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invisible girl: One of Seventeen's Recommended Summer Beach Reads!
Have you ever felt like you just don't fit in? This feeling is something that Boston teen, Stephanie, can definitely relate to after being abandoned by her abusive mother and taken in by Annie's Beverly Hills parents. Her dark hair, complexion and Massachusetts accent stick out like a sore thumb in the glittering, bright lights of Hollywood — and against all of the charmed, extravagant blondes who occupy it. It seems that these girls are constantly moving forward, but Stephanie feels stuck in one place.
To fit in, Stephanie decides that her best bet is to invent an identity that will gain the acceptance of (and be able to keep up with) the popular clique at school — girls who behave more like adults than the teenagers that they are! Once her secret is uncovered, Stephanie is shunned and reclaims her status as "outsider," yet still manages to find herself in the middle of a battle between Annie and the new girl at school, someone who finally threatens Annie's coveted status as queen bee. Will Stephanie learn that the only way to stop being invisible is to stand up for yourself? Or will Annie continue her reign as the princess of the 90210 zip code?
Invisible Girl is the debut novel from Mary Hanlon Stone, and offers a look into the privelege, wealth and power in Beverly Hills, but through the eyes of an outsider. The book is available now in stores and online, so be sure to check it out! It's a great reminder that gloss, glimmer and unlimited credit cards doesn't always equal happiness!
Detroit Legal News
Story Line Attorney is accomplished author as well
By Debra Talcott
From Farmington Hills to Ann Arbor to Los Angeles. That is the path Michigan native Mary Hanlon Stone followed as she went from high school student to law school graduate to practicing attorney and author.
A 1985 graduate of University of Michigan Law School, Hanlon Stone credits her father, retired attorney Arthur Hanlon, for inspiring her to seek a career in the law and "Carolyn Keene" — the pseudonym used by the various authors of the Nancy Drew novels — for inspiring her to write young adult fiction. When her first novel, "invisible girl," was released earlier this year, Hanlon Stone felt honored that her bailiff, her court reporter, and her clerk immediately went out to buy copies of the book.
"It's funny — when you get your first novel published, you start out being totally excited. Then you suddenly realize that people you know are actually going to read it, and you're terrified," says Hanlon Stone, a deputy district attorney.
So when the presiding judge in her courthouse called for her, Hanlon Stone expected to be asked to give an opinion on a case. When she found her colleagues in the courtroom with the judge, all holding copies of the book, she admits to being speechless.
"I was so honored that they went out and bought the book and so appreciative of the support, yet I felt completely naked at the same time. I felt like my worlds were colliding between my lawyer life and my writer life."
It is the natural meshing of those two lives that culminated in the story of Hanlon Stone's protagonist, a high school freshman who is relocated from her working class Boston family to live with a well-to-do family in L.A. after she is abandoned by an abusive mother and a father who is ill equipped to raise a teenage daughter.
"I can't recall when I first came up with the idea of the main character because she really was more of a feeling than a conscious thought," says Hanlon Stone. "I've been a deputy district attorney for 23 years, and the majority of that time I've been in a special unit, prosecuting sexual assault and domestic violence cases. I've handled hundreds of cases involving teenage girls, and I have a special place in my heart for them."
Hanlon Stone thought her setting, which juxtaposes the rough Boston environment against the glittery world of Los Angeles, would highlight the difficulties faced by teens who are victims of neglect or abuse.
"I am always touched by how hard their lives are as they try to manage the general teenage 'warfare' with the additional weight of bad secrets inside them," says Hanlon Stone.
This attorney-author says she enjoys all facets of her career but takes special pride in helping victims.
"Part of it may be because I'm the second oldest in a big family, and I'm used to being a big sister and watching out for people. I have really bonded with my victims over the years, and that's what motivates me to come to work every day."
She also enjoys how "alive" she feels in the trial phase of her job.
"You get to, essentially, tell a story during opening statement and really paint a picture for the jury of what happened in a case. Then you get to fight a war for justice for your victim. I really like that. I like to go to battle for what I believe in."
Hanlon Stone also believes in the power of literature to influence readers' lives, and she looks back on her undergraduate years as an English major at Michigan and on her third year law school elective courses with fondness.
