surviving a possible nuclear holocaust. About five years later, the mutations came."

"I haven't been entirely honest with you, and I wanted to come clean today."
I gulp. "Not entirely honest how?"
"I..." He looks away. "I like you. I have since day one."
"Is that all?" I put my hand over my heart as if that'll slow it down. Smacking his shoulder, I laugh. "I thought you were going to say something horrible!"
He offers a wary smile. "You don't think that's horrible?"
"Not at all."

"I never wanted to fix you," he says softly. "Whether you knew it or not, you've been fixing me."

"I know I want this. I want him. It's still scary, liking someone so real and messed up, someone who knows your weaknesses. But at the same time it's intoxicating. He likes me--I like him--despite all the bad stuff. We both want it to work, and maybe that will make it happen."

*I received a free copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Sara Raasch.
Author 15 books5,814 followers
December 10, 2012
First of all, can we all just take a moment of silence and revel in how GORGEOUS the cover is? I want to roll around in all those colors.

This book is just as colorful as its mesmerizing cover, if not more so. Fiona is everything you could want in a main character -- she's smart, not afraid to take care of herself, loving, loyal, flawed, and just all around kick-ass. And she's INVISIBLE. Natalie Whipple has managed to make a story about an invisible girl COLORFUL. That feat alone is worthy of endless applause, because FOR REALS. All I can think of when I think of this book is the color and life and vibrancy of everything (the setting, the characters, the world, and not to mention Fiona's outfits). It's a beautiful contradiction that took my breath away.

Brava, Natalie. Brava.
Profile Image for Dark Faerie Tales.
2,274 reviews547 followers
February 25, 2013
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

Quick & Dirty: Great Sci-Fi book, with a great plot and awesome characters.

Opening Sentence: I nearly died the second I was born.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Fiona McClean lives in a world where everyone has some kind of mutation. Years ago there was a drug called Radiasure and it was suppose to help protect people from radiation but it came with side effects that no one was expecting. Even though people stopped taking the drug — the damage had been done and it was passed on to their children. Some mutations were very mild and only affected the way someone looked but some were much more advanced like being able to fly, being super strong, or being able to smell like anything. There really is no limitation to what your mutation could be, but for Fiona she is one of a kind. She happens to be totally invisible. As long as something is in her body and she isn’t wearing any clothes she is totally invisible to the human eye.

Unfortunately, Fiona’s father is a big time crime lord and he uses Fiona’s gift just for his advantage. Her father also has a rare gift; they call him a charmer because when he talks he can convince people to do what he wants. So he uses his gift to control Fiona and her mother to do things like steal, spy, and whatever else fits his agenda. But he finally crosses a line and orders Fiona to murder the innocent daughters of his biggest rival. Fiona and her mother flee to try and escape him, but over the years every time they run he always finds them. They run to a small town in Arizona where Fiona’s mother decides they should try to live a normal life, and by normal she means going to high school. But how long is this time going to last? Can she really ever be free of her father?

Fiona has never attended school before, she always just had private tutors that her dad hired. She has never really had a chance to make friends or really get to know any kids her age. As she starts school she realizes that most people are afraid of her and don’t want her around, but there are a few kids who try to be nice. Fiona has a hard time trusting anyone and their intentions, she has been burned to many times in her life by the people closest to her. So opening up and letting people in is not her forte, but there are some kids at school who refuse to give up. As a character Fiona has some of my favorite qualities. She has a fun attitude and doesn’t mind sticking up for herself. She is also insecure at times and cares deeply for the people in her life. I really loved her and connected well with her.

Bea and Brady are the two students who are determined to get to know Fiona. Bea is a beautiful girl who has the power to voice throw, which basically means she can make anyone hear what she wants them to no matter how far they are, and she can do it in any voice she wants. This is a pretty rare mutation so the kids in her school have always treated her as an outsider and she honestly just wants to be friends with Fiona. Once Fiona finally opens up they become very close and Bea is a very loyal and good friend.

Brady has been best friends with Bea most of his life. He also has a rare mutation where he is extremely strong. He is the sweetest guy and a total hottie on top of it. Fiona can’t help but like Brady, he is just one of those guys that everyone likes. Fiona has never really dated anyone, but she wouldn’t mind getting to know Brady better.

Last we have Brady’s Older Brother Seth. Fiona realizes that she is really behind most of the students in her studies — especially in math. The teacher recommends she go and visit the tutor who happens to be Seth. Right off the bat Seth and Fiona do not get along. He is an arrogant jerk and he makes Fiona feel very stupid. But as Fiona gets to know Seth better she sees a side of him she missed at first. Underneath his jerk attitude he really is a sweet guy that has had a hard time in his life. As Fiona discovers more about him she can’t help but be intrigued by him.

I really loved this book. It caught my interest right off and I couldn’t put it down. I loved all the characters in this book. The plot was very intriguing and the story fascinated me. I loved Natalie’s writing and I can’t wait to read more books from her. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that likes YA Sci-Fi or just a really great read.

Notable Scene:

I’m surprised how many people are here, but relieved to find Bea smiling. Only now do I notice how not a single person sits next to her, as if she’s cursed. I’m such a jerk. I wave, the gold bangle around my wrist the only indication I moved at all. She pats the desk next to her, but before I head over I notice a guy coming from the front.

