Audiobook Review: Transparent by Natalie Whipple
Published by: Harlequin Teen on May 21, 2013
Genres: Crime Fiction, Dystopian, Fantasy, YA
Source: Audiobook Purchase
View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon
About the Book:
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.
From the moment the audio began I was HOOKED on Transparent. The world Whipple crafted from Fiona’s mobster family to the strange and curious abilities of its people left me in awe on this wonderful mystery set in a modern day Metropolis. Pitched as a YA smashup of The Godfather and X-Men, Transparent is captivating, original, and almost received 5 Controllers from me – the epic science fiction nerd. However, as the plot progressed there were several things that started to go awry.
Fiona is an invisible girl raised with a ruthless womanizing father who controls every aspect of her life. Born into a life of crime, all she’s ever known is what she was told. Heck the poor girl doesn’t even know what her own facial features look like or the color of her hair. She’s cynical and snarky and only wants to please her father. Radiasure, a drug issued after the Cold War had unforeseen effects on the population and gave some people superhuman abilities. As the author intended, you immediately are intrigued by the sympathetic Fiona and the world she inhabits. Wanting to know why some people have silly powers and others have powerful abilities that makes them targets. In the beginning I loved learning about her, the mother who could never leave her father, and the two brothers who are on opposite ends of the crime family spectrum. However, after the turning point in Fiona’s life and she’s thrust into a new city by a mother who is trying to redeem herself, Fiona slowly began to change.
Once in her new setting, Fiona starts to become very self-centered. Maybe it’s because she’s never been around “normal” kids her age or tried to attend a real school, but I just found some of the things she said to be off. One minute she’s running for her life and extra-suspicious of everyone she comes in contact with, and the next she is day dreaming about a certain boy and worried about if she’s shaved. Her thoughts were a little all over the place for me and I just wanted her to focus. She is also bitter – which I kind of liked in the beginning but then once she started to become “too nice” I didn’t enjoy her anymore. Yes, I know she was probably supposed to be unlikable in the beginning so her character could grow/develop over the course of the novel. However, I’m not entirely sure that happened. Instead of growing to accept herself I think she became paranoid about little things and too concerned with other people’s opinions. At one point there was a big reveal that someone (I won’t say who) could see her. And Fiona literally freaked out. Now to me, I think if I was invisible and someone could finally see me I would be thrilled. Yes, it would make you feel exposed but it should also make you feel special and excited. Maybe my perception is wrong, but I just feel that her reactions to certain situations were odd.
Overall, I don’t actually dislike Transparent and as I said earlier I loved it in the beginning. The ending was not too shabby and I really enjoyed the villain even though I wish we’d gotten to see more of him. The middle of the book lacked some character development and seemed to just jump from one plot point to the next without any substance in between. If you like Dystopian’s with a hint of mystery and mobsters, then definitely check out Transparent.
3.5 out of 5 Controllers