Mini Book Reviews: She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick & Tin Star (Tin Star #1) by Cecil Castellucci

Posted June 28, 2014 by Melissa in Book Review | 5 Comments

Two mini reviews today tied together by one thing…amazing covers. Though my thoughts on the content of each of these varies…my thoughts on the covers do not. A+ to both…what amazingly gorgeous and captivating artistry…you’ll want these on your shelf for the covers alone!

Title: She Is Not Invisible
Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Age Group:  Young Adult
Genre: Mystery | Contemporary
Length: 224 Pages
Publisher:Roaring Brook Press | Macmillan
Publication Date: April 22nd 2014
Available Formats: Hardcover, E-book
Find it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
Source: Publisher


Laureth Peak’s father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers–a skill at which she’s remarkably talented. Her secret: She is blind. But when her father goes missing, Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin are thrust into a mystery that takes them to New York City where surviving will take all her skill at spotting the amazing, shocking, and sometimes dangerous connections in a world full of darkness. She Is Not Invisible is an intricate puzzle of a novel that sheds a light on the delicate ties that bind people to each other.

My Thoughts

Marcus Sedgwick has another winner. Young Adult that pushes the boundaries, She is Not Invisible is definitely a read that all ages would find engaging. Laureth is an amazing character. Precocious beyond her years and amazing by any standards…all that she accomplishes is mind boggling.  The kid brother with the unique “super power” who is loyal and supportive to a fault was the perfect sidekick.  I loved the setting and the characterizations.  The way the main character rationalized, justified and then simply went with whatever came.  I loved them both.

The plot was a bit thin, but I mostly didn’t mind.  It was merely the vehicle used to take Laureth and Benjamin on this amazing ride.  I loved all of the little peeks into the father’s notebook and the speculation about coincidences.  Quite different in tone and content than my previous Sedgwick read, Midwinterblood, this book nevertheless confirmed for me that Sedgwick deserves a place on my “Authors to Read” shelf.  This book is the ultimate YA road trip…but mixed with some mystery, a little thriller, and great philosophical debates…it crosses the divide easily into literary fiction.

Was It Worth My Time?

5 Timepieces

Title: Tin Star
Series: Tin Star #1
Author: Cecil Castellucci
Age Group:  Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 240
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press | Macmillan
Publication Date:  February 25th 2014
Available Formats: Hardcover, E-Book
Find It: Goodreads
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
Source:  Publisher


On their way to start a new life, Tula and her family travel on the Prairie Rose, a colony ship headed to a planet in the outer reaches of the galaxy. All is going well until the ship makes a stop at a remote space station, the Yertina Feray, and the colonist’s leader, Brother Blue, beats Tula within an inch of her life. An alien, Heckleck, saves her and teaches her the ways of life on the space station.

When three humans crash land onto the station, Tula’s desire for escape becomes irresistible, and her desire for companionship becomes unavoidable. But just as Tula begins to concoct a plan to get off the space station and kill Brother Blue, everything goes awry, and suddenly romance is the farthest thing from her mind.

My Thoughts

Tin Star started out with so much potential. Though an enjoyable read, I did feel a bit let down. Cecil Castellucci gives us the amazing backdrop of an isolated space station and one lone human girl left to survive among not so friendly alien races with little to no hope for any sort of rescue.  The highlights of the story were the interpersonal relationships that developed many times despite, although a few times due to, the cultural differences and divides between the races on the station.

Truthfully though, I found that this book seemed to be a lot longer than it actually was…the plot postponed and day to day life and survival taking the forefront… led to a pretty slow read.  Perhaps this is building up to a sequel?  I’m not sure if I would pick it up but I still feel that there is a lot of potential here that could be fashioned into something fantastic.

Was It Worth My Time?

3 Timepieces

About Marcus Sedgwick

MARCUS SEDGWICK was born and raised in East Kent in the south-east of England. He now lives in the French Alps.

He is the winner of many prizes, most notably the Michael L. Printz Award for 2014, for his novel Midwinterblood. Marcus has also received two Printz Honors, for Revolver in 2011 and The Ghosts of Heaven in 2016, giving him the most citations to date for America’s most prestigious book prize for writing for young adults. Other notable awards include Floodland, Marcus’ first novel, which won the Branford-Boase Award in 2001, a prize for the best debut novel for children each year, My Swordhand is Singing won the Booktrust Teenage Prize for 2007, and Lunatics and Luck won a Blue Peter Book Award in 2011.

His books have been shortlisted for over forty other awards, including the Carnegie Medal (six times), the Edgar Allan Poe Award (twice) and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize (four times). He has twice been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, in 2016 and 2017.

Marcus was Writer in Residence at Bath Spa University for three years, reviews for The Guardian newspaper and teaches creative writing at Arvon and Ty Newydd. He is currently working on film and book projects with his brother, Julian, as well as a graphic novel with Thomas Taylor. He has judged numerous books awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the Costa Book Awards.

He has illustrated some of his books, and has provided wood-engravings for a couple of private press books.

His latest titles in the UK are Saint Death and Snow.

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