"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

-C.S. Lewis

What we read has such an impact on us, and I am always on the lookout for something that will inspire me to be a better person. Here is a sampling of books that have been in the teetering stack sitting on top of what is rumored to be my bedside table.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Invincible, by Cecily Anne Paterson

     Invincible is the sequel to Invisible, a book  about a partially deaf middle school girl who is trying to find her way in the world after her father's death.  And while I picked up Invisible quite by accident, I was very much looking forward to reading its sequel.

     Invincible picks up where Invisible left off, although I think it does well as a stand-alone book, as well.  I feel that Cecily Paterson really comes into her own as a novelist with this book.  Even more so than its predecessor, Invincible does a fantastic job of relating the journey of a young girl through the murky waters of adolescence.  It is just as meaningful and entertaining as Sarah Dessen's best works.

     In this installment of Jazmine's story, we see more of the self confidence that she started to develop in Invisible.  But this confidence starts to wear ragged around the edges as Jazmine finds herself trapped in a relationship that is slowly turning from slightly controlling into downright abusive.

     The abusive relationship is a theme that I haven't seen explored much in YA fiction, and particularly at the lower levels as this book is.  But I admire the author for tackling it.  So many of our girls - today and in generations past - get trapped in abusive situations because they can't recognize the signs until they're too emotionally attached to leave.  Either that, or they don't know how to stand up for themselves.  We focus so much on this kind of abuse in the adult world, but it's just as much of a problem in adolescent dating.  And it's rare to find a book that touches on it with so much accuracy.

     A girl reading this book is going to follow Jazmine as she goes through the classic issues of not knowing what to do, of hiding the problem from her friends and family, and finally the awareness that she is worth so much more than what her boyfriend makes her feel.  Her growth from helpless victim to a young lady of confidence and bravery is an inspiration that any girl would benefit from reading.  And as with the prequel, there is nothing in Invincible that would give parents pause.

     This is a book that I will give to my daughter, and I encourage any parent to do the same.  It's eye-opening in a non-preachy, entertaining way.  The topic it covers is too prevalent in our society, and I feel this book should be given the attention that it is due.

     Five out of Five Stars