Blog Tour Review and Giveaway: Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible by Suzanne Kamata
Welcome to Mother/Gamer/Writer for the Gadget Girl Blog Tour. For today’s tour stop, please enjoy CrayolaKym’s review of this coming of age story and enter to win one of 5 paperback copies!
Title: Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible
Author: Suzanne Kamata
Publication Date: May 17th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Blog Tour
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Aiko Cassidy is fourteen and lives with her sculptor mother in a small Midwestern town. For most of her young life Aiko, who has cerebral palsy, has been her mother’s muse. But now, she no longer wants to pose for the sculptures that have made her mother famous and have put food on the table. Aiko works hard on her own dream of becoming a great manga artist with a secret identity.
When Aiko’s mother invites her to Paris for a major exhibition of her work, Aiko at first resists. She’d much rather go to Japan, Manga Capital of the World, where she might be able to finally meet her father, the indigo farmer. When she gets to France, however, a hot waiter with a passion for manga and an interest in Aiko makes her wonder if being invisible is such a great thing after all. And a side trip to Lourdes, ridiculous as it seems to her, might just change her life.
Gadget Girl began as a novella published in Cicada. The story won the SCBWI Magazine Merit Award in Fiction and was included in an anthology of the best stories published in Cicada over the past ten years.[/note]
This is a coming of age story where finding who you truly are and the essence of being can be refreshing. Being fifteen and having Cerebral Palsy, Aiko has typically turned to trying to be as invisible as possible, to the point she writes manga under a pseudonym and distributes it throughout school and town where it is becoming quite a hit with the locals, including the boy she really likes and just so happens to be one of the leading stars. Her mom is a vivacious artist who has always sought out inspiration through the demise of Aiko’s disability and enamors the art world on a global scale. When her art takes them to Paris, Aiko finds there is more to the world and it is time she stepped from her shell and become her own woman.
At first glance, the cover is confusing. The title is Gadget Girl and there are pictures of egg beaters, pliers, a utility knife, and a sculpting knife. Is this book about a girl and gadgets or a girland tools? When I think of gadgets, I think of calculators, spy equipment, computers, and anything specifically techy and nerdy. After reading the synopsis, I was even more confused. I’m still not seeing “gadgets.”
Author Suzanne Kamata does a splendid job building really emotional intact characters that are genuinely likable and easy to relate to. Aiko’s story is a common one of disability,single parent, teenage insecurities and longing to have some sense of resolution in knowing her real father and figuring out what her mom is hiding and why. Where I found problems, was other than Aiko and her mother, the characters were only seen on the surface and a bit more depth to the supporting characters could really have carried this story further.
Kamata has a talent for building the world around her characters which tends to pick up the weight of the story where it lacks. The reader gets an array of adventures in Gadget Girl taking you through multiple settings. From a high school to a cafe in Paris, these moments throughout the book kept the story moving along despite the story itself feeling slow and only mildly alive.
I felt the story was denied real feeling and just slipped through the events as it progressed through the chapters. Aiko wrote her own manga, however, it would have been nice to have delved a bit deeper into this story line, after all, it is the name of the book yet it only had a surface story in the book. She writes it under a pseudonym, her friend’s brother prints it and they distribute it, even throughout Paris and the story line is about a girl, much like Aiko, and her woes of life. It really had too small of a role in this book.
Chapter after chapter I kept saying this is where the climax will be. But it just never came. This is where she will have her big romantic moment; it never came. She will find some medical trial for her Cerebral Palsy; it never came. She will find her dad and hear his side; it never came. I was even more distraught when finishing up Chapter 36, I went to turn the page and that was it. The End. I was actually perturbed as it lacked an ending all together. I actually scrolled around a bit to make sure my Kindle hadn’t skipped forward, but no. That was it.
While the book did have my emotions on a roller coaster throughout the chapters, it just so happened to have been a kiddy roller coaster missing all of the thrills of the ups and downs. While I wouldn’t buy this book, I would say if you have absolutely nothing left to read and the library has a copy, to pick it up. You won’t hate it, but you won’t love it either.
3 out of 5 Controllers