He must be the tutor, though I’m surprised he’s not as old or geeky as I imagined a tutor to be. He’s tall and thin with strawberry-blond hair and a light dusting of freckles to match. His ears stick out, but he’s actually pretty cute. Cute enough that I end up smiling a little as I wait for him.

Then his crystal-blue eyes meet mine directly, and I gasp.

A smirk crosses his lips. “You here for tutoring?”

“Uh.” My heart flips, and I look down, unable to hold his gaze. Sometimes people hit dead-on like that-Miles more than anyone. It’s unnerving, and yet comforting at the same time. I almost feel visible, just for the smallest moment.

FTC Advisory: Harper Collins provided me with a copy of Transparent. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
Profile Image for Debby.
589 reviews538 followers
April 16, 2021
2 stars

Let me start by saying that the tagline "X-Men meets the Godfather" is cruelly misleading. Of course, we should know that with taglines by now, but they're still deceptive. The inherent action and intrigue implied by that tagline is really only present in the first 10% and the last 10%. What do we have in the middle? A contemporary-like romance with some supernatural elements thrown in there in an attempt to create a deep story that kind of just fails in the execution.

The beginning of the novel I can best describe as weaksauce. Fiona, the invisible girl, lives in a world where all kinds of supernatural abilities exist due to an anti-radiation drug's side effects. Her father has the power to manipulate her and does so to force her into carrying out numerous crimes for his crime syndicate. So, her mother one night decides it's best for them to run away. It felt like such a rushed beginning. The result is that this dark mafia world is largely left unexplored - because they get out of there so quickly, and the rest of the novel, they're in hiding.

And the weaksauce story continued when they arrived at a little town in the middle of nowhere. First off, Fiona is freaking annoying. She's super judgmental and self-centered, and I don't know what the big idea with her character was. I suppose Natalie Whipple was aiming for a strong female character, which I get, coming from the crime world and not wanting to trust anyone. But she came off as extremely abrasive at the beginning. Maybe it's because we didn't get to see more of her suffering in the crime world to start with.

More ridiculousness ensued when Fiona goes... to high school! (Can I get a *headdesk*?) She meets Bea, a girl with whom she shares almost all her classes. It's ridiculous how badly Bea wants to be her friend. She chases after her, and on a daily basis asks her to have lunch with her or go to tutoring with her. Meanwhile, Fiona is being the biggest rhymes-with-witch in the world. She runs away from her, avoids her, ignores her. Why? The only real reason she gives is that Bea is too pretty. So I just don't get it. Fiona was really freaking mean, but Bea kept chasing after her anyway. I seriously had trouble with this. It all just felt so awkward and unrealistic. Things come to a head and Bea just starts yelling at her - warranted, but still weird, because if someone keeps acting like that to you, you give up trying to be their friend. But no. They then become friends.

Were I in a different mood or did I not have the entire day set aside to read this book, I could very well have stopped there. Luckily, it gets somewhat better. I think I'm going to mostly classify this as a really, really awkward beginning (if beginning = ~40%).

The rest of the novel was predominantly average. There's romance. It looks like a love triangle for a while, but since this is a stand alone, thankfully there is a clear conclusion. The twist to the romance, though, felt extremely predictable - and in fact, I knew it from the second the character was introduced. Still, it was a rather nice execution. With Fiona's power though, there were just some really awkward scenes every now and again that almost made me feel uncomfortable.

The antagonists were sufficiently evil and creepy, if not a bit too much so. Considering they're family, it's rather troubling how violent they are to each other. Again, with the mafia world in the picture, it shouldn't feel this awkward, but it does, because the whole story feels rushed.

It all just left me wishing for more substance. Fiona is effectively still running away from her father and hiding the whole story. And how ridiculous is it for someone who is INVISIBLE to need to put in so much effort? I mean, if he's really that bad, you can ditch your mother, who seems to be the weakest link, and go live in a freaking cabin in the middle of nowhere. It just felt rather underdeveloped. There was much more potential for the world building, Fiona's power, and just... in general.

On the plus side, it's a quick read - really quick. For me, a slow reader, it was only like 4-5 hours. The writing is decent and compulsively readable (albeit a bit too much 'telling'). The main romance is pretty cute, when you get over the awkward parts. The ending is ultimately satisfying for the kind of story it ended up being. Though I wished for more, it tied up most of the strings and had a general feel-good vibe.

Summing Up:

This may be my most disappointing read of 2013 so far. I had really high hopes for this one, but it ended up being vastly different from the story I expected. With such an unlikable main character and awkward, ridiculous plot elements, it's not something I would confidently recommend.

Recommended To:

Yeah, no.

*ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the contents of the review.
Profile Image for Kayla.
1,582 reviews65 followers
January 12, 2019
In 2018, one of my main reading goals was to read a lot of my backlist books that I had just taking up space on my Kindle for a long time. One of the ways I did that was to listen to audiobooks. Not only was it a big time saver, but I found that could read more that way. One of the last audioboks of 2018 that I listened to was Transparent. I really enjoyed the book.

