Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

18135479From Goodreads: After ten years of ballet lessons, Jordan Walker has finally landed her first principal role in Romeo and Juliet. Sweeter yet, “Romeo” has asked her to the May Fling Ball at Winston High. But a massive Texas earthquake triggered by the fracking activity nearby tears apart the community and Jordan’s future as a dancer. The Walker family survives the earthquake, but wake up the next morning utterly invisible.

On the run from a military with nefarious plans, Jordan and her family are forced to abandon their old lives and flee to Galveston. It isn’t until she meets Caleb, a blind musician, that Jordan dares to hope again. And the more their secret friendship develops, the more Jordan understands the danger she’s placed everyone in.


This was a great read, pulling the reader in from the very beginning with a little hint of romance and ballet, only to have the entire world thrown into chaos with an earthquake that releases a purple gas from a research facility, forever changing Jordan and her family’s life.

It never ceases to amaze me when I know something’s coming in a plot line, yet, the author still manages to surprise me, and that’s exactly what happens in this novel.  I knew about the invisibility due to the synopsis, but Stephens reveals it in such a way that it was still jarring for me, even though I was expecting it.  As the reader, we’re given both sides of the coin: how the family interacts prior to the quake, and how they cope after with the advent of invisibility, which was really intriguing for me as I felt like I got to know the characters on a deeper level, watching them struggle and come to terms with their new lives, and being surprised time and time again by the many twists in the story.

Another aspect of the novel that I enjoyed was the characterization, which is extremely well done; Jordan changes immensely throughout the duration of the story, and though at times her decisions, as well as those of her family, irked me to no end, this is what makes Jordan and her family extremely real.  They struggle, they make mistakes, they yearn for what they can’t have, and Stephen captures it all quite beautifully in this well written paranormal read.  It’s so easy, as the reader, to look in from the outside and point out every bad choice a character makes, which is what I ultimately did with Jordan, but when it’s all said and done, I wouldn’t change it for the world.  Jordan definitely makes some bad decisions, but truthfully, I’d probably be doing the same if I were invisible and had no one to interact with aside from my family. So, I get it, even though I don’t necessarily like all the ramifications.

The novel, overall, kept up a decent pace, thought on occasion there was some downtime that I could have done without, mainly, when Jordan walks up and down the beach.  She spends a lot of time in her head trying to figure out her relationship, and while this definitely needs to happen, I’m more of an action lady myself.  But, there is more than enough happening in the novel, and throughout much of the novel I was on pins and needles waiting for the shoe to drop because an invisible existence is one that, at some point, must be found out.  Four stars.

4 stars

I received an ARC of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review prior to its official release on September 17, 2013.


et cetera
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