One of the best and the most deceptive books I ever read.
The Last Invisible Boy was a random pick I bought just before my birthday last year. I was very much aware of the gamble I was making with this book. (Actually, this goes for almost every one of them, I believe.)
Back cover blurbs hardly gave away any info about the book. And I didn’t want to look it up the Net since I might just come across spoilers. So I just made little assumptions: I thought the boy was feeling invisible because of something at school or maybe a family problem. And the illustration came off as light and fun, despite being dark, bleak, and sad. So I expected bits of comedy. Strike that—a lot of comedy. And that Boy would just be a breeze.
I was wrong on all accounts.
Unless you are the insensitive type, you cannot breeze through Boy. There are hardly any laughs. And his problem was neither simple nor complex. Although I may have come close to guessing that it is a family problem, I would never have guessed what it was exactly.
For the likes of me, I have never come across a book about death and grief. I have heard of one “groundbreaking” book (but that book just fell flat). Yet this one came close to home. Maybe even too close.
A couple of my friends who read it could sum it up in one word: emo. Possibly so. But even if they were averse to such, they were never able to put the book down. Well, yes, it took them a while to actually finish the book because of its heavy content and they would rant about it all they like, but somehow they found beauty in the sadness.
Surprisingly, of all the things that I‘d realize while reading the book, it was that I felt like I was reading a friend’s story. There was so much parallel to his story and Boy. If I would even indulge my imagination, I would’ve thought that this was his story and he wrote it himself. (Of course, I know the truth.) He also read that book. And although we talked about it, we didn’t talk about it that much. I guess it’s only right. It’s never easy to talk about someone you’ve lost.
Gush as much as I want about this book, I wouldn’t recommend it for everybody. It’s a personal discretion and—yes, like I’ve said before—a gamble. Would you be able to handle a heavy, beautiful, sad book?
Maybe I will read it again. When I’m in my friend’s shoes. When I’m the grown-up version of The Last Invisible Boy. When that time has come. (But I don’t want it to be any time soon. Please don’t let it be any time soon.)