It makes me sad that I had waited so long to read Transparent. I've owned it for years, but it never really caught my eye. It didn't jump out at me on my Kindle when I would browse through books to read. However, now I wish I would have read it sooner. I loved it so much. I thought the plot was action packed, and suspenseful. It kept on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen to Fiona due to the circumstances she was going through. The author was great creating dramatic tension. I also liked the premise of the different "powers" that certain people had. I almost wish that there was another series by this author about the time closer to the origins of the "powers" and people finding out how they worked, and first discovering them. I think that would be interesting to read.

In fact, the only thing I disliked about the book was Fiona's pessimistic nature at times. I understand why she was the way she was. It made complete sense for the plot, and everything she had been through in her life. However, sometimes I just wanted to reach through the book and smack her. So many problems could have been solved if she just gave the new people around her a chance instead of automatically thinking they were out to get her. It was incredibly in your fave obvious that they were trying to help her, and it got slightly annoying when she would do the opposite of what they were helping her to do, or ran away from them.

I really loved Transparent. I thought it was a dramatic, entertaining book. I recently found out that the book has a sequel. I'm torn on whether I will read it. The book ended in a way where mostly everything was resolved, other than a few tiny details that weren't important to the plot, in my opinion. I also have a lot of other backlist books to read. However, I would love to see more of the different powers in this world, and watch Fiona's relationship with a certain someone evolve after what was discovered at the end of the first book. I might read the sequel once I get a few more books crossed off my TBR. We shall see.
Profile Image for Hallie.
954 reviews123 followers
February 6, 2014
When I read about this, I assumed that Fiona had a superpower-type-invisibility, meaning she could become invisible at will, but I was mistaken in that assumption. The reality - that she was born invisible and had never been seen in her life - was far cooler in theory, though it would have been a difficult set-up to do really well, I think.

As it was, I found the premise unlikely (Fiona's clothes could be seen, so at least she'd have been more likely to survive infancy and toddlerhood), her father appalling and Fiona herself a bit unlikeable. Sometimes there's a problem in dystopian-ish fantasies where the odds are so heavily stacked in favour of the baddies that you can't quite believe there's any hope of resistance, and something similar went on here. Fiona's father is addictive, and nobody's immune to his attractions, and yet Fiona still blames her mother for not being able to leave him and stay away, and continues to blame her brother after a late Reveal, and I got tired of her whining which I should have felt utterly justified. (Her life, as a handy-dandy tool of an utterly ruthless crime lord father, truly was crappy.)

As well as that, having struck out boldly with the idea that Fiona is invisible and will always be invisible, I'd have liked it better if there hadn't been a cop-out - er, incomplete follow-through? - enough said, though I don't think anyone reading the book will be any more shocked at the big surprise than I was. (In case that sentence became unfollowable, I didn't find it A Big Surprise at all.) It's quite an intriguing What-If, really, someone's being invisible, and I'm sorry this wasn't the interesting exploration of the idea it could have been. Or even a fun romp through the what-if playground.
Profile Image for Lucia.
735 reviews815 followers
September 17, 2014
2.5 STARS. I like YA paranormal stories a lot, but this one was just too childlish and juvenile for my liking...

"All I know about myself is that I'm five foot eight, a houndred and forty pounds, and the owner of one rocking wardrobe. When all anyone sees is your clothing, it's important.

Fiona has special ability or curse as she sees it - she is completely invisible. Her father is criminal and charmer, able to persuade females to do what he wants. And he wants Fiona to spy, steal and do a lot of dirty work for him. But when he tells her to kill some of his opponents, Fiona and her mum decide run away from him, unable to go that far.

Fiona, being his father's most precious weapon, he is not willing to give her up easily. So Fiona and her mum hide in small town, trying to blend with local people. I understood that Fiona didn't trust anyone after how she had been treated like a thing not a person her whole life. But she was just too defensive, never giving anyone benefit of the doubt and causing even more problems for herself and I just did not like her very much.

Transparent is average YA paranormal story. There was nothing that would upset or irritate me, but also nothing that would make me love it or feel excited when reading it. I could not connect with characters, storyline was childlish and I got bored pretty quickly. I am maybe being too harsh, whole story in general just did not work for me at all. But I am sure kids will love it!

* Copy provided by publisher as an exchange for honest review *

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Profile Image for Renee Collins.
Author 3 books312 followers
October 11, 2012
The thing that really made this whole book for me is the main character. An invisible girl. It's such a creative, challenging idea. In the hands of a writer with less skill, it could have flopped. But Fiona was completely true and alive to me. I'm pretty sure that Natalie Whipple actually has an invisible friend that she consulted with in the writing of this novel.

But Fiona's not the only character that feels truly real. Every one jumps off the page. As does the setting. This book has such a vividness to it. It's warm and exciting and poignant all at once. Truly a remarkable read.
Profile Image for Anita.
731 reviews55 followers
August 29, 2018
Actual Rating: 2.5 Stars

I'm almost certain one of the few reasons why I'm not rating this book any lower is because of how readily and easily readable it is. While not the best book in the world, there was so much awkward and wrong with a lot of things that I found myself aggressively rolling my eyes or just blinking at some points. But seeing as how I managed to roll through the entire story so quickly, I have to give it credit for serviceable writing and being fairly entertaining.

Transparent had a lot of up and down moments enjoyability-wise, and there were just a lot of things that didn't really sit well with me, even if this book is based around a mafia family... or something like that. Which is quite disappointing considering how much potential an alternate reality world like this could have had in the long run--a present-day era wherein science has caused extreme mutations in the population and now they just walk around, in every day life like it's a normal thing... cause it is.

