*This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This is no way swayed my opinions.*
Summer in the Invisible City by Juliana Romano is a coming of age YA novel that takes place in New York City. I always love reading about my city through the eyes of other people so I’ve been eager to check this one out since I first heard about it. I also feel like the cover is an excellent representation of people who live in NYC (their clothes choices are spot on) and I love the outline of the skyline behind them. The novel follows Sadie, a teen taking a summer photography class, during the summer between her sophomore and junior years of high school. Sadie is at that pivotal point in her life when she over analyzes every situation and the circumstances that she’s faced with does not make it any easier for her to handle.
Sadie is a really interesting character to read from the perspective of. She’s not your typical strong female character but her summer experiences transform her. Sadie is vulnerable and desperate at times, especially when it comes to handling her less than perfect father. Allan is an “important” artist who Sadie has been looking up to her entire life. He’s the reason she became interested in photography and the reason she wants to attend art school for her college education. She’s spent years of her life trying to impress him but no matter what she does, he remains uninterested. It’s heartbreaking to read about their relationship because he is just such a disappointing person and it’s for reasons completely independent of Sadie. As if her father visiting NYC for the month weren’t enough, Sadie is also struggling with her social life. One of the “popular” girls is in her summer class and they begin to form a friendship but it seems to be coming at a cost to her relationship with her long time best friend Willa. Willa is probably my favorite character in the book. She’s so certain of herself at such a young age and you can tell how much she cares about Sadie. I only wish we had gotten more of an ending for her character. The there’s Sam and Noah but I won’t go into them because it’ll be more interesting to discover as you read (but I promise it’s not a love triangle!). It’s a combination of the relationships between people and the time period in Sadie’s life that this book takes place that make it special.
Final Thoughts: Summer in the Invisible City by Juliana Romano is an enjoyable coming of age story taking place is the greatest city in the world, New York (not that I’m biased or anything). It blurs the lines between fluffy beach read and raw contemporary, exploring the positive and negative relationships in Sadie’s life and how they’re altered throughout her summer as she figures out who she is. I would recommend this book to anyone who’s ever felt a little bit lost in their life and is looking for a character that displays a different type of strength in her own time.
A sparkling coming-of-age story about self-discovery, first love, and the true meaning of family, perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen.
Seventeen-year-old Sadie Bell has this summer all figured out: She’s going to befriend the cool girls at her school. She’s going to bond with her absentee father, a famous artist, and impress him with her photography skills. And she’s finally going to get over Noah, the swoony older guy who was her very first mistake.
Sadie wasn’t counting on meeting Sam, a funny and free-thinking boy who makes her question all of her goals. But even after a summer of talking, touching, and sharing secrets, Sam says he just wants to be friends. And when those Sadie cares about most hurt her, Sam’s friendship may not be enough. Sadie can see the world through her camera, but can she see the people who have loved and supported her all along?
Set against a glamorous New York City backdrop, this coming-of-age romance is a gorgeous summer read—one whose characters will stay with you long into the fall. (via Goodreads)