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I Belong


Review: Invincible by Amy Reed

Invincible_tagline_final.inddTitle: Invincible

Author: Amy Reed

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Series: Invincible (Book #1)

Publication Date: April 28, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 336 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062299573 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062299574 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Zed

Synopsis:

The Fault in Our Stars meets Go Ask Alice in this dramatic romance about a teenage girl who survives a terminal cancer diagnosis, only to get trapped in the deadly spiral of addiction. Fans of Gayle Forman and Sara Zarr will be swept away by this gritty romance, the first in a duology.

Evie is living on borrowed time. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer several months ago and told that by now she’d be dead. Evie is grateful for every extra day she gets, but she knows that soon this disease will kill her. Until, miraculously, she may have a second chance to live.

All Evie had wanted was her life back, but now that she has it, she feels like there’s no place for her in it—at least, not for the girl she is now. Her friends and her parents still see her as Cancer Girl, and her boyfriend’s constant, doting attention is suddenly nothing short of suffocating.

Then Evie meets Marcus. She knows that he’s trouble, but she can’t help falling for him. Being near him makes her feel truly, fully alive. It’s better than a drug. His kiss makes her feel invincible—but she may be at the beginning of the biggest free fall of her life.

Quick & Dirty: What do you do when you survive from terminal cancer but can’t cope with living?

Opening Sentence: “Let’s go to the cafeteria,” Stella says.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Wow, bloody wow. How do I find words to describe this book? It’s touching, heartbreaking and so emotional. Needless to say, I adored it.

As you may already know, I try very hard not to read the synopsis of a book I am reviewing. Purely because I like the not knowing and guessing what will happen as the book progresses. Invincible is told from Evie’s perspective, a teenage girl suffering from cancer, I predicted that she would survive and there would be a love story, which leads us back to the ever popular The Fault In Our Stars. Although I was sort of right, there are zero similarities to TFIOS.

Evie’s friends, family, doctors, even Evie herself have accepted the harsh reality of her cancer and are practically saying their goodbyes in case it’s the last time they see her. Then overnight, the tables turn. Evie is miraculously recovering whereas her fellow hospital friend, Stella, takes a turn for the worst.

For so long, my life was on hold. Now my death is on hold, and it’s just as irritating. What a bizarre thing for life to feel so inconvenient. How unnatural to want to get it over with.

Unlike other illness focused stories, here we see what happens when a terminally ill person recovers, and in this case it’s as mentally and emotionally painful as contracting the disease in the first place.

No one knows what to do with me now that I’m alive. There’s no protocol for how to treat someone who comes back from the dead. There are so many books about grief and loss, about saying good-bye to the people you love. But there is no book about taking back that good-bye.

I loved and hated Evie’s character. She’s survived the worst but she’s wasting her life with alcohol and drugs, and destroying any lasting relationships she has. We can see this is an act of self-guilt and anger at her friend’s loss and because she thinks she’s the cause of it, not to mention that it’s almost as if they swapped places and Stella died in Evie’s place.

At the same time, there’s so much emotional trauma the girl is going through and she’s just not coping with it. I couldn’t help but sympathise, of course she would feel guilty at the miracle she didn’t ask for and doesn’t think she deserves. The writing is amazing, I could feel Evie’s heartache, which is probably why I connected with her character.

My two favourite characters were Stella and Caleb so it saddens me that Stella died early on and we didn’t see much more of Caleb once Evie makes her miraculous discovery. It’s so difficult to describe Stella’s character, she’s adventurous, brave, strong and completely crazy!

She held on to that poor giraffe’s head, screaming bloody murder until her mom finally managed to pull her down, and as she fell to the floor she made one last dramatic proclamation, calling everyone “heartless bloody dickholes.” Parents covered their kids’ ears; her mom swiped her on the side of her face with the back of her hand, and I decided Stella was both the most beautiful and bravest person I had ever seen in my life. She was showing all the fear and fury I felt but could never let out. She wasn’t pretending to be anything she wasn’t.

This is the kind of book that makes you wonder why you haven’t read it before now! Amy Reed is someone to watch out for.

Notable Scene:

“Evie,” he says, his voice cracking. There are tears running down his face. “You keep acting like you’re invincible, but your life is falling apart. I can’t stand around watching you self-destruct. I love you too much. Nobody’s invincible, not even you.”

Invincible Series:

1. Invincible

2. Unforgiveable (TBA 2016)

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FTC Advisory: Katherine Tegen Books/HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Invincible. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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