Invisible Girl Mary Hanlon Stone
After Stephanie's drunk, abusive mother walks out on their family, she is sent from Boston to California to live with a wealthy family friend. In Boston, she never had friends (ever since the sleep over when parents came to pick up their kids and found Stephanie's mom drunk) and knows how to be invisible. Now she's thrust into a world of pretty people and she reinvents herself to fit into their world. It is only when her host sister Annie's queen-bee status is challenged by a beautiful newcomer that the lies Stephanie has built up start crumbling.
Eh. Stephanie annoyed me a lot. For someone who was supposed to be smart, she did a lot of stupid things. For someone who spent so much time observing people and reading, she had no idea how the world worked, which I found to be rather unbelievable. There were also weird character things, like she has this list of vocab words and uses big words to hide herself, but doesn't know what pasta is? Really?
Also, WTF was up with her father sending her away? WHY was that necessary? Her father really sucked (never did anything to stop the abuse and sends her away and won't let her come back with no explanation?) and while Stephanie thought about it (a bit) it was never really explored, just kinda put out there and dropped. The basic premise required a suspension of disbelief that I wasn't entirely ready to give.
It's like there were two stories that didn't quite come together-- Stephanie dealing with her mom and the break-up of her family and Stephanie being a poor outside observer to the rich and beautiful.
That said, it was a quick read that, despite my issues and lingering questions, I did get sucked into. The social politics and mean-girlness of Annie's group of friends was well-done, especially how Annie reacts to the arrival of Amal.
Book Provided by... my local library
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