As the tagline presents it as an X-men meets The Godfather.

The main character Fiona came off quite over-dramatic and bitchy a lot of the time. I had a hard time relating to her--not that anyone could relate to an invisible girl, but whatevs. And not that any of the characters were easily related to either because they all had their strange behaviors and actions that kind of had a hand in making this book kind of comical.

It's not to say that this book was all bad or anything. I'd just give it a slight 'meh' and move on with my life.

Ten points for a great premise with lots of potential, though I'm afraid that doesn't make up for the stuff that didn't work for me.

An invisible girl being used by her mafia boss father in unspeakable crimes tries to escape the criminal world only to be chased down by said father and his henchmen, including her older brother. Meanwhile, she spends time trying to blend into a small town under a false name even though everyone knows exactly who she is because, how many invisible girls are in existence on a regular basis anyway?

The logic fail was pretty obvious considering the fact that her father is a mafia boss and has resources and followers everywhere. If an entire high school knows who she is, I'm a bit skeptical that her father didn't manage to locate her within the first day or two she was in public. Just sayin'. When you're on the run (not that I've ever been on the run before, but books are vast pits of knowledgeable information), the key is to remain obscure and invisible (no pun intended) and make sure that NO ONE around you KNOWS who you are.

A final quibble I had was with Fiona and how things were NOT resolved between her and her psycho murderous brother. Because I don't care that said psycho murderous brother had all the good intentions in the world, you do not easily forgive someone for flying you thousands of feet in the air and then dangling you by the wrists and threatening to drop you if you don't comply with his demands. With brothers like that, who needs enemies or mafia boss fathers? I'm not understanding why everyone could still be telling Fiona that she should be able to trust Graham even after he almost choked her to death for the sole purpose of threatening her into doing what he wanted, EVEN IF all he wanted her to do was follow his instructions so that he could keep her safe.

I might be wrong, but those are contradictory actions.

And with that, the star rating is close to dropping another half a star.


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Profile Image for shady boots.
500 reviews2,041 followers
March 2, 2013
This review is also available over at my blog.



Don't get me wrong, I was loving this book when it started out. The very first paragraph immediately pulled me in: I nearly died the second I was born. The doctor dropped me, but it wasn't his fault. When I smacked the floor and let out a screeching cry, all anyone could see was the semitransparent umbilical cord. The poor guy scooped me up, grasping in shock at my invisible body. I thought it was a great way to start this book, and it got me even more pumped than I already was.

So in the world of this book—and this is only from my understanding—there are many people who have mutations/powers. What caused these are glowing blue pills called Radiasure, pills that people took in hopes of surviving a nuclear holocaust during something called the Cold War. After the mutations came, people found out that they'd be passed on from generation to generation. Eventually Radiasure became a drug, and is dealt by many syndicates and vigilantes around the world.

That's all I know really, because that's all the author ever explains. No, really. There isn't any more detail. Maybe Fiona just wasn't that informed, I don't know, but I definitely wasn't satisfied with the very few paragraphs of information this book gives.

Besides that, though, I really was enjoying the book during the first half, liking the characters and all that. And yet, the more and more I read, the more cracks started to show, and my interest in the book gradually depleted.

Something that really bothered me, for example, was the romance. If it should even be called that. During most of the first to second half, Fiona lusts after who appeared to be our main love interest, Brady, and every time he's around we're attacked with Fiona being a fluttery mess around him. We're also introduced to his brother, Seth, who Fiona immediately despises during their first meeting because Seth kept acting like an ass—although really, he was only just misunderstood.

So Fiona's strange attraction/obsession with Brady goes on for a long while, and then, at some point during the book, it decides to stop. Abruptly. And then her crushing and undivided attention completely shifts towards Seth. Again, abruptly. Like, I think the change happened in just one page. At that point my liking the book just got drained even more.

The ending was also very . . . uneventful. I mean sure, the buildup was sort of intense, but then when the end happens it just left me all, "Wait . . . that's it? Seriously?" And then bam, everything's all worked out. It was a very unrealistic ending, and I just wasn't pleased at all. I have a feeling the author is gonna somehow make this into a series though, and force some type of new plot line just so she can make a sequel. All authors do that these days. Either way, I can safely say that I won't be reading the sequel if it ever comes out.

There were many, many other small things that bugged me about this book, but I won't list them all. Although there were parts of the book that I liked—even loved at some point—in the end the negative outweighed the positive, and I ended up pretty disappointed with this. I wouldn't recommend this book, but I wouldn't stop you if you wanted to give it a try.

Many thank you's to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for sending me this galley!
Profile Image for Jon.
599 reviews627 followers
August 26, 2013
Check out Scott Reads It! for reviews, giveaways, & more!

Transparent has possibly one of the most interesting premises that I've seen in a while. X-Men meets The Godfather is how the former description described Transparent. Honestly I was sold right after hearing that and I immediately downloaded an ARC. I expected something a bit more action-packed, but Transparent definitely lived up to my expectations.

