Saturday, July 30, 2011

Review: Perfectly Invisible

Perfectly Invisible (Universally Misunderstood - Book 2) by Kristin Billerbeck

Publication Date: July 2011
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Genre: Christian YA
Pages: Paperback, 267pp
ISBN-13: 9780800719739
ISBN: 0800719735

(Received for an honest review from Revell Books)

Kristin Billerbeck on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter

Excerpt from Perfectly Invisible


Life after high school is so close and yet so very far away.

It's Daisy Crispin's final semester of high school, and she plans to make it count. Her long-awaited freedom is mere months away, and her big plans for college loom in the future. Everything is under control.

Or is it?

Her boyfriend is treating her like she's invisible, and her best friend is making her sell bad costume jewelry in the school quad - and hanging out with her boyfriend. To top it off, Daisy's major humiliation of the year will be remembered in the yearbook for all eternity. It's enough to maker her wonder if maybe being invisible isn't so bad after all.

Can Daisy get her life back on track? Or is she stuck in this town forever?


Author Kristin Billerbeck brings readers the latest book in her Universally Misunderstood series. Perfectly Invisible, is a Young Adult novel with a Christian perspective and readers will find it inspirational, as well as, entertaining. Tackling issues like poverty, humiliation and teenage love, Perfectly Invisible is a book that young Christian readers will identify with and relate to. Daisy may not be perfect but she realizes just how special she really is in this great coming of age story!

It's Daisy Crispin's Senior year of high school and her dreams of college and a different life are within her grasp. But in typical Daisy fashion, things don't always turn out like she thinks they will. Attending an elite private school has afforded Daisy the opportunity to go to Pepperdine University in Malibu but she has to make it through high school first. Being a poor girl in a rich and affluent school isn't always easy and Daisy's friends aren't helping. Her boyfriend, Jeremy seems to be thinking about just about anything but her and her best friend Claire's charmed life is getting in the way of their friendship. Why does high school have to be so hard?

The continuing story of Daisy Crispin is the crux of Krisitin Billerbeck's second book in the Universally Misunderstood series. Billerbeck gives readers a glimpse into the psyche of the teenage mind in Perfectly Invisible. Kids today are bombarded with so many different things that it's hard to know which issues to tackle. In this book Billerbeck takes on several themes. Including humiliation and mean girls and what a Christian teen should do in dangerous situations. I think Billerbeck has done a nice job of bringing these issues to the forefront and showing teenage readers that they are all facing similar situations in life and that in essence it does get better and life does go on after high school.

Daisy is a poor girl in a rich school and she has often felt the distance between her life and that of her best friend Claire. But she understands the advantages it has afforded her that she wouldn't have been able to have otherwise. As a character I think Daisy is dealing with feeling under appreciated and less worthy than some of the other girls in her school. I think this is a common thing among teenagers and I think a lot of young girls will identify with Daisy's situation and not be quite sure what to do about it. I liked the fact that the author allowed Daisy to have doubts and problems and to show that just because you may be a Christian, life still isn't rainbows and butterfly's. It's hard and Christian teens face some serious decisions in high school that will affect the rest of their lives. Billerbeck was able to convey that to readers in a very real way.

One of the things that I found interesting in this book was the way the author chose to portray the relationship between Daisy and her boyfriend. Billerbeck shows readers a nice balance between being intimate with your boyfriend or girlfriend and not showing any affection at all. She validates the feelings of this teenage couple without making it a choice between going all the way and never touching each other. I think there are a lot of Christian teenagers that struggle with their feelings for each other and the appropriate way to express them and Billerbeck is quick to show them that it's not a sin to share a kiss. Well done!

There were parts of the book that didn't sit as well with me as others did, though. Daisy is very loyal to her friend Claire and I think that is commendable but I also think there comes a time even as Christian teen where you have to ask yourself if a relationship is healthy to continue? In my opinion Billerbeck portrays Claire as a friend who takes a whole lot more than she gives. She treats Daisy with disrespect and I found myself being very offended by her behavior more than once. Both girls are said to be Christians and I think there are definitely Christians who still don't know how to treat other people, but it bothered me a bit. That's not to say that the writing was not very well done and I think that Billerbeck made Claire that way on purpose, it just wasn't something that sat well with me.

There were definitely more pro's than con's with this book and I would still recommend it to my young adult readers, but I would caution that they consider it as one person's story and not as a guide to approaching every situation in their own lives. Each person is different and their situations may be similar but their relationship with God is personal and they have to make decisions based on that. It's a relatively short book at just over 250 pages. It would make a great vacation read or for a day at the lake or the beach. Remember, life doesn't end with high school... it gets better!

Available July 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of the Baker Publishing Group.

I'm giving this one 3 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Kristin Billerbeck is the bestselling, award-winning author of several novels, including What a Girl Wants and Perfectly Dateless. She lives with her family in northern California.