"My biggest hero was Professor June Howard. I took every class she taught and even organized an independent study group that met with the professor and three other students weekly. All of the classes involved the analysis of literature and creative writing and were excellent preparation for ultimately writing a novel."
Hanlon Stone followed in the footsteps of her father and older sister when she applied to the University's law school.
"I knew I wanted to go to Michigan Law because it has such an amazing national reputation," says Hanlon Stone. "With my older sister, Colleen, in her third year at Michigan Law when I started, I was really lucky to have an instant support system.
Although the elder Hanlon and his daughters attended law school more than 20 years apart, all three can say they studied under Professor Cunningham for the property course.
Upon earning her J.D., Hanlon Stone worked for a year at a Chicago firm then took a position as a deputy district attorney in L.A. It was there that she met her husband, Richard Stone, who is now the presiding judge in the Beverly Hills courthouse, near where the couple lives with their two sons.
"We were best friends for years, and we were dubbed the 'When Harry Met Sally' of the office when we finally got together," she quips.
Hanlon Stone credits her husband for being her source of support and her secret weapon for maintaining balance in her busy life — which recently included participating in the pilot of a legal reality show filmed in Chicago. To that she adds her anticipation of the release next spring of her second novel, "The Comedown Life."
"I tend to be pretty emotional," she says, "and Richie is always really level and supportive. Plus, he does all the cooking — something I've never mastered — unless you count really good salads."
Hanlon Stone says that of all of the "hats" she wears, her favorite is that of mother.
"I love having sons — I have four brothers, so I'm used to the world of guys. Both my sons love to read, so we go to the bookstore and library and load up. For fun, I read some of the same books that they do. They, of course, have gotten into the world of the Kindle, but I still like the feel of a solid book in my hands."
When she is not working, writing, or reading, Hanlon Stone enjoys playing football.
"I grew up playing with my father and sibs in the back yard. Just holding a football puts me back in touch with autumn in Michigan, and I feel such a strong connection to my essential self," she says.
Staying true to her essential self is a lesson also learned by Hanlon Stone's main character, Stephanie, in "invisible girl." Stephanie learns to move beyond the fear that students at her new high school will discover what she's been hiding, and she finds the strength to stand up for herself and be different from the popular crowd.
"My target audience started out as teenage girls," says Hanlon Stone. "Then a lot of the moms of the girls started reading the book, and I've been asked to drop by or video chat with quite a few women's book groups."
Hanlon Stone says that at this point she gets an equal number of messages from both teens and adult women through her web site: maryhanlonstone.com.
Hanlon Stone, who graduated in 1978 from Harrison High School in Farmington Hills, says that, thus far, she's never been invited back to be a guest speaker.
"But I'd get on a plane tomorrow and go if they wanted me," she says. "I'll always be a Michigan girl inside, and if there's any way I could inspire or help the kids from my hometown, it would be a great honor."
Author Offers Teens Lesson on Life and Business
By Marie Cunningham
Mary Hanlon Stone took an unorthodox route when publishing her first book: She recruited some 30 teenage girls to develop marketing strategies.
"I want to teach them about business and get their creativity," said Stone, who wrote Invisible Girl and also works full time as a Los Angeles deputy district attorney. "I wanted them to learn how to run things, and they're doing amazing. They're really smart and really creative. They have great ideas."
Beverly Vista seventh-grader Michelle Adams was happy to help promote the novel, which centers on a girl named Stephanie who struggles with issues of identity and friendship. "We're trying to get it out there, advertising, communicating with other people, trying to get the word out, spreading it globally, using the Internet," Adams said. "We're on Facebook, MySpace—all the things that can get as many readers as possible."
Kayla Mashouty, also a seventh-grader at Beverly Vista, finds parallels between the novel's protagnist and her own life. "I felt I could relate a lot to the book because I felt what she's going through," Mashouty said. "She wanted to be in the clique and it was the hottest clique in town. She really wanted to fit in, even though she was lying to get into it."
The decision to ask young assistants to help bolster Penguin Group's May 27 release of Invisible Girl stems from Stone's experience as a DA specializing in domestic violence and sexual assault cases. Stone, who has two sons in Beverly Hills schools, finds herself the champion of hundreds of girls, in and out of the courtroom.
