Book Review: Invisible Ellen by Shari Shattuck

August 1, 2014 Adult Book Reviews 0 ★★★

Book Review: Invisible Ellen by Shari ShattuckTitle: Invisible Ellen by Shari Shattuck
Published by: Putnam Adult on May 29, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Source: NetGalley
Format: eARC
Pages: 304
Click it: Goodreads | Amazon

For many of us, there comes a moment when we wish we were invisible.

For Ellen Homes, not only does she wish it . . . she actually lives it.

She spends her days quietly observing but unobserved, watching and recording in her notebooks the lives of her neighbors, coworkers, and total strangers. Overweight, socially stunted, and utterly alone, one night Ellen saves a blind young woman from being mugged.

Then everything changes.

Character-driven, poignant, and leavened with touches of humor and witty dialogue, Invisible Ellen is a remarkable novel about personal transformation, morality, the power of friendship, and the human need for connection with others.

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

One Line: A bit of a slow start, but it had some interesting moments.

In My Opinion: Worth a try!

I have to admit, Invisible Ellen attracted me with its interesting premise, but it was quite the slow read, or at least, a very slow start. You meet Ellen, who is pretty much an introvert on a serious level. She lacks self-esteem, confidence, and basically any motivation to interact with people at all. She has a troubled past, so I gave her that, but overall, there wasn’t much of her that really interested me. Much of the first third of the book is her taking us through her monotonous days and I was seriously considering not finishing the book.

Thankfully, things picked up after she has a helps a blind girl named Temerity who is so vibrant and outspoken, she definitely breathed some life into this book. She was exactly what Ellen needed in her life. Ellen tends to be an observer, and often spies on her neighbors, a pregnant neighbor and a alleged drug dealer in particular, in a non-creepy way. Things take a dramatic turn for a couple of them, which coincidentally gets Ellen and Temerity involved and that’s where the story focuses on the most. It was kind of sad that we don’t get to explore Ellen’s character more and I didn’t see much in the way of self-development, at least, not as much as I was hoping for. I did enjoy the drama involving the neighbors and what Ellen does for each of them, but, in the end, it didn’t really change things so much for Ellen herself.

I definitely enjoyed the latter half of the book so much more than the first half. I was expecting this to be more of a “self-discovery” kind of book for Ellen, but it really just focused on the neighborhood drama, which was fun, but not what I was expecting. While not something I would recommend, definitely not for everyone, it was a decent read.

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