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Sparkles and Lightning

Hello all! I'm Annabelle, a (currently inactive but soon to be back) book blogger with a thing for red roses and rain and fictional boys.

Currently reading

The Hobbit or There and Back Again
J.R.R. Tolkien
Civilization and Its Discontents (The Standard Edition) (Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud)
Sigmund Freud, James Strachey, Peter Gay
The Problems of Philosophy
Bertrand Russell
Dark Triumph
Robin LaFevers
Dark Matter Heart
Nathan Wrann
Temptation (Harlequin Teen)
Karen Ann Hopkins
Man's Search for Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl
Transparent - Natalie Whipple ***FINAL RATING: 3.45 STARS***CATCHALLTransparent was a fun dystopian read, and while there were some new and different concepts it didn't really feel like it brought all that many new things to the table of the dystopian. The heroine is invisible, yes, but other than that, I was hard-pressed to find things about it that were truly unique. Now, don't get me wrong, I loved this book. But on a purely objective standpoint, I have to say that it did not blow me away the way I would have wanted it to.THE HEROINEFIONAFiona is a sassy heroine with insecurities. She's terrified of her father and wants to live a normal life, and she wants to protect her friends more than anything. I related to her a lot and really sympathized with her on a deeper level. She's friendly and warm, and she tries to push people away at first but eventually finds herself drawn in. She's protective and loyal, but she has a fierce side too. She has fears but she doesn't let them hold her back.THE LOVE INTERESTSBRADYBrady isn't really that remarkable, but he's certainly notable. He's massive and strong, and he wishes he weren't. He's sweet and protective, but honestly boring as hell. It's not that I don't like him, I just don't really have strong feelings for him either. He has, like, zero passion. He just kind of exists in this lethargic and utterly unentertaining way.SETHSeth got my blood racing, which is embarrassing but true. His attitude is sexy, and even though he's kind of a jerk at first that's hot too. (No, I don't know what's wrong with me.) It was obvious from early on that he cared about Fiona but was they type of guy to tease the girl he likes rather than just admit how he feels. He's not perfect, but he's passionate, and he's willing to make sacrifices. He makes mistakes, like anyone, but he always wants to set them right. He is also probably at least fifty percent of why I loved this book so much, but we won't mention that.THE FRIENDBEAI really, really like Bea. She pushes her way into Fiona's heart even before she wants to make any friends, and she's fierce and brave. She's a tad stereotypical, but I loved her anyway. She isn't afraid to say what she thinks and she's a large part of helping Fiona to really open up.THE PLOTTransparent doesn't have the most original plot, which is it's biggest flaw. Yes, it's enjoyable. but in too many ways it just felt like something I had read before.It blends several different aspects, which I did like. Many people have paranormal powers, and Fiona's is that she's invisible, which is unusual. Her father is the leader of a mafia-like crime organization, which isn't too unusual to read about. There's something of a love triangle although not really.I liked the tension and the suspense, and the not knowing when who was going to show up next. It was exciting. Thrilling. I was kept on the edge of my seat.It was unfortunately also too predictable, however. Though I looked forward to more minor plot points, I essentially knew where the story was going to go. I could often predict things before they happened and some things was seriously just way too obvious.But, you know, sometimes love has no rational explanation. I know I'm cheating, but really, I did love this book. It certainly had its flaws, and I'm not going to excuse them. But this book also brought me a fun afternoon and a relatable heroine. So I am absolutely not ashamed of loving it.THE ROMANCEI love the romance here. I love the way it develops, that it isn't instalove, and that the characters to me really seemed to have a bond. They're alike and they're not, and they get along and tease each other but mostly seem to care about each other. It's also partially that he can really see Fiona, and see past what everyone else sees and understand her true feelings even when other don't. It's literally impossible not to love that.THE WRITINGNatalie's writing isn't always the most intellectual, but I like it. This isn't to say that it's stupid. It just lacks a lot of descriptors, and veers a bit towards dull. Still, I think it actually improves over the course of the novel which was really nice to see. There's a lot of life in Fiona's words and I really felt like her emotions got across clearly, which is a definite strength.THE ENDINGThe ending was cute, yet moving. It's messy and imperfect, but so is life. It isn't an easy choice for Fiona to make, even though it seems like it should be, because everything changes in the moment when you actually have to choose. In the end, though I loved the way everything turned out. There'a sense that life goes on, and that there's always more to the story, but it was a satisfying place for the novel to end.WRAPUPThough Transparent wasn't perfect, nor was it the most original read, something in me still adored it. I loved the characters, and I loved their connections and chemistry. The romance was sweet and yet hot. I would most definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for something to read, honestly. I myself will definitely be looking into whatever Natalie is putting out next.FINE.Find more of my reviews on Sparkles and Lightning!