"I've had lots and lots of girls who were either victims or witnesses," Stone said of her courtroom experiences. "They're so fragile and they just fell into my heart and never left. In my head they were always the invisible girls because they would try to hide in their own skin."
Stone hopes that by mentoring her young assistants she can encourage them to feel confident. Her successful book promotions and signings are a testament, she says, to the hard work of her team of teenagers. "I just don't think you should hire adults for everything and give kids a second seat," Stone said. "I think they rise to the occasion if you give them the occasion."
Visit Mary Hanlon Stone's website at http://www.maryhanlonstone.com. Look for her on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. Stone is available to discuss Invisible Girl at book club gatherings.
Penguin Young Readers Group
STONE, Mary Hanlon. Invisible Girl. 288p. CIP. Philomel. 2010. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-399-25249-5. LC 2009027255.
Gr 7-10—Stephanie's abusive, alcoholic mother leaves their Boston home one night in a theatrical huff. Her weak-willed father cannot cope, so the 14-year-old is shunted across the country to a wealthy friend while the family figures out what to do. The friend's teen daughter is initially excited to include Stephanie in her clique, and Stephanie uses her Boston accent to make people laugh while spinning lies to keep them from knowing about her family's sordid past. However, after an overheard conversation, the queen bees turn on Stephanie. When a new girl appears and draws their fire, Stephanie is at first simply relieved to be out of the crosshairs but soon sees a different path and befriends the girl. Stone skillfully takes her protagonist from the bottom of a smelly closet where she is hiding from her mother's fists to a sunny, golden California beach club full of socially climbing girls concerned only with fashion, diets, boys, and possessions. It is as stark a change for readers as it is for Stephanie. She is in many ways younger than these teens, although she's had harder things to deal with, and her naïveté is heartbreaking. She learns from her trials, but there are no miracles. Stone portrays her growth believably, in small increments, with many slipups along the way.—Geri Diorio, The Ridgefield Library, CT
Beverly Hills Courier
Mary Hanlon Stone Releases
By Abbey Hood
You may remember her as the champion attorney who successfully prosecuted an emergency room doctor for running down cyclists in Mandeville Canyon. But Mary Hanlon Stone has taken on a new role: The Los Angeles deputy district attorney will release her first book, invisible girl, on May 27. The book depicts the remarkable story of "Stephanie," an adolescent who is abandoned by her abusive mother and taken in by an Encino family. Feeling like an outsider, Stephanie finds herself invisible and learning the only way this can be healed is by standing up for what she believes in.
This story is one, Stone says, she has wanted to write for a very long time. As a D.A. who specializes in sexual assault and domestic violence, she has met hundreds of "invisible girls." "An "invisible girl" can come in many different forms," said Stone. "It can be a girl with dark secrets of neglect or abuse. It can be a girl whose friends have all turned on her, or a girl simply with no self-confidence, or a lonely girl. It is a girl that tries to hide even as she's out in public because she feels like she's so unimportant that no one at school even sees her."
Through Stephanie's character, Stone shows developing inner strength can help young women triumph over a bad past. Stone began working on invisible girl last year. As a mother of two children she found herself writing in between soccer practices and games. On her way to work, she would turn her car stereo on and speak into a recorder with her thoughts for the novel. "My passion has always been writing," said Stone.
When Penguin signed on to publish invisible girl, Stone formed an advisory board of junior high to college aged girls from to help market the book. "It is a way for them to get business experience," said Stone. "I asked, 'If you believe in this, how would you let your friends know?' They have come up with amazing ideas...they are leaders on the Internet."
One of the members, Daisy, even created a song after the book that will be featured on Stone's website, which is set to launch in a few weeks. Daisy will perform the song at the book launch in June in Beverly Hills. On April 21, Stone will attend Beverly High's career day to speak about life as a writer. All students who attend her lecture will receive an advance copy of invisible girl from Penguin. invisible girl can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com.
Keep a look out for Stone's second novel, The Comedown Life, which she finished last month.
Beverly Hills Weekly
Tell us about your new book.
