Review: Transparent by Natalie Whipple
by: Natalie Whipple
Publication Date: May 21, 2013
Genre: Paranormal, Science Fiction
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: an e-ARC was provided from Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review
Page Count: 368 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Wow, this book! Some of the reviews coming out were lower than I was expecting, so I went in treading carefully with this one. But- I really liked it! It was such a fast read for me- I couldn't put it down. I really enjoyed reading about Fiona and her messed up family situation, her newfound friends, and her budding romance with another character.
As you read from the synopsis above, Fiona is on the run with her mother- no longer wanting to be a pawn in her father's game and schemes. She has two older brothers: Graham and Miles. Graham is her father's mini-soldier and he and Fiona have a very hateful relationship. Miles, on the other hand, is attending school and is Fiona's rock. He is there for her no matter what and vows to help take care of her and keep their brother and father from finding where she is. Fiona dreams of having a normal life- well, as normal as she can, considering the fact that she's invisible. There are ways around that though- Fiona dresses in ways to attract attention to herself and accessorizes to help people determine where her face, etc. should be. Fiona isn't the only one who is different though. Many people have different 'abilities' due to taking a drug called Radiosure, which was given in order to prevent a nuclear holocaust. The result: a mutated population with abilities such as super strength, flight, invisibility, etc. And a whole lot of prejudices.
On more than one occasion my heart ached for Fiona. Here is a girl, who has been isolated by her father and sent to do his bidding, never really making friends or gaining the self-confidence she needs. She has very low self-esteem, due to her not knowing what she looks like. Upon fleeing to the small town of Madison, however, everything starts to change for Fiona. She meets people who also have mutated abilities, but who genuinely want to be her friend. They don't see her as a freak and welcome her with open arms. Bea and Brady are the two she initially meets and while she pushes them away at first, because she is so distrustful of anyone new, she later forms a very strong friendship with both of them. (She even has a crush on Brady!) Then there's Seth (Brady's brother), a senior who is quite dislikeable at first. Fiona and Bea go to him for Math tutoring, and he is constantly pushing Fiona's buttons.
Seth's character was probably my favorite in the book. He really was a distant, cold jerk when we first met him and he definitely takes some warming up to. His brother is the complete opposite and you can't help but love him. However, as sweet and likeable as Brady is, you knew there was something there between Seth and Fiona. Sure, the two test each other and squabble endlessly, but once you peel back the layers, you really see a different side to Seth and realize just how much him and his brother have gone through.
Bea's family, nicknamed The Pack, also welcome Fiona with open arms. Where Fiona's relationship with her own mother is strained, Bea's family takes her right in and makes her feel welcome like she's always been a part of the family.
From the beginning of the book to the end Fiona undergoes such a transformation. She begins her story living in fear and then on the run with low self-esteem and dealing with loneliness. She ends however, a much stronger person: confident and willing to go to any lengths necessary to protect the ones she loves. This doesn't magically happen though. There are alot of events that were set in motion to get her to this point and most of all, the support and strength of her friends that got her there.
I felt like the pacing in the book went very well. There was just enough action, romance, and suspense to keep me completely engaged. Not to mention Whipple does throw in a few important plot twists that definitely throw us for a loop! Though, I confess: one of them I saw coming. Which, I won't say! Guess you'll have to read it and then chat with me about it! :D