A Guest Review by Larissa
Review Summary: a story about an ordinary young couple that goes traveling that left me confused.
Since the death of their mother, Alex has been the caretaker for his family, dutifully taking care of his older siblings—much to the vexation of his friend Jamie, who insists they don’t deserve him.
The only bright spots in his life are Jamie and the grandmother who has doted on Alex all his life, a woman who is kind to no one else. Then his grandmother dies, leaving Alex alone. At Jamie’s insistence Alex agrees to a holiday for just the two of them, a holiday his siblings are staunchly against, and which will turn into a journey that changes all of them.
When I picked up Invisible Monsters I was expecting a type of ‘cinderfella’ story with a main character with a big heart, too good to let his leeches of a no good family take care of themselves. What I read was a confusing story with hops between past and present and a main character that has no backbone and who annoyed the heck out of me.
You might have noticed the ‘unrated’ part of this review. This is the second book that I left unrated and like with my review of Lover at Last, it’s because you get to make up your own mind because I once again can’t make up mine. However, my reasons this time are different. I had no connection whatsoever with Invisible Monsters. Throughout the story I couldn’t connect, not with the characters and not with story itself.
Invisible Monsters is a lengthy and ambitious story without glamor, hot heroes or wicked sex – not that there is anything at all wrong with that –but rather it’s about an ordinary young couple having the time of their lives and a grand adventure while traveling. It should have been fun, especially with all the things encounter and places they visit, but I just couldn’t connect.
The story starts after the death of Alex’s grandmother, who’d been taking care of Alex and his no good brother and sister. She leaves practically everything to Alex, not that there is much. Alex in turn struggles to take care of his older siblings, who see Alex as a free, easy ride, and Alex is just a doormat who lets them. When the story starts there is a lot of hopping between past and present, but the reader soon establishes that Alex is living with Jamie. Jamie in turn loves Alex and is terrified of losing him to the scheming of his siblings.
Because, let’s face it. Alex is the type of person with a big heart but also easily influenced. He is a person who is capable of great things under the right circumstances and with the right positive influence, but he is also the type of person who could land in jail because of hanging with wrong crowd. He is an incredibly naïve person to the point of me wondering if he was just ignorant or stupid.
Luckily Jamie is a positive influence on Alex and convinces him to go on a holiday with him and leave everything behind for a while. From here on out, things start snowballing and the story gets going after a slow start.
The technical writing of the story is not bad, but a little challenging. There is a lot of local slang and pop-culture references, especially at the start and for a non-native speaker I had to read twice before I understood what was meant. These are qualities that sometimes give a story character, but as I already had a hard time connecting with this story, it only made it harder for me.
The characterization in Invisible Monsters is not bad. There is actual growth and the characters are rounded. At the end of the story Alex is a little more likable. Jamie was a good character from the start and he remains his steady self through the story.
So, to conclude, this story was not my cup of tea. It reminded me too much of the heavily artistic literature that only made sense to the author that I was forced to read at Uni. However, if you like artistic little literature stories, this might just be book that makes your day! I’ll let you make up your mind.