Published: February 11th, 2013
Read from February 25th to March 5th, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Jazmine Crawford doesn't make decisions. She doesn't make choices. She doesn't make friends. Jazmine Crawford only wants one thing: to be invisible. For Jazmine, it's a lot easier to take out her hearing aid and drift along pretending that nothing's wrong than it is to admit that she's heartbroken. She starts to come out of her shell when she's forced to be in the school play and even makes friends with bouncy Gabby and chocolate-loving Liam. But can she stand up to the school bully, and is she strong enough to face the truth about what really happened to her dad?
I don't really feel very strongly about this book either negatively or strongly. I downloaded this book because it was free for Kindle, and the synopsis sounded intriguing.
Maybe it says a lot about my reading when I say that I didn't realize how young Jazmine and her friends were until Gabby's birthday party. The entire time I had been thinking that Jazmine seemed really immature, and I was getting frustrated about how she acted. Then we get to that part and I realized that it was only because she was 12/13ish. I really do wish her age had been established earlier, but I'm thinking that what year she was in school may have been stated. The problem is that I'm not from Australia and have no clue about the Australian school system, so if it was, that went right over my head. After that confusion was cleared up, the characters' actions began making more sense, but I probably would have viewed them a lot differently from the beginning if I'd actually known their ages.
The book was definitely one of the much better written books from the self-published books I've read. I can't recall any typos or grammar mistakes, so if there were any, they were too few for me to pick up on. That's a rarity in the self-published books I've read recently, and I appreciated it.
Besides typos, I just thought that the writing overall was really great. Parts of the book are diary and parts aren't. I think it really worked for the story, although I'm not really a big fan of the diary format at all. The problem with diaries for me is that I think it's hard for a writer to pull off a diary entry that sounds realistically like it was written by a character. That was my problem in this case. Jazmine is really young, and she doesn't seem to be much of a reader other than The Secret Garden. I don't see her as being someone particularly into English and following the correct rules in a diary that isn't going to be seen by anyone else. Those are the sorts of things I always think of when I read books written through diary entries. I don't feel like Jazmine would have written entries like that, and it drew me out of the book a little bit.
Most of my other problems with the books all had to do with Jazmine and how she acted. I was getting really frustrated because she seemed to immature, but like I said, once I found out that she was younger than I expected, that problem went away. I really do wish I had known her age ahead of time. I think by the time I finally figured it out, I had already became too negative towards her character for it to go away. She acted exactly how I would expect a 12 or 13 year old girl to act, but since I thought she was older, I didn't see her behavior that way for about half the book. I think that kind of spoiled the book for me.
I would recommend this book if the premise sounds interesting to you. Maybe you'll enjoy it much more than I did if you go into it actually understanding how young the characters are.