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Invisible (Smith High) by Marni Bates
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Invisible (Smith High)

by Marni Bates

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Since I enjoyed the first two books in this series featuring “nerdy” high school kids who triumph over the popular kids, I was eager to read this one. Although even more predictable than the first two, and with characters not quite as lovable, this one still ought to please tween audiences.

Jane Smith is the best friend of MacKenzie Wellesley and Corey O’Neal. They used to form a reliable threesome of “Invisibles” (as opposed to the “Notables”) at high school, but now both MacKenzie and Corey have significant others, and Jane is feeling even more invisible than usual.

Instead of fighting back, she only gets more insecure and withdrawn. She starts keeping a secret journal of stories, usually featuring herself and her friends. She would love to write fiction for the school newspaper, but she is only the “grammar girl.” The nasty editor, Lisa Anne Montgomery, agrees to give her a shot at a front page story, and pairs her with the cute but hostile photographer, Scott Fraser, warning Jane this will be her one and only chance so she better come up with a good story.

Quite predictably, one of Jane’s private stories (revealing a bit too much about her best friends), ends up in Lisa’s hands, and makes the front page of the newspaper. Chaos ensues, and making things right will require Jane to take a huge risk to fight not only for the friends she loves, but for herself.

Discussion: Bates adds a nice mix of humor to this story. For example, when Jane gets detention, she thinks:

"Detention is nothing like The Breakfast Club. I sat down in my hard plastic chair hoping there would be some group bonding, maybe a little dancing, a few heart-to-heart moments set to eighties music. John Hughes shouldn’t have given me such high expectations.”

Jane’s boss at her part-time job at the bookstore, Mrs. Blake, also adds comic relief as an endearingly quirky character.

But this book is actually “darker” (if you could call any of them dark) than the other stories. And the mistake Jane made could have had some horrible consequences, although of course, it all worked out. But I think, for that reason, this book would be good to read and discuss along with teens. There are plenty of issues that arise, like peer pressure, pre-judging others, the importance of parental support, and understanding the consequences of your actions, that could be debated.

Evaluation: This is a cute story with a lot of potential for “lessons” and discussion. ( )
  nbmars | Oct 24, 2014 |
I received this book as a Member Giveaway, and it is the third book in a series. I have not read the first two books and it is a teen series but it actually isn't bad. A bit predictable in the story line and ending, but it is still very readable. Pretty humorous in parts and definitely a recommended book for a light, fun read. ( )
  TracyCampbell | Jul 31, 2013 |
I will warn you from the beginning that there are spoilers in this review. While I appreciate being given an advanced reader copy from Kensington to read and review, I have to admit I was disappointed in this book. While it had a great premise, it was not delivered well enough. The heroine was very lackluster in her behavior. The love interest was no hero in my opinion. From the beginning I was trying to find him redeemable but this guy irked me from the beginning. Any guy who could stand around doing nothing but take pictures while a girl he is supposed to be attracted to gets punched in the face is scum. I kept trying to find something likeable about this guy since Jane was obviously attracted to him but all I could think is she has lousy taste as he proved again later in the story to be a jerk again. I was very disappointed in Jane as the main character and her love interest. In order for me to read anymore of Ms. Bates work she is going to have to make her characters more admirable. ( )
  cherierj | Jul 8, 2013 |
This book started very unreal to me, who is able to become visible in only a few days after years of being a shadow. Jane definitely craved being visible, after being overshadowed by her 'famous' friends she sets herself a goal. Becoming visible and actually write something in the school newspaper instead of editing for others.

It was hard getting into the main character 'Jane'. She annoyed me on more than one occasion with being bald, dramatic and overreacting on a lot of things. She is not just obsessing on her own life but also on that of everyone else.

Without even noticing it at first I got over my annoyance of Jane, and couldn't stop myself in wanting to finish this book. The main reason of not quitting was that I really wanted to find out what she was gonna write on the front page and how her love life would turn out.

The other characters really made this book a fun read. I especially loved the mean girl in this story, Chelsea. Normally there is no debt in these kinds of characters and it was great to read here why the other characters were afraid of her. Scott was by far my favorite character; even though he is mentioned as one of the mean kids in the beginning I loved him anyways. He never really did anything wrong and as I said before Jane just totally overreacted on the situation in my opinion. Scott is a charismatic gentleman who isn't afraid to tell the truth. He is totally adorable and plays a big part in Jane's quest of becoming visible.

All in all, I guess this book needed a bit more depth. Yes, there was an intriguing story line otherwise I would never have finished. But maybe the case was that there was only one story and it was not that hard to foretell what was going to happen.

To end this review I would like to say that this book is worth a read. It’s fun and light and at some points quite entertaining. I will also be looking forward to Marni Bates next book 'Notable'. I'm curious if we are going to see more of the other characters in this book, and of course I want to know more about Chelsea’s view on life.

With thanks to Netgalley for providing me with the ARC of this book.

Love,
Anne

http://pursuit-of-books.blogspot.com ( )
  pursuitofbooks | Jun 13, 2013 |
Jane Smith is invisible at her high school and that's the way she likes it. Things start to change when she starts a fistfight with a football player, she gets talked into auditioning for the school play and has to write a cover story for the school newspaper. I couldn't wait to finish the book to find out how Jane changes from invisible to visible. ( )
  bah195 | Jun 5, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0758269382, Paperback)

Jane Smith has survived three years of high school without making a single enemy, all by keeping a low profile. Not even her three best friends, Kenzie, Corey and Isobel, can say the same. But with Corey dating the lead singer from ReadySet and Kenzie in a relationship too, being invisible tends to be lonely. But now she's written an article for her school newspaper that has accidentally snagged the attention of some celebrities. Turns out, people get really upset when their innermost secrets are splashed all over the front page. And new her well-ordered life is being blasted to hell, with results that are wildly unexpected.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:57 -0400)

Maintaining a low profile in order to survive high school, Jane Smith receives unwanted attention when she publishes an article in the school newspaper that reveals some of the popular kids' secrets.

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