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Invisible Ghosts

Review

Invisible Ghosts

Rose Asher has a secret. She can see the ghost of her older brother who now forever remains stuck at 15. This reality has caused Rose to hide away within her high school. She has sequestered herself with the “Mean Girls,” remaining a shadow in their wake, and thus abandoning her old group of theater friends. Going into her junior year of high school, everything changes with the return of Jamie Aldridge. This boy from Rose’s past has a secret. Upon Rose’s discovery, she and Jamie are brought closer together, causing her to make the decision between diving into her future and remaining forever stuck in the past. I can truly say that INVISIBLE GHOSTS by Robyn Schneider has become one of my favorite contemporaries of all time because of its masterful character development.

"I can truly say that INVISIBLE GHOSTS by Robyn Schneider has become one of my favorite contemporaries of all time because of its masterful character development."

If you have been reading my reviews on Teenreads for a while, you would know that I am a sucker for any and all books that have a theater element to them. Especially around Tony season, I am given so many reasons to appreciate and value the theater community. Rose’s friend group of theater kids are some of the most wonderful side characters I’ve ever read about in a YA novel. Once Rose finally comes around to them, they welcome her back into their friend group with open arms. They are also incredibly encouraging and supportive of her involvement in the school’s theater program. I love seeing such solid and unproblematic friend groups depicted in young adult stories. Despite the fact that they are not given a significant amount of development, each side character is given their own unique characteristics that makes them fun and lovable.

Jamie Aldridge. Where do begin with Jamie Aldridge? Jamie, much like Rose’s group of theater friends, has stolen my heart because of his charming, nerdy and witty personality. He is genuinely one of my favorite contemporary love interests. Jamie is the central character in Rose’s niche of theater kids. He, like Rose, is being re-ingratiated into the friend group upon returning back to their high school after moving away in junior high. Upon coming into contact with Rose once again, Jamie is nothing but sweet and kind to her. I absolutely adored Rose and Jamie’s relationship because it was wholesome. Both characters are honest to each other, primarily because of their past and a common bond that they share (not to spoil anything!). Jamie looks out for Rose and puts her best interest at heart. He helps Rose to find self-confidence by bringing out the best in her. A healthy relationship like this needs to be displayed in YA much more frequently.

I would be at fault if I did not take the opportunity to examine the relationship between Rose and her brother, Logan. The readers are not really given the chance to meet Logan while he is still alive as the story mainly centers on his ghostly presence in Rose’s life. The blend of supernatural and contemporary within the story definitely intrigued me from the start. As a ghost, Logan himself chooses when he would like to appear to Rose, often demanding that they spend time together binge watching television shows. As Rose starts to dive further into her relationship with Jamie and explore more of her future, Logan becomes increasingly agitated that his sister is going to abandon him, often throwing tantrums and causing chaos. The reader knows that Logan is holding Rose back from reaching her full potential, but despite this, Rose continually placates her brother, even as he becomes more powerful, and thus more dangerous. The relationship between Rose and her brother is toxic, but yet as the reader acknowledges this, there is an understanding of Rose’s urgency to hold on to him for as long as possible. Rose feels responsible for Logan’s death, so having the opportunity to spend time with him once again feels like being given a second chance.

The central conflict in this story revolves around Rose’s choice to either dive into her future by rejoining her old friend group, auditioning for plays, going away to college and living a fulfilling life or staying stuck in the past in her brother’s shadow by always being there to answer his every wish. The dynamic between Rose and Logan is essential to the plotline of this story. The crafts(wo)manship that was used in developing this arc was outstanding.

Reviewed by Gabby B., Teen Board Member on June 28, 2018

Invisible Ghosts
by Robyn Schneider

  • Publication Date: June 5, 2018
  • Genres: Family, Fiction, Romance, Young Adult 14+
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
  • ISBN-10: 0062568086
  • ISBN-13: 9780062568083