It's called invisible girl and it's for girls 12 and up. It's published by Penguin and the release date is May 27th. It's about a poor girl in Boston whose mother abandons her. She goes to live with a wealthy family in Los Angeles that has a daughter in a fast crowd, and she has to try to fit in with this intimidating clique. To fit in, she initially lies, and she paints herself as this fabulous person. She gets in with this clique, and she has a boyfriend, and then her old world catches up to her. She's exposed and humiliated. She's exiled. But it turns out, that's the best thing that ever happens to her. Outside the false group, she slowly bonds with another girl, another outcast. Together they form a true friendship where she finds out what it's like to be seen for who she really is and to be accepted by both a friend and mother.
Why did you decide to write this book?
As a D.A. I've dealt with a lot of invisible girls. Girls who have secrets because they have things about themselves that make them ashamed, things that aren't their fault but make them feel less. I've really bonded with these girls over the years and I wanted to write a book where I could help girls, make an enjoyable story for them and make them feel like they're not alone.
Tell us about your work with teens.
As a D.A. for 23 years, I've specialized in sexual assault and domestic violence cases and I've met a lot of girls who have been victims of that.
Tell us about the book's unique marketing strategy.
We have a team of 22 girls. They're mostly in seventh grade, but we have some in high school and two in college. They're girls that have all read the advanced copies of the book and loved it. Since this book is about girls, we thought it'd be best that girls that age promote it. One thing I've always heard at graduations is people telling kids they are future leaders, and that sort of bothers me because they're present leaders. They can be leaders now. The girls who are on the team are learning about business, they're learning how to speak out, which I think is really important, and they're learning how to impart their passion to other kids. They love to read, and they're really enjoying working with each other.
One of the girls is marketing in Australia for the group. She's really a go-getter. The book is available on Amazon now. Part of the girls' goal is to get as many people to order the book on May 27th as possible.
Do you plan on continuing your writing career?
Yes, I have a novel coming out next year also with Penguin called "The Comedown Life." It's about a teen reality star who loses the show and moves to a steel town in Detroit to live with a father she hardly knows. I have a nonfiction book that the kids and I are working on where each child writes an essay about something that they've accomplished in their life. [The kids] who wrote the essays will be on a teen board for charity, and they'll decide who they want to help with the money from the book. You know how some kids need operations or things like that. I'm not getting any of the money. It's all for the kids.
What is the main message of "Invisible Girl"?
Female empowerment. That girls can learn to be who they are and not feel that they have to hide behind any persona or have to buckle to what other people want them to be. To accept themselves for what they are. That's probably the strongest message.
— Kimberly Cheng
Mary Hanlon Stone's debut novel is a fairly short book at 278 pages, but it is not short on the impact it makes. It describes, in realistic fashion, the inner life of an abused girl, struggling with her dysfunctional family and trying to do what any adolescent desires more than anything—to fit in.
Invisible Girl is the tale of fourteen-year-old Stephanie. She is the only child of an alcoholic mother and a father who is weak, wimpy, and totally ineffective at protecting her from her mother's alcohol infused rages. Stephanie retreats into a world of literary fantasy as she reads and imagines herself as the protagonist of the Nancy Drew series, solving crimes and assisting her imaginary lawyer dad with his cases. She keeps a running list of "Warrior Words" at the ready—a list of vocabulary words she's compiled over time to ponder upon and soothe her when times get tough. She's going to need those words and Nancy Drew more than ever when her mother leaves the family and her father subsequently abandons her and ships her off—to stay with an old family friend in California while he pulls himself together.
Stephanie is forced to leave Boston and move to Beverly Hills where being a fish out of water doesn't even begin to describe her new status. Her swarthy Italian looks and Boston accent make her an object of curiosity among her newfound "friends." When the rich, golden girls find out who Stephanie and her family truly are, the journey really gets tough and she has to make a choice regarding how much is it worth to be part of the in crowd or be real and true to one's self.
This reader questioned how realistic it was for Stephanie to have to leave Massachusetts and stay with the family of her father's old friend across the country. The story made it clear there were a number of paternal family members available. There didn't appear to be enough justification for such a drastic move. That being said, the story did come full circle and without giving away any spoilers, my concern was addressed.
Invisible Girl is a stellar first novel that clearly shows the author's experience in working with troubled children as a district attorney in Los Angeles and as an advocate for girls. I look forward to reading her future work.
