Booked til Tuesday

Life, Law & Libros

Transparent by Natalie Whipple (2 stars)

Transparent hit my radar a year or two ago when I found the Friday the Thirteeners blog, a group of YA writers debuting in 2013. Natalie Whipple was among them and Transparent is her first published novel. I liked the general idea. (I'm almost always up to try X-Men powers meets mafia YA stories.) I didn't fully connect with any of the characters, but the story itself was decently entertaining- a good beach read. :)

Transparent by Natalie Whipple
Series: Transparent #1
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Contemporary
Published on May 21, 2013
Published by HarperTeen
Final Rating: 2 stars
Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.

I can sum this book up in two words: not bad. If we want to get wordy: not bad at all. The writing's not bad, the MC's not bad, and the plot's not bad (up until the end where everything falls apart and then rapidly climaxes and wraps up).

Transparent is a quick, enjoyable read, but I was a little disappointed. This is the third special powers mafia book I've read this year, and I was hoping for a plot centered more on the syndicates, not the classic/cliched "I just want to be a normal girl." On the bright side, Fiona's friends are decent secondary characters, and Fiona's interactions with them are pretty believable. On the dark side, the romance quickly overpowers the friendships, and I was more interested in the stories of some side characters than in the MC's.

The other big issue is the lack of conflict. There is conflict, but a lot of it is imagined or hypothetical, speculative. And then the real conflict felt a little overly dramatic? Regardless, it isn't as compelling as it could have been and the pacing is fairly slow throughout.

Still, it's not a bad read. I would like to know more about this world and the apparently endless possibilities of the "gifted" people in it. Which is probably why there's a sequel. :)


  1. "I just want to be a normal girl." Why does that always happen? Why don't these characters just embrace it?!

    1. I completely agree! I would love a character like Adelina from Young Elites who has a bit of darkness of her, but yet knows how to control her powers, perhaps a bit like this Fiona. Maybe I just want a realistic superhero?? I might still grab this one from the library

    2. I'm not entirely sure, Kat. My best guess is it's a result of the whole "grass is greener" syndrome combined with general teenager insecurities, but who knows?

    3. I'm not sure I can say Fiona has a lot of "darkness" in her exactly, Alyssa, but I think you may like this one. Good luck! :)