Transparent is a fun, paranormal adventure with an exciting plot line and interesting characters. I read through this one pretty quickly and the pages seemed to fly by. I wasn't a huge fan of the beginning of Transparent because I wasn't 100% sold on the whole invisibility thing. In order for me to enjoy this novel, I really had to cast all credibility aside and just let myself have fun. I kept getting distracted in the beginning because things didn't sound so believable, but after that, I really enjoyed this book.

Considering this is supposed to be a paranormal The Godfather, I expected there to be a ton of mobster scenes. There is only a few handful scenes like this and they were extremely well-done. I personally would have liked to see more of the mutations explored. I really wanted to understand the mutations worked and the cause of them in a more thorough way. The author only spent a cursory paragraph on the cause of the mutations, despite how important the mutations were to the central plotline. In addition to developing the mutations further, I would also have liked to see more intricate world-building. What Whipple showed us of the world was extremely interesting, but I was disappointed to see that she never full used the potentiality for something greater.

The characters that were created by Whipple for Transparent are one diverse bunch. Whipple doesn't give the reader the bland, cookie-cutter generic YA stereotypical characters. Instead Whipple brings to the table, a bunch of characters who are original each in their own way. Our protagonist Fiona isn't the type of heroine that I usually root for because Fiona was a bit petulant at times.

I was a bit disturbed about how poorly Fiona treated her mother because her mother was a victim. I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out why Fiona was so harsh towards her mother. Fiona's mother was victimized by Fiona's dad and yet Fiona continued to treat her like dirt. Despite Fiona's harsh treatment of her mother, she was always so loyal to her friends and her brother. I really couldn't understand why there was so much beef between Fiona and her mother; I possibly wanted to see maybe a fragment from the past that explained their tense relationship.

Transparent was a quick, fun read with a well-done romance and cast of characters. This was an excellent debut and I look forward to reading Whipple's future works. I would have liked Transparent to be more X-Men-esque, but it was still extremely entertaining and fun. Transparent definitely exceeded all expectations I had and it was one satisfying read.
Profile Image for Renna Mira (AKA Enna Isilee).
466 reviews121 followers
January 6, 2013
Natalie is SUPER AWESOME, and I'm pretty sure her book may be the only thing AWESOMER than her. I haven't read it, but I'm still pretty sure. ;)

EDIT: Okay, now I actually HAVE read it and I was totally right! Love!!!!!

This book grabs you from the first page. Seriously. I wasn't even 10 pages in before I knew that I needed to buckle up. I felt like I had stepped into a mix of the X-Men and Oceans 11 and it. was. awesome!

First of all, it was clear that Natalie had thought about this book in every way possible. Every single piece of this world was extremely well developed. One of my favorite parts was probably how Fiona thought of herself and how her childhood and development would have been so different since she was invisible. So often in books like this the characters have some kind of super-power and nothing is different in their lives. Not so in this book, each character not only had a power, but a clear way in which that power had affected their lives.

I also loved that the idea of having super-powers wasn't a secret. In every other super-hero show I've seen/book I've read the people with abilities have to remain a secret. Not in this world, nearly everyone has a power and everyone knows about it.

I also kinda... sorta... maybe... fell head over heels with one of the characters. There was a rough spot in which Fiona talked about her lame math teacher, but then HELLO cute math-tutor! He was so great. Again, a conflicted character because of his abilities and life, but he had overcome them to become awesome.

I thought this book was very well self-contained. It certainly works as a stand-alone. But I do wish that there was more. I would have loved to see what this super-ability world was like on a larger scale. This small piece of the world was so interesting that certainly the whole world must be even cooler. I want more!!
Profile Image for Matilda.
71 reviews
Want to read
December 6, 2012
This book sounds amaaaazing <3
WAIT. Pause. Scroll up. That release date ... Tell me today is May 20th 2013 ...

So, let me get this straight ... you expected me to go on reading other books knowing that THIS book wouldn't be released until next year? Oooooooooh, I get it! In fact, why don't we just make that release date say "Not in your lifetime!" :D Oh, yes! I must admit that sounds absolutely delightful.
Profile Image for Helen.
313 reviews112 followers
January 18, 2020
I originally picked this book up at Poundland a good few years back now, and can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get around to reading it. This book is full of superpowers, romance and general kick-ass. Our protagonist, Fiona, is invisible, on the run from her crime lord father and trying to blend into her new life and make friends. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, its uniqueness, and well written romance dealing with finding a boyfriend when you’re invisible. There’s a sequel I’m hoping to get to at some point.
Profile Image for Mckenna Walus.
4 reviews
November 20, 2012

This book is awesome! I couldn't stop reading I finished it in one day! I Love the main heroine Fiona she's funny and she has great style! This book plays out so well! It's really clever and smart! I'm so proud of my sister for writing this amasking book! It really is awesome everyone needs to put it on their to read list you won't regret it!
Profile Image for usagi ☆ミ.
1,197 reviews279 followers
May 21, 2013
I was really excited when the blurb for this book went up late last year - I love anything with the mafia in YA and of course, superheroes/X-Men sort of stories and it sounded like "Transparent" would definitely be the book for me. Sadly, there was so much that needed to be done, and at least another two or three drafts written to smooth everything out even at the ARC stage of things that I just didn't enjoy it as much as I'd expected to. However, it's not without its fun bits, so I'd recommend it as a book you'd want on a rainy day, or something to read in about one sitting.

