Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Review: Invisible Girl by Mary Hanlon Stone

Book Description via Goodreads:

When poor Boston girl Stephanie is abandoned by her abusive mother and taken in by Annie’s Beverly Hills family, she feels anything but home. Her dark complexion and accent stick out like a sore thumb in the golden-hued world of blondes and extravagance. These are girls who seem to live life in fastforward, while Stephanie is stuck on pause. Yet when a new rival moves to town, threatening Annie’s queen-bee status, Stephanie finds herself taking sides in a battle she never even knew existed, and that feeling invisible is a wound that can only be healed by standing up for who she is.

Brilliant newcomer Mary Hanlon Stone delivers a compulsively readable insider’s view of growing up in a world where money and privilege don’t always glitter.

Source: Penguin USA (Thanks!)

My Thoughts:

When I picked up Invisible Girl, I didn’t expect that I would finish it that fast. I was pulled in by the struggle and sadness of Stephanie. The novel starts with a powerful and emotionally-charged scene and peels Stephanie’s skin to reveal the scared and worried girl that she is underneath her carefully composed façade. The comfort and protection coming from words was a unique thing about this novel. It adds personality to her and creates fun and vivid imagery.

The story of Stephanie was artfully written. The complexities of her life, her mask hiding her problems and her hunger for a sense of belongingness propel her to try to fit in, in Annie’s luxurious and sparkly little world – where she is Annie’s rich and significant cousin, but in reality, she is the opposite. The weight of peer pressure was shown with forced compliance and sometimes harsh and raw exchanges between the characters. The want to belong and be accepted in a group forces Stephanie to be someone she is not, someone fake, someone who is an echo of manipulating and demanding Annie. The impulsive and fluctuating emotions of teenagers were also mirrored and accompanied by a care-free feel.

Amal is the image of purity and innocence. She’s the rival of Annie, the dark goddess of beauty. Pawned and deceived by the welcoming act of Annie and her friends, she stumbles clueless onto the path of masked cruelty. Ignored and obviously not belonging to Annie’s circle of friends, Stephanie finds a friend in Amal.

Invisible Girl is the struggle of an abused girl through the pain and agony of domestic violence, cruelty and apathy of fortunate kids, and the difficulty of opening up and admitting that something is weighing her down.



  1. This sounds beautiful and intense! I think I would really like Amal.
    Thanks for the review!

  2. such a well-written review! i'll probably check this title out :)

  3. This one sounds good, I hadn't heard of it. I'll be adding it to my list. Thanks for the great review!

  4. I think I have this one on my Wishlist but a different cover. Great review it peeked my interest again.

  5. I saw that you are a part of the Debut Author Challenge! That is so amazing that you are supporting debut authors and I only recently found out that I am going to be one!!! I wanted to ask if you wouldn’t mind heading over to my blog and giving me your opinion. As a blogger turned author I would really appreciate it and the publisher is still giving out ARCs so you might have a chance at a free copy! Thank you and I hope you will stop by and check out The Thirteenth Chime!

    Emma Michaels

    P.S.- My release date if Friday the 13th (August this year) isn't that crazy?