Book Review: Transparent

Published By: HarperTeen
Publication Date: May 21, 2013
Page Count: 368
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy

Fiona O'Connell lives in a world where organized crime rules the world and her father is the leader of one of the largest syndicates in the United States. Fiona is a weapon that he loves to control, but can she truly do everything her daddy says? When her father orders her to assassinate the daughters of another syndicate leader, Fiona and her mother go on the run. They are tired of being criminals and risking their lives to please a man who never truly loved either of them. Hidden in the Arizona desert, both women seek to move on with their lives and live for themselves. All of this would be a lot easier if Fiona wasn't invisible. Fiona can't risk being caught by her father; an invisible assassin would be a perfect weapon and she'd never be free.

In Fiona's world, people are born regular or gifted. Those called gifted have genetic mutations that allow them to do incredible things - some minor and others major. For example, aside from Fiona's invisibility, one character has super human strength while another can fly. I won't go into too much details about the variety of mutations that crop up in this book, but they are fascinating. Like in the X-Men, those with mutations are feared by those who have none and are desired by criminals who want to use their gifts for nefarious purposes. The origin of the mutations was a source of intrigue for me. I loved the creativity behind it and the historical connections.

In addition to the fascinating world, I loved these characters. Fiona is a truly an independent, take charge kind of girl. She is coming into her own and by the end of the novel, I feel like she is truly comfortable in her own invisible skin. She learns to trust others and to value her own strength. In the beginning, she struggles with how her invisibility makes her different from everyone, but by the end of the novel she begins to realize that she has a lot in common with her new group of friends. I loved The Pack and Fiona's brothers too. I have a particular fondness for Brady and Seth. In general, I adored all the characters - even the villains were well written and people I loved to hate.

Transparent was a fun read that kept me riveted from start to finish. The story is fast paced and exciting. It does have flaws, but they didn't impede my enjoyment. I think the key to loving this one is loving Fiona. She has her selfish moments and she's quite stubborn. If you're on her side, then you'll enjoy the novel. 

One Last Gripe: There were some plot elements that irked me. For example, if you're trying to hide from your crime boss father, why do you enroll in public school? 

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The mutations

First Sentence: I nearly died the second I was born.

Favorite Character: Seth

Least Favorite Character: Fiona's Father

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.


  1. I read this book too and I feel the same way. I was pretty weirded out when her mom enrolled her in public school. Anyway, i'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

    1. I didn't let those little plot issues interfere with my enjoyment though. I pushed them aside and kept reading, but I can see how that will be difficult for some readers to do.

  2. Well, i love the whole idea of invisibility and it sounds very intriguing. I love the cover, too and the idea of crime ruling the word
    Adding this to my TBR
    Your reader,

    1. I think you'll really enjoy this one, Soma. I liked the details about how Fiona's invisibility works and how she handles being so vastly different - even in a world where mutations are common. I really loved her character.

  3. Replies
    1. I predict it will be one of your 2013 favorites. :)

  4. I really like the synopsis, and I'm glad you enjoyed it! Definitely checking this book out.

    1. I highly recommend it. It was a lot of fun!


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