Transparent by Natalie Whipple

Image result for transparent natalie whippleI’m a big fan of sci-fi books, and sometimes I want to read something set in the modern era. Transparent, by Natalie Whipple, is exactly that.

In the Cold War, an anti-radiation pill called Radiasure was invented due to fears of nuclear warfare between the United States and Russia. A couple years later, mutations started appearing, but they weren’t that strange. But through every generation, the mutations grew worse, even with babies that never had contact with Radiasure.

Fiona is an invisible girl, and the only invisible person in the world. Imagine living your whole life never being able to look into a mirror, and never knowing what you look like. She’s the daughter one of powerful people who controls Radiasure. Her mother decided to escape with Fiona at the beginning of the book, and go into hiding, to get away from Fiona’s father, who treats them as weapons, and not people.

Being the only invisible girl is hard for Fiona when she starts in her new school. Algebra doesn’t make sense to her, and has to be tutored by an annoying senior, Seth. She doesn’t trust anyone, even Brady, and Bea, the two people who try to be her friend. Instead, she emails one of her brothers, Miles, at lunch and tells him what’s going on. Fiona especially doesn’t trust her other brother Graham, who has taken her back to her father every time she has tried to escape. Graham is supposedly trying to help Fiona and her mother, but she doesn’t trust him and thinks that he’ll tell her father where she is.

Eventually, Fiona begins to trust Brady, Seth, Bea, and Bea’s brothers. But is she going to jeopardize her friends and her safety? Or can she live a normal life where her father can never find out? Read the book to find out!

I enjoyed this book, and I think that it’s a cool glimpse into what superhero powers can be like for normal humans. There is also a sequel, called Blindsided. I recommend this book to older teens who like sci-fi and superheros.

-Rebecca V.

Transparent by Natalie Whipple is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Book Review: Relax, I’m a Ninja, by Natalie Whipple

“So, what exactly do we, uh, do?”
“The usual- sabotage, espionage, smuggling, and such.”

relax_ninjaFirst of all, I want to point out this has to be one of the coolest titles ever. I think it pretty much sums up the entire book, but I’ll go on about it anyways.

As you probably already guessed, this book is about ninjas. It’s difficult to believe there could be ninja clans in San Francisco, but sixteen-year-old Tosh has been training in the secrecy of his father’s dojo for years. Why not hide in plain sight? A karate place is the last place you’d expect a real ninja. Everything changes when Tosh’s father recruits long-time-karate-student Amy, who happens to be the crush of Tosh’s best friend. Huge cover risk. Plus, completely off limits. At least that’s what Tosh tells himself, but neither he nor Amy can deny their connection.

Some ninjas are evil. There is a serial killer on the loose, nicknamed “The Ninja” by the media because of his costume, stabbing innocents with one of the most deadly ninja poisons; Dragon’s Bile. Teaming up with Amy to find this elusive killer may prove there are more secrets in San Francisco than even Tosh suspected.

What’s amazing about this story is the levels of secrecy. I should expect this from a secret ninja book, but there were twists I didn’t see coming. Sometime of the people Tosh trusts the most may have a secret he never would have expected. Or some person who should have no knowledge about ninjas, might already be one.

Plenty of action with the ninja fights, but there is a splash of romance thrown in as well. This well written novel kept is well paced and captured my attention the entire time. Definitely give this book a try as long as you don’t absolutely hate ninjas.

-Nicole G., 11th grade

Book List: Invisible Teens

Have you wanted to be invisible? I know I have. Here are a couple different teenagers born with invisibility (the not-able-to-turn-visible-at-will kind of invisibility) who know it can be either a gift… or a curse.

transparent_coverTransparent by Natalie Whipple

“The doctors don’t really know how it works, except that the mutation affects my pigment. They have a few theories, but they can’t study invisible blood or do surgery.”

For Fiona, she was gifted, as most everyone is, with a mutation. This mutation can range from her mom’s telekinesis or her brother’s ability to change how he smells. No one has ever seen her. Not even Fiona herself…

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

…which makes her the perfect thief for her father’s villainous schemes. When her father tries to force Fiona to kill someone, her mother knows he has gone too far. They run away to a small town in the middle of nowhere. For the first time, Fiona has a chance for a semi-normal life and realities such as friendship, that aren’t easy to make when on high alert for discovery. Because she knows her father will never stop looking, an invisible girl can’t hide forever.

invisibility_coverInvisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

“I can never be seen, no matter how hard I try. I can be touched, but only if I concentrate. And I can always be heard, if I choose to speak. These, I suppose, are the rules of the curse.”

For Stephen, he was cursed into invisibility. He doesn’t quite know why or how to break it. If his mother knew, she never shared the information with him. She was his entire world, until she died almost a year ago. No one has ever seen him. Not even Stephen himself when he looks in the mirror. Stephen figures he’s alone, with no one else knowing of his existence besides a father known only as a phone number. So Stephen is very surprised when his new neighbor, Elizabeth, can not only see him, but treats him like a person.

“In the minutes that followed, I realize it isn’t that the curse had been broken. It’s that she’s found a way around it.”

For Elizabeth, told in alternating point of view chapters, she just wants to blend in, protect her brother, and work on writing her comics. When she meets Stephen, a boy no one else can see, she thinks she’s going crazy. But the truth that they’ll discover in the secret world of curses and spells goes deeper than either ever imagined.

-Nicole G., 10th grade