*The book discussed in this post was gifted by the publisher*
I’ve been wanting to pick an Orlagh Collins book up for quite some time, and when i heard about All The Invisible Things, her second novel, this one seemed right up my street. It’s the story of Vetty and her journey in to making new friends, keeping old ones and trying to tell the world who she is.
I’m a sucker for a coming of age story. My all time favourite books are all coming of age stories, and i love the feeling of a character changing and finding themselves over the course of a book. That’s what really drew me in to All The Invisible Things. The story of Vetty is one of friendship, family and sexuality, and it definitely explores a lot of issues that teenagers have today with growing up and finding out who you are.
There are a lot of little moments in this book that i found incredibly realistic and inspiring. I love books that add true moments, for example there’s a scene between Vetty and her Aunt when she tries to come out, which felt really realistic to what someone might go through, and a lot of the scenes between Vetty and her sister felt so incredibly realistic. They were wonderful additions to the story which added a little dynamic that proved that not everything works out as you imagine it, and sometimes life is just a little awkward!
Another thing that completely drew me to All The Invisible Things was the friendship. Again, if a book has a solid friendship, i’m completely sold. Vetty moves back to her original home after four years away, which means she’s moved back in to a house across from one of her oldest friends, someone she’s not spoken to in four years. As you can imagine, this makes for a pretty awkward meeting and some iffy moments. I was so happy that Orlagh didn’t write this to be wonderful and perfect, because situations like that won’t be. It was hard finding a balance as older teenagers and figuring out who each of them were anymore. I really enjoyed watching this friendship grow again and watching Vetty find her friendship group.
The one thing i was worried about was that there would be enough drama in this book to keep me occupied, and about half way through i realised there would be no big event that makes me keep wanting to turn the page, but i still kept wanting to turn the page. A lot of the push forward for me in this book was the sexuality that was discussed. And unlike other LGBTQ+ books that i’ve read, this one didn’t start out with the main character questioning their sexuality. We’d joined at a point where Vetty pretty much knew what she identified as and was comfortable with that within herself, she just hadn’t told anyone else that yet. I really loved this little change to a classic YA trope and it made it a lot more interesting for me.
Honestly, there was very little that i didn’t like about All The Invisible Things. It’s a fun story, very easy to read through with some really wonderful characters. It’s a very quiet LGBTQ+ book that deserves a lot of attention for being a coming of age story without the big ‘coming out.’
All The Invisible Things is out on the 7th of March and i urge you to pick yourself up a copy!