Sunday, September 29, 2013


Author: David Levithan and Andrea Cremer
Publisher: Philomel
Released: January 1, 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Series: Maybe
Source: Library
Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life — because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible — because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth.
 What started out as what I thought would be an interesting exploration of being invisible and, on the other side, loving someone no one else knows exists, turned out to be a really gripping magic-filled adventure. Stephen and Elizabeth both have very strong voices, and though at first I was concentrating mostly on Stephen's story, especially since he started out the narration, I slid easily with the shift of importance to Elizabeth. But I love that they're both important, that this is both of their stories. And the way they save each other.

Stephen is understandably a very quiet, sensitive boy. He has been an observer all his life, after all, so he's used to noticing other peoples' actions and keeping to himself. I love the way he reacts when he realizes Elizabeth can see him. It definitely makes for a funny scene! And then as he tries to absorb the idea that someone can actually see him besides his mother, it's both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Elizabeth is a great character, too, and I like that she gets to know and love Stephen before she finds out he's invisible. I did find it a little weird that she doesn't notice anyone looking at her strangely for talking to herself when they're out, but I'm willing to think she was so focused on Stephen and New York that she didn't pay attention to other people. And then when she does find out, it's pretty perfect, too.

When they find out exactly what has to be done to break the curse, when a lot of the responsibility falls on Elizabeth, it's really great the way she grows into her maturity (though she was mature before, too). She goes from denying it, to tentatively accepting it, to going too far in her acceptance and then finally finding the right balance - though she kind of throws that all out in the end.

Laurie is a great character. Maybe a little too funny at times, but after what he's been through, his excessive humor is understandable. And he's strong and always there for Elizabeth, so that's great.

But aside from the characters, the action of the story is amazing also. The bad guy is really and truly, wonderfully, spine-tinglingly bad. And the things he does are horrible so that the things the heroes do are that much more heroic. And I like that mixed in with the action struggle is the internal struggle both Stephen and Elizabeth have. Because as much as this is an exciting book, it's really all about the kids.

Andrea Cremer has said on Twitter that there might be a sequel. Things are left pretty ambiguous at the end of this book, but if there's no sequel, I'd still be satisfied.

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