Review: Things The Eye Can’t See by Penny Joelson

Title: Things the Eye Can’t See

Author: Penny Joelson

Pages: 304 Pages

Publisher: Electric Monkey/Egmont

The Blurb

The thrilling new novel from the award-winning author of I Have No Secrets.

A chance meeting and a secret message drags Libby into a thrilling mystery, but no one believes she can spot the clues. Can she make them realise what she is really capable of, before it’s too late?

Libby is visually impaired but that doesn’t stop her being a keen photographer. She loves going out walking with her guide dog, Samson, and taking photos, but her family worry about her – and Libby wishes she could be more independent.

The day that the boy gives her a secret note to deliver changes everything. Because soon after, the boy goes missing, and no one – except Libby and her new friend Kyle – thinks there is anything to worry about.

Libby knows there’s no way her parents would let her get involved. But what if she’s the only person who can solve the mystery…?

A compulsive page-turner for readers aged 12 and up.

The Review

I love books that have what is seen as diverse characters. What I don’t like about books is that people are often seen as being diverse characters. Confused? Let me explain. Things The Eye Can’t See is the story of Libby and how she gets embroiled in a mystery which she then has to help solve to save her friends. So far so normal as plots go. The diverse factor is that Libby is partially sighted. 

This rant is not against Penny Joelson, if anything Penny Joelson is part of the solution and not part of the problem. Disability is seen as diversifying a character rather than seen as the norm. What Joelson does fantastically well in Things The Eye Can’t See is address some of the preconceptions about visual impairment which often lead to prejudices. It isn’t seen as “normal” for a visually impaired character be able to solve a crime mystery. It is due to this fact that Joelson should really get more credit for her writing. 

Besides the disability factor Things The Eye Can’t See is a great story of the difficulties of growing up. About how friendships can drift when boys come and go. How school life can be difficult. How people come from different socio-economic backgrounds. All of this is wrapped up in the terrifying bow of gang culture and crime. What more could you want from a story?

I really enjoyed reading Things The Eye Can’t See. Joelson accurately captures the voice of the teenager. The worries that they have and the inability to admit that they need help from a grown up. She really has managed to capture something special with this novel.

Things the Eye Can’t See by Penny Joelson is available now.

For more information regarding Penny Joelson (@pennyjoelson) please visit www.pennyjoelson.co.uk.

For more information regarding Electric Monkey (@EMTeenFiction) please visit the Twitter page.

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