My biggest issue with this book: the underdevelopment of nearly every technical aspect of this story. I don't mind having unlikeable characters in my books - if anything, I welcome the challenge to see how they make their transformation by the end of the story. But there was no real significant progress here for anyone, and it felt for long periods of time the story just didn't go anywhere. We waited and waited, but there was a lot of talking, and not a lot of action. I will give it to Whipple - she does know how to keep the pressure on the characters going with the threat of Daddy coming to bring everyone back to Vegas, but even there, I felt like the tension could have been ramped up more than just one scene with Graham flat-out abusing Fiona in front of his younger brother and mother. Which triggered me. But we won't go into that. Just a warning: those with a domestic violence or dub-con trigger? This may not be the book for you.

The world - while interesting with the alternate universe retelling of what happened during/after the Cold War, and how it ended up in quite a few people having supernatural abilities, that too was underdeveloped. We only get a few sentences as a quick infodump at the beginning, but nothing more. I feel like Whipple could have woven more of the backstory of the world in throughout the story, and connected it a little more deeply with the characters. There is an attempt with this as to explaining how Fiona's invisibility worked, but it's rather poor in consistency and continuity. In David Levithan and Andrea Cremer's "Invisibility", we too have an MC that's been born invisible, but at least he has a vague idea of what his face is like once he's able to see it. Fiona doesn't. At all. Whatsoever - and this is surprising, because there are quite a few things seem to trigger "seeing" what Fiona may look like (water on her skin, or sunscreen), yet we don't really get to see her, and neither does she. Which was kind of ridiculous. There was so much telling over showing, I wanted to scream.

The world badly needed more development in terms of the mutation backstory, and the YA contemp world of Arizona just kind of barely passed muster. Add to the characters, which were very flimsily constructed. I feel like Bea and her brothers were really just kind of propping up Fiona with her desire to be a normal girl and to fight off the terror of being brought back to Daddy - they didn't feel significantly developed, and they also have a one-sentence backstory as to why their family isn't working for her father's competition. Brady just kind of felt like an inserted love interest because he was attractive (thankfully, not exactly insta-love, but it got close). There was also a pseudo-kind-of-I-can't-really-decide-if-I-want-to-write-it love triangle going on between Fiona, Brady, and Seth - even now I'm still pretty confused as to how that made it into the book without further clarification by an editor.

However, this book isn't without its fun moments - the superpowers in action themselves were really fun to watch (I think my favorite was the kid who literally smelled like crap when he got scared), and the first few opening chapters with Fiona and her mother on the job were quite exciting. But it needed a lot more showing in general, as the sensory language was barely there. But those fun moments? They were worth it.

The triggers, though, were the ones that got me the most. Usually, dub-con (dubious consent) doesn't bother me much if it makes sense as to how the character who's giving their dubious consent actually works and functions as how they're constructed. But instead, this is explained away again with Fiona's father and his ability as a Charmer - basically, a male siren sans fins and stuff - convincing any woman he sees fit to do his dirty work. We're not even really sure if this is confined to women alone as it wasn't entirely explained. And then there's the domestic violence trigger - yes, we know Graham is a thug, and we know that Mom is still in PTSD mode from being with Fiona's father and being used and abused by him for years, but even Miles, who's resistant to Charm and escapes Graham's wrath, doesn't seem to say a thing when Graham goes and nearly kills Fiona for a very small thing. It was incredibly hard scene for me to read - and Whipple did that scene very well. If you're making me uncomfortable, you know the author is doing their job. But all the same, there needed to be more scenes full of tension like that one, just a little less triggery. More vividity, but less outright violence against women, please.

Final verdict? As I absolutely love the premise, I'm giving it an extra star, but the execution was poor and really needed a few more drafts and more editing to make everything make more sense. However, that's just how I feel about it - along with the triggers, it just wasn't for me. "Transparent" is out now in North America, so be sure to check it out when you get the chance and come to your own conclusions about this story.

(posted to goodreads, shelfari, and birthofanewwitch.wordpress.com)
Profile Image for StarMan.
636 reviews17 followers
February 28, 2018
TAGLINE: "Even an invisible girl can't hide forever."

"I nearly died the second I was born."

Out of the 8 or so "superhero" books I've read the past 2 years, TRANSPARENT was actually one of the better ones (hint: most of 'em sucked).


Fiona is an invisible girl. In fact, she's never even seen herself. She can't turn her invisibility OFF, which makes her life challenging. But you'll have to read TRANSPARENT to, um, see what I mean.

TRANSPARENT is not a comic book Heroes vs. Villains whirlwind. It's more a tale of dysfunctional vs. "normal" family, and of trying to fit in. "Who can I trust?" is really important in TRANSPARENT.

DETAILS:   (no huge spoilers)  

READ THIS ONE IF the idea of invisibility or other superpowers interests you, or if you like books about kids trying to fit in. It's also a good fit if you want a YA/juvenile book with paranormal elements and mild teen crushings.

LOOK ELSEWHERE IF you seek an action-packed Good vs Evil nail-biter, or a book where the good guys consistently use their abilities and brains well.

PARENTS: Some innuendos. Teen boys talking trash. Kissing. Meanness and violence (nothing gory). Mild suspense. Safe enough for most readers age 11+ years. Some of the adults in TRANSPARENT are awful role models, but here it becomes an important plot point.


