Author: Kelly Parra
Publisher: MTV Books
Release Date: October 14, 2008
Kara Martinez has been trying to be "normal" ever since the accident that took her father's life when she was eleven years old. She's buried the caliente side of her Mexican heritage with her father and tried to be the girl her rigid mother wants her to be -- compliant and dressed in pink, and certainly not acting out like her older brother Jason. Not even Danielle, her best friend at Valdez High, has seen the real Kara; only those who read her anonymous blog know the deepest secrets of the Sign Seer.
Because Kara has a gift -- one that often feels like a curse. She sees signs, visions that are clues to a person's fate, if she can put together the pieces of the puzzle in time. So far, she's been able to solve the clues and avert disaster for those she's been warned about -- until she sees the flash of a gun on a fellow classmate, and the stakes are raised higher than ever before. Kara does her best to follow the signs, but it's her heart that wanders into new territory when she falls for a mysterious guy from the wrong side of town, taking her closer to answers she may not be able to handle. Will her forbidden romance help her solve the deadly puzzle before it's too late...or lead her even further into danger?
My Thoughts: I like reading paranormal books. Sometimes I can relate to the main character's personality. That's fine and all, but sometimes...I want more than that. I want a character, a girl specifically, who has a similar heritage as me. So here's what I've been searching for: a young-adult paranormal with a Latina as the main character.
I thought there wasn't a book like that out there, and it frustrated me. Then a few months ago I was surprised when a Goodreads friend told me about Invisible Touch. It sounded exactly like what I was looking for! But I wondered, Why haven't I heard about this book before? It was published back in 2008 and had less than 90 ratings on Goodreads. I was still excited to read it, but in the back of my mind, the serious lack of attention it received made me question if the book would even be good. I felt bad for thinking that. At the same time, I just didn't want to get my hopes too high. Thankfully, once I was able to read it, I found that it actually exceeded all my expectations, and I was so grateful to be given the chance to read it!
Ever since the boat accident six years ago that killed her father and left her dead for several minutes, seventeen-year-old Kara Martinez has been able to see visions. These visions appear on people and are usually hints into impending danger. It's something she's not able to ignore. She must sort out the puzzle of clues her gift gives her before she can figure out what exactly the danger is, and she has to do it all on her own. She doesn't even trust her own her family with her secret because she fears being sent back to the psychiatric hospital, which was where she was sent the first time she tried to tell her mother about her visions years ago. The recent vision she sees is on a fellow classmate, who is somehow connected to a guy from the other side of town she recently met: Anthony Garcia. Keeping her gift a secret and behaving like the daughter her mother wants to be becomes even harder when she starts to fall for Anthony.
I thought Kelly Parra did such a wonderful job with this story. Although Invisible Touch is a quick read (it's a small book in size that comes in at about 280 pages) and takes place over the course of about three weeks, I felt it was paced really well. Things were revealed at just the right time. Some moments were pretty shocking and took me by surprise. I never knew what to expect next, and I couldn't put the book down! It's the type of book that makes me wish there was a sequel because I didn't want to let the characters go. I wanted to know what happens next with everyone: Kara, Anthony, Kara's family (her mother and her brother Jason) and her friend Danielle. But it's also the type of book that's perfect as a stand-alone. All questions were answered, and it didn't have a cheesy ending. It was enough to keep me satisfied and yet leave me wanting more.
Another thing I liked was the blog entries scattered throughout the book. Kara's only outlet to share her gift and her feelings about it is the anonymous blog she created called Secret Fates. It was like reading a diary, just in modern form, and it was another way for us readers to know more about Kara. She never reveals too much about herself, but her blog still adds to the mystery of the book once an anonymous reader claims to know her true identity. Maybe it's because I have a blog and am always checking other blogs, but I felt her blog entries were a nice addition to the book.
Before I end this review, I need to mention the romance. Kara and Anthony had a forbidden romance going on what with Kara having a strict and overprotective mother and Anthony coming from the wrong side of town. They did become a couple quickly, but I found it believable. It was natural, and it just felt right for them to be together. They had some steamy moments, but they weren't desperately trying to get to the next level. I thought they were pretty mature about it, and I think that reflects the type of characters they are. Mature and levelheaded. Definitely likable characters. And I could really relate to Kara on a personal level. I'm not 100% Mexican either, and I can't speak Spanish even though I wish I could. She is someone I could see myself being friends with. As for Anthony, well, I thought he was the perfect guy for Kara. (It doesn't hurt that he's also a hot guy! heh) He's a bit mysterious and seems like he would be a bad-boy, but he actually prefers to stay out of trouble. He's caring and trustworthy, and I loved his relationship with Kara.
Invisible Touch was everything I was looking for and more. It's my first and hopefully not my last paranormal book that has a main female character with Latin American roots. I honestly don't get why this book hardly got any attention, and sadly it's going out-of-print soon. I talked to the author though, and she's plans on reissuing it once it's out-of-print. That makes me feel a whole lot better, and hopefully more people will read it! I think it will appeal to fans of Wake by Lisa McMann and Simone Elkeles's Perfect Chemistry trilogy. So give it a chance if you like those books too!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Thanks to Janina for sending me a copy! :)