Review: Invisibility by Andrea Cremer & David Levithan

Title:  Invisibility
Author:  Andrea Cremer & David Levithan
Series:  None
Publisher:  Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication Date:  May 7, 2013
Pages:  358
Format/Source:  Hardback/Purchased
Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/Fantasy

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. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)

Missing Something…

I just read Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares recently, which is also co-authored by David Levithan, and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would.  I loved the beginning, and then my love just kind of ebbed as the book went on.  With Invisibility, it seemed to kind of go the other way.  I was having a hard time with it in the beginning, but then the book seemed to get better as the story went along.

But I still felt like there was something missing from Invisibility.  I’ve read a lot of David Levithan books now, and he is one of my favorite authors, but Invisibility seemed to be lacking a lot of that beautiful writing of his.  I did end up finding some beautiful lines, but this book wasn’t draped in all those eloquent and poignant words that I’ve come to equate with David Levithan.  I know there were two authors, and a lot of Andrea Cremer’s parts had great lines, and David’s parts did, too, but his books, whether written just by him or with a co-author, are normally so saturated in beautiful lines that I find myself filling my notes with nothing but wonderful quotes.  It was just kind of disappointing that Invisibility wasn’t like this as well.

The Good…

However, I did enjoy the story more as it went along, and there were some great suspenseful and creepy parts near the end.  I also like the fact that when Stephen was younger, he filled the role of another kid’s invisible friend. That was such a cute anecdote that I really loved.  I also really loved the character of Laurie, Elizabeth’s younger brother.  He had some great lines and was a really thoughtful character.

The Not-So-Good…

But I didn’t really enjoy the very end.  I wanted it to turn out a little differently.  And I didn’t like the fact that Stephen and Elizabeth’s romance was pretty much insta-love.  I understand why Stephen would fall so quickly (the first girl that can see him-literally!), but with Elizabeth, I’m not sure why she would fall so fast.  And there was one part that really didn’t seem to be explained.

Bonus Points…

Andrea Cremer and David Levithan get some of my bonus points for the following reasons:

  • Several Harry Potter references = 50,000 points
  • A Chronicles of Narnia reference = 25,000 points
  • A Charlie and the Chocolate Factory reference = 50,000 points
  • A Donnie Darko reference = 50,000 points
  • A Spider-Man reference = 15,000 points
  • A Doctor Who reference = 50,000 points

Great Quotes…

Despite the fact that this book wasn’t overfilled with all the beautiful writing I was expecting from a David Levithan book, I did find some lines that I thought were really great:

“The angel fountain offers a perfect place for those wishes you’re too afraid to admit you’ve locked away, even in the dusky minutes before falling into sleep, when your heart opens up like a night-blooming flower.”
“I wish there was some personal marker of time, so we didn’t have to rely upon days and weeks and months and years.  Because each of us has our own unit of measurement, our own relativity.  Spaces between loves.  Spaces between destinations.  Spaces between deaths.
Or just one death.  The quickness of time before.  The eternity of time after.”
“Every relationship hits this moment: the first time it stops coming together and starts coming apart.”
My rating for Invisibility by Andrea Cremer & David Levithan:
Actually 3.5 stars.  I enjoyed it, but I felt like there was something missing in the writing, and the story itself didn’t wow me like I was hoping.
Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Penguin
You may also enjoy:  Every Day │ Changers Book One: Drew
Disclaimer:  I purchased this book myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.

I read this book as a part of the Levithan Loveathon, hosted by my friend Courtney at Abducted by Books.


  1. Asheley (@BookwormAsheley)

    February 17, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Oh wow, I love David Levithan SO MUCH. It's ridiculous. I know a lot of people do and I appreciate that but I actually cannot approach him and talk coherently. I am too intimidated. ALSO, I cannot read his more recent books because with each one that I read, I fall in love with his writing even more. Does that even make sense? I don't know. So needless to say, I have this one but I haven't read it yet. BUT I have decided that I might like to do a print + audio because one of my favorite narrators (MacLeod Andrews) reads the male part(s) of this book. I love the quotes you included here, particular the middle one. Also, I've never read anything by Cremer, so perhaps this would be a great starting place for me – if I can work up the nerve to read it. (:

  2. Brandi Kosiner

    February 17, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    Glad you ended up reading even though the beginning was rough, I don't know if I could get past that.

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  4. Midnyte Reader

    February 20, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Wow, that Michelle sounds like an interesting gal! Anyway, I've read Andrea Cremer but not David. I'm sorry you were a bit disappointed in this book. It's not the kind of genre I would normally pick up, but I enjoyed reading your thoughts about it.

  5. Jen Ryland/YA Romantics

    February 20, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Yeah, interesting spam there. Congrats on the return of your husband :)

    I agree with your assessment of this book. I thought I was getting a contemporary romance with touches of the paranormal, but I wasn't a fan of the insta-love and the plot got a little weird for me. But still a huge fan of these authors!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

  6. Bittner

    February 22, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Again, I am just so grateful that you participated in my Levithan Loveathon this year! You are one of my strongest ambassadors! I am disappointed to hear that this particular book didn't wow you but I'm glad you were able to like it by the end.
    Have to give credit to the Donny Darko reference! Those are really rare!

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