Gone Gone (Gone, #1) by Michael Grant
And I Darken And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1) by Kiersten White
Paranormalcy Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy, #1) by Kiersten White
The Brokenhearted The Brokenhearted (The Brokenhearted #1) by Amelia Kahaney
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews842 followers
August 8, 2014
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Transparent by Natalie Whipple
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication: May 21, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

What I Liked:

Oh my gosh guys! I really did not think I would like this book as much as I did! I mean that with no disrespect towards the author or the editors or publisher or anyone, but I when I picked this one up from Edelweiss, I didn't think I would LOVE it. I thought it would be an enjoyable read, but nothing new or awesome that I would really like.

Well, I was WRONG. And I am so happy to be wrong. I loved this book. I think it's a stand-alone, and it might be one of the first stand-alone novels that I've read this year - no sequel or companion. I think that's great - because I am a little tired of trilogies and sequels and more sequels. Companions are still fine by me, but I'm really liking stand-alone novels right now. It's a wonder that I don't read more stand-alone novels.

Anyway. Transparent. What a story. I was confused at first at Fiona and her invisibility - because the author kept coming back to her clothes, and how her clothes are fancy, but all anyone sees is her clothes. Then I realized, people can see Fiona's clothes, but not her. I thought that people couldn't see her at all - no body, no clothes. But it makes sense - and that's why she has to do missions naked. Interesting.

The novel starts with a bang. Readers are introduced to Fiona and her mother via a mission for Fiona's father. We get to see how Fiona's father works, how the missions, work, and just how much Fiona does not want to be doing anything for her father.

So, when Fiona's father threatens Fiona, her mother takes and they run away from Fiona's father. And the story gets awesome and crazy from there. You don't just run from the epic siren-man who lures any person he wants into doing what he wants.

I loved the story's progression. The plot is smooth and bumpy at the same time. The author gives readers enough time to acclimate to the new setting, to new characters and love interests and relationships, and yet, she keeps the action coming. We get normal life scenes, and then we get not-so-normal life scenes. Fun!

Ahhh, the romance. I'm not going to give any names, but let's just say I saw that one coming as soon as we meet Fiona's intended love interest, and I am glad things go... well for them. I wondered how Mrs. Whipple would pull off romance with an invisible girl in the picture (or, NOT in the picture, I suppose), but she did, and for that, I applaud her greatly.

I could go on. I really could. But I won't. You should read this one.

What I Did Not Like:

There wasn't much that I did not like, really. I think there could have a better explanation as to how and why there are people with supernatural powers. It seems like so many people have supernatural powers! And yet, when Fiona gets to her new school, people shun her, not just because of her father, but because she has a supernatural power.

Anyway. This book was so good, and it's definitely a 4-star book for me. And what a wonderful, 4-star-rated book it is!

Would I Recommend It:

Yes! Very original, very smooth writing, very interesting plot. I think anyone could read this book and at least like it. It goes by very quickly, and it's not dense and epic and not too emotionally-charged, so you won't be reeling for days. That's a good thing!


4 stars. It just FEELS like a 4-star rating to me, versus a 5-star rating. But I assure you that you will not regret reading this book!
Profile Image for Mitchii.
802 reviews258 followers
March 25, 2013
To say I have lower expectations with this book is a sure understatement. Before I begin, I have already formulated on how it will turn out. Often times I always get it right. But not this time. Transparent provided a highly entertaining story of a girl who is invisible from the day she was born and how she’s coping with it. And we thought being invisible saves you from scrutiny of others. But even she gets the same treatment or much worst.

Fiona is the invisible girl. And here I thought that waltzing around with all her invisible glory will be walk in the park. Not for Fiona, some people despise her and her father. But who wouldn’t when her dad forced her to do horrendous things for others. He’s manipulating her to do things against her morals. And she and her family had enough so they escaped. But that didn’t stop her father to come after them. He wants her. Badly.

This is such a surprising book in so many ways. When I started I thought it could action-packed sort of story. I mean, two words, super. powers. So I dive in waiting for those but for the first half of the book, it’s about Fiona’s life fitting in with normal people. Well, the visible people. People looked at her with accusations and fear. And it’s hard for her. Even though they can’t even see her proves that the judgment people thrown at her surpasses the physical aspect. But not all of them are like that some people even tried to be friends with her. She even got a boyfriend in the process.

Of course there’s this romance in the name of Seth. And because I’m spoiler maniac I asked my sister why made him special. It didn’t ruin my reading, mind you, it actually boost the anticipation but little did I know that revelation of what he is and the reason why their relationship could work happened in the few remaining pages of the book. What a complete bummer, haha. So that is why Seth can…well…read it to find out. *winks*

In the later part of the books that’s where what I was waiting came in. Action. Her father found them and oh boy that had me anticipating for more. I was sort of disappointed how she didn’t maximize her awesome powers. Come to think of it, she didn’t completely embrace her powers and used it to her own advantage. While still great, it all happened too fast and too loose.

In hindsight it doesn’t have a distinctive plot. Even the summary admits by comparing it to other popular fictional titles. I, on the other hand don’t mind if it’s some sort of new twist of this and that. When a book is entertaining it can conquers my nit and gritty.

