Book Review: Blindsided by Natalie Whipple

BlindsidedTitle: Blindsided (Transparent, #2) 

Author: Natalie Whipple 

Publication date: January 2, 2014 

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Pages: 330 

Source: Finished copy provided by publisher (Thank you, Hot Key Books!)

Purchase the book: Amazon / Book Depository / Hot Key Books

Synopsis: 

Three months after Fiona escapes from her father’s syndicate, all seems well in her tiny town of Madison, Arizona. She and Seth are happy together – apart from the teensy fact of Fiona being jealous that Seth can see through her invisibility – and her family and friends are safe. But when the local syndicate and even the Army show up, it’s clear there’s more going on in town than she could ever imagine. It seems like these huge powers are interested in the old Radiasure factory – could they be reproducing the infamous drug that caused mutations? – and everyone suspects Fiona of knowing more than she should. As Fiona and her friends try to cover their tracks, they discover that they do have some dangerous knowledge. Though at first determined to stop anyone from remaking Radiasure, Fiona learns a secret that could change everything, including her invisibility. Torn between her own desires and the greater good, Fiona might be too blindsided to see the real villain coming.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

After reading the last sentence in Transparent, I strongly felt that there’s a lot more to be explored in its unique world. I was so ecstatic when I learned that there’s going to be a sequel! Blindsided immediately became part of my 2014 TBR list. But waiting to read the sequels of books we love feels like a million years, doesn’t it? So I would like to thank the amazing Hot Key Books for sending me an early copy. 🙂

Blindsided. Wow. Natalie Whipple crafted a thrilling roller coaster ride of a story that amazed me in so many ways. All the intense situations, action-packed scenes, and unexpected twists pushed me to the edge of my seat. My heartbeat skipped along with every gasp that escaped my lips. The mystery and suspense surrounding the story made me feel like I was watching a crime/action movie the whole time I was reading! Each chapter ended with a cliffhanger or a string of questions that prompted my fingers to turn the next page.

In Blindsided, readers are carried back to Madison, Arizona, where main character Fiona and her mother appear to live a normal life. I appreciated Fiona in this book because she truly grew as a character. She is braver and better this time.

The significance of family is one of the things I loved in Transparent. I’m so happy that it still plays a huge part in the sequel. It was good to see Fiona’s mom fulfill the duties of a doting mother—taking care of her children and prioritizing their safety. Fiona’s brothers, Miles and Graham, are totally noteworthy. Miles has been the affectionate and watchful brother since Transparent. He’ll always be one of my favorite fictional brothers! Graham, on the other hand, surprised me a lot. It’s as if his bad reputation burned to the ground and a new Graham emerged from the ashes. I think the Graham portrayed in Blindsided is the real Graham—a devoted and concerned son and brother.

Fiona and her boyfriend Seth are closer than before. There are more sweet scenes between them that will make readers flail and squeal in excitement. Seth is a very charming, kind-hearted, loving, and patient guy. Not to mention overprotective because he fears losing the girl he loves. Oh. My. Heart! What more can Fiona ask for? On top of that, Seth is the only one who fully understands Fiona inside and out. However, Fiona’s issues about her invisibility and physical appearance put their relationship to the test.

Fiona’s friends, also known as The Pack, is back in full force with their all out support, great fighting spirit, and yes, funny antics. I can say that Blindsided is one of the books that best depict genuine friendship. The unity, strength, and faith displayed by the characters made their bond stronger.

A cool, smart, and fearless character whose initials are L and S is also introduced in Blindsided. It was such a delight to meet her! What I loved about L.S. is that her character added rhythm and spark to the story. Readers will definitely find her awesome! 

Blindsided proves that we can find true happiness when we let go of the things that make us feel bad and live life the way it is. 2014 is off to a great start with this remarkable tale of love, friendship, trust, and embracing everything that makes us who we are.

Rating:

4.5/5 stars

Book Review: Transparent by Natalie Whipple

TransparentTitle: Transparent

Author: Natalie Whipple

Published: May 16, 2013

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Pages: 352

Source: Copy provided by publisher

Synopsis: 

High school is hard when you’re invisible.

Fiona McClean hates her family, has had to move to a new school and seems to be completely invisible to the boy she likes. So far so normal, right? But Fiona really is invisible. She doesn’t even know what colour her own hair is.

