Thursday, January 13, 2022

Review: Beyond Invisible by Marjorie Jackson

 


BEYOND INVISIBLE
Being Together, Book 2
by Marjorie Jackson
Emery Books Press
Young Adult Contemporary
280 pages












After tragedy and illness brought Amber and Missy together in Being is Better, the girls, now in high school, continue their journey to unravel the mystery behind Missy’s brother Frankie’s Army enlistment and the cause of his death.

Meanwhile, both girls experience first love, and Amber supports Missy, who continues to resent her father and struggles to accept his new girlfriend.

Will they be able to discover the reason for Frankie’s sudden enlistment, and when misunderstandings loom, will their still-new friendship survive?




MY TIDBITS

With as much care and warmth as found in the first novel, this book continues the struggles of the two new friends in a way, which digs even deeper than before.

Now, in high school, the two girls continue to build their friendship and deal with the various issues still left off in book one. Especially Missy finds herself in new territory as she tries to accept her father's new girlfriend and continues to search for information surrounding her older brothers' death. Amber tries her best to mediate between Missy and her father but also finds herself in a new situation as she meets the guy of her dreams.

This is the 2nd book in the series and should be read as such, since it builds from where the first novel let off. There's a bit of an age shift as we leave middle school and enter the world of high school, but it's the life problems, which this book swirls around, anyway. Missy gets more of the plot in this one as she is forced to deal with the situation of her father finding a new girlfriend and also continues her research into the death of her older brother. Amber receives the role of helping her cope with everything. Of course, Amber doesn't fall by the wayside as she's still dealing with her own health issues (however, this didn't come into play nearly as much as before) and hits romance themes as well. While I was wondering about this second path, especially considering the stronger issues Amber still needs to handle, it did add a lovely balance to the tale and needed development to her personality.

I'm not a huge fan of slow passages, and this book begins even slower than the first. It does keep interesting tidbits dribbling in, though, which did keep it from growing boring. Still, I prefer a bit quicker pacing. For those who love character depth, this works very well, though, and does draw in. 

The girls' decisions and actions are very understandable, and actually quite mature, which I do appreciate, since many YA novels miss this beat. The relationships come across realistically and both characters handle everything as best they can. The friendship remains key, and the added dash of mystery surrounding Missy's brother's death adds a lovely spark, which promises all sorts of possibilities. I was a bit disappointed that Amber's problems didn't hit a little more, but it doesn't really cause issues for the tale, either. This is a solid book to follow the first and just as interesting.

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