I received an eARC from HarperTeen via Edelweiss. Thank you.
Profile Image for Jennavier.
1,184 reviews35 followers
June 5, 2014
Have you ever met someone online and thought they were awesome? That was me with Natalie Whipple. She has an amazing blog that I have loved to pieces over the last few years. So despite being almost ridiculously poor right now when I realized that my library wasn't getting any of her books I went out and bought Transparent.
I won't say I regret it, because that's a jerk thing to say and isn't true. What I will say is that I learned that Whipple's style, while just as crisp as in her blog, doesn't really suit my reading style.
Transparent is a fun concept that doesn't really make it to execution. The idea is that Fiona is invisible, completely, and always has been. She has fears I never would have thought about like getting hurt and the doctors not being able to help her because they can't see her.
Whipple straddled an emotional line that I wasn't okay with. Fiona was both angry at the people in her life for her crappy situation (being the daughter of a gang boss who uses you sucks) while then feeling really bad about it. If she'd been angry and come to grips with it I would have loved it, or if she'd loved her family and held out for them I would have loved it, but the in between alienated me from the character and felt emotionally manipulative.
Some of the things were just head smackingly frustrating. They're hiding from her father so her mom puts her in school? She's the world's only invisible girl. Who's not going to recognize her? Also, when Fiona has doubts as to people's trustworthiness (after being manipulated and lied to her whole life) she's ridiculed by other characters and . In fact the whole thing is treated like 'oh, she's just a hormonal teenage girl. Grrr.

That being said the characters were awesome. They came across clear as day. It was fun to read a book that felt so thoroughly real. Even in it's mistakes it felt like Whipple was trying to create an authentic character story. I'm glad she did because it's always good to read something that tries it differently
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,244 followers
September 20, 2014
I really got a good laugh out of much of this book. Unfortunately, it wasn't a comedy. Talk about silly! This girl does some serious whining about how she has no idea what she looks like and that there is no way anyone can ever see her - EVER!! Come on!! Even from Sponge Bob (or any other cartoon), we know that invisibility is easily defeated with baby powder, paint or dirt! Make-up isn't invisible. Neither is hair dye, spray-on hair paint, nail polish, spray on tanning spray, glitter body gel, pantyhose, tattoo ink, body paint, and a bunch of other products!

Also, how funny is the thought that she was running around naked, stealing things and sneaking in to places? All I could think was the fact that she may be invisible, but people could still easily feel a naked person next to them on accident. She said that she had to run in doors right as people were closing them, very quickly. What, they don't notice a naked body pushing by them? I don't know about everyone else, but when I close a door, I don't leave a giant amount of space in between me and the door closing. I would notice a naked person pushing through. Eww!

Maybe I overthought things a bit. I admit that. But, it was just silly. Very silly.

I'm not going to mention the other problems I had with the book, such as the two paragraphs to describe what every person at the table put on their hamburger (and, no, it wasn't relative to the storyline - no hamburger-important storyline at all). There is no point getting in to all of the cliche and obvious things that happened in the actual story because I could never get over the silliness of the invisibility. It wasn't done well enough. I love super heroes, and I love x-men type of characters, but I have to believe them. This just didn't cut it for me.
Profile Image for Bari.
556 reviews5 followers
October 15, 2012
I received this advanced reader copy of Transparent (a young adult novel) by Natalie Whipple at the Haper Teen preview meeting for librarians. I am a little more than 1/2 way through.

Where to begin - I am going to get right to the point. I LOVE THIS BOOK - well written, captivating, hard to put down, fast paced, unique (I have never read anything like this before).

Teen readers and those who enjoy a teen novels which have paranormal/romance elements will put this debut author on the map. I for one, can't wait to see what else Natalie Whipple rights next.

I don't want to give anything away, so you don't have to worry about spoilers. Here is how I would describe TRANSPARENT:
How would you feel if you were invisible and had no idea what you looked like, you had a major criminal as a father (one who only cares what you can do for him)? What would it be like to wear clothes just so people could see you, to wear eye glasses (without lenses)even though you don't need them, just so people would know where to look when talking to you? This is the life of Fina McClean, a high school girl who just wants to have friends and be normal.

TRANSPARENT is released in June 2013.
Profile Image for Emma Adams.
Author 80 books922 followers
January 7, 2014

The premise of Natalie Whipple’s debut novel instantly drew me to the story. Fiona, the narrator, is completely invisible, which makes her invaluable to her criminal father. When he tries to get her to commit murder, however, he crosses a line, and Fiona and her mother flee in the middle of the night. A new start gives Fiona a chance at a normal life and she even makes normal friends - but she lives in fear of her father catching up to her.

In this alternative present-day world, generations of children are born with mutations like Fiona’s as a result of an anti-radiation pill invented during the Cold War. Criminal syndicates like her father’s control the world’s supply of the Radiasure drug, and everyone has some kind of gift. I loved reading about this world, but the real focus is on Fiona’s story as she learns to accept herself – even though no one can see her – and become her own person, away from her father’s influence. I thoroughly enjoyed this and found it a fun take on the idea of superpowers. Great stuff!
Profile Image for Carrie.
Author 49 books341 followers
July 29, 2012
You should hate me for having read this early. Unless it's out now, in which case quit hating me and go get your copy already. SO SO GOOD.
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