Born into a world where Cold War anti-radiation pills have caused genetic mutations, Fiona is forced to work for her mind-controlling mobster father as the world’s most effective thief. When her father announces she must become a murdering assassin, Fiona and her telekinetic mother make a break for freedom. Running to a small Arizonian town, Fiona finds that playing at ‘normal life’ with a mother on the edge, a brother she can’t trust, and a boy who drives her crazy is as impossible as escaping her father.

*Image and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

Transparent is one of my anticipated books this year and I was so giddy to start reading the story when I got a review copy from its awesome UK publisher (Thank you, Hot Key Books!). I sincerely looked forward to exploring its intriguing world.

Enveloped in a unique fusion of contemporary and science fiction, Transparent is a glowing debut novel that opened my eyes to the wonders of the impossible.

I was immediately attracted to its clear, plausible and flawless writing style. Information was not dumped in one chapter, which I really liked because it gives readers time to grasp the concepts, terms and the intricate world itself. The flashbacks are very helpful in knowing the history of certain scientific elements such as mutations and superhuman powers. Not only that, readers will get to view and understand the main character’s past. The sequences of events are very organized, resulting in a smoothly-paced story flow.

Born invisible, Fiona struggles with accepting her identity as well as fitting in with society, particularly at her new school. Fiona’s thoughts are very sincere and insightful which will make readers feel what she goes through internally. Fiona lived in fear and was always running away from complicated situations. As the story progressed, Fiona transitioned into a brave individual. That transformation would not be possible without her friends who made Fiona realize that there are people who care for and believe in her. With that, Fiona saw her worth and learned to embrace her true self.

Fiona’s friends also showed their full support to her in times of trouble and made her feel “normal.” They treated her like an ordinary person regardless of her peculiarity, that of being invisible. It is through them that Fiona experienced the normal teenage life she has long been wishing for.

In addition, I appreciate how the story highlighted the importance of family. Fiona’s close relationship with her brother, Miles, was really admirable. How I wish I have an older brother like Miles! Fiona has a rocky relationship with her mother and oldest brother, Graham, in the beginning of the story. However, everything was straightened out and resolved in the end. I was really pleased, specifically with Graham, when it was revealed that his mean attitude towards Fiona was for a good cause. I will not elaborate on the good cause, for the reason that I don’t want future readers of Transparent to be spoiled of a very significant moment. But I’ll give you this: it was a great “moment of truth” that definitely changed my negative perception of Graham.

Natalie Whipple created characters with unbelievable powers living in believable situations. Having said that, I believe it is the author’s superpower. I am fully amazed by her effortless creativity. Of all the interesting characters in Transparent, I was drawn to Seth the most because of his swoon-worthy charm, not to mention his really cool superpower of seeing through things. He was mean to Fiona at first but then became caring and understanding when they started hanging out.

As time went by, Fiona developed feelings for Seth, who also has feelings for Fiona…since the day he first saw her. Sweet! 🙂 What I love about Seth’s character is that he sees the real Fiona and accepts her despite the bad things she did in the past. Fiona is part of her crime lord father’s syndicate but Seth disregarded that fact. To him she is the only one that matters. And because of Seth, Fiona opened herself to the possibility of love, no matter how scared she was. Isn’t that amazing? Love is truly stronger than fear. 🙂

While the story is considered as science fiction, the contemporary aspect embedded within makes it relatable to everyday life. Transparent is an enlightening, funny and delightful read. I’m certainly looking forward to Blindsided!

Rating:

4/5 stars

New books this week!

photo

What I got in the mail: 

Transparent by Natalie Whipple (for review)

Shiloh by Helena Sorensen (for review)

*Thank you Hot Key Books and author Helena Sorensen! 🙂

Bought: 

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (Power Books)

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (Power Books)

Thanks to a family friend’s birthday gift to me last month (Power Books gift cards!), I was able to buy books without spending any cash. Although I haven’t read Anna and the French Kiss, I bought Lola and the Boy Next Door because I feel that I would need it right away. I’ve been hearing lots of good things about Stephanie Perkins’ novels! In fact, author Kara Taylor told me in a Twitter chat the other day: “Your next mission: Read a @naturallysteph book as soon as possible.” So yeah, I’m going to read Stephanie Perkins’ books soon! Then there’s Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi which I’ve been eyeing since last year. I’m glad I finally have a copy now. 🙂

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Cheers,

Jesselle xx