Reviewer June Goodwin, LCSW, is a clinician and educator, currently counseling children classified as emotionally disturbed. She is also a member of The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
First-time author Stone debuts with a careful and challenging examination of clique politics... Stone demonstrates smart insight into how Annie's circle operates and how hard Stephanie works to be part of it ("I nod when she nods. I laugh when she laughs")...Readers will find it easy to rally for Stephanie as she becomes visible on her own terms.
Flamingnet Student Book Reviewer SMurph
Stephanie is a character that you truly feel for. You immediately start off wanting to protect and help her, because Mary Hanlon Stone, right away, puts us in the center of the action. Stephanie is abused by her alcoholic mother and although she has a father, he is useless and apathetic. He sits by and allows Stephanie to be treated this way. Stephanie's mother ends up deserting her and since her father is helpless, he sends her off to his brother's friend's house in Beverly Hills until he can get things sorted out...Stephanie is now in immersed in another world. A world where fashion, dieting, and looks are paramount...think Laguna beach. Annie, the daughter of the wealthy family in Beverly Hills, is the stereotypical mean girl that is completely self-absorbed. Annie's friends are no better; they are conniving, scheming and superficial beyond belief. As the story progresses, we watch Stephanie assimilate into their world. ..All in all, Mary Hanlon Stone's debut novel, invisible girl, is a compelling read that teaches its readers many lessons about life.
There were parts of this novel that broke my heart. To think that some teenagers have to deal with abuse, whether physically or emotionally, on a daily basis is distressing to me. Stone truly captured, in my opinion, what life may be like for teenagers subjected to abuse. It was a real eye-opener and a reminder that we don't always know what someone else may be dealing with or going through. Another part of this novel that was hard to take were the mean tirls, specifically Annie, who is the Queen bee. Stephanie feels completely out of place and inadequate when in comparison to the quintessential California girls. I personally wanted to stand up to Annie and pretty much rip her to shreds as it was hard to sit by and watch her treat Stephanie poorly. The interaction between the mean girls and Stephanie was a perfect portrayal of bullying and how females can be passive aggressive. Teenage girls are notorious for their passive aggressive/emotional bullying and I felt Stone was dead on.
I enjoyed Stone's writing style, dialogue, and character development. invisible girl touches on controversial issues such as abuse, alcoholism, sexuality, bullying, peer pressure, underage drinking, etc. With that said, it has a strong message for all teenagers. It illustrates the benefits of having a true friend in your life and how it's important to stand up for yourself and for what you believe in...
Stephanie is used to fading into the shadows. At school, she has no friends, preferring the solace of books. At home, things aren't any better, and Stephanie spends half her time hiding from her drunk and abusive mother. When her mom leaves and her father sends her to live with an old family friend across the country, Stephanie realizes she can no longer be invisible. Everything about her makes her stand out, and not in a good way. Her old clothes, her Bostonian accent, and her naturally darker complexion mark her as almost inferior in the world of wealthy LA blondes. Despite these stark differences, all Stephanie wants is to fit in, but this isn't so easy for the girl who's always been by herself. Desperate to find a place where she truly fits in, Stephanie starts to build a web of lies of a fake life. But it's not until this false bubble bursts and a new girl, who's more like Stephanie that she would've thought, moves to town that Stephanie can move forward just being herself.
Stone delivers an achingly heart wrenching and real coming of age story in her debut invisible girl. Readers will immediately connect to main character Stephanie because although not everyone has grown up with domestic abuse, many of Stephanie's thoughts, fear, and emotions are easy to relate to. invisible girl is no doubt an emotionally charged novel because of this. This emotional connection between the reader and Stephanie makes her situation seem all the more heartbreaking, and in turn, the ending all the more uplifting. Stone does a fantastic job of developing Stephanie's character and portraying her growth. It's shockingly realistic. There's just something about this novel that reaches out and grabs the reader's heart. Even though there are plenty of other books dealing with feelings of inadequacy and being out of place in teens, invisible girl still manages to stand out. The fact that Stone is a debut author only makes this feat even greater.
I recommend invisible girl to readers who enjoyed Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee, Bounce by Natasha Friend, and Love, Meg by C. Leigh Purtill. I look forward to more from this promising debut author.
reposted from http://thebookmuncher.blogspot.com
While reading this novel, there is one word I kept catching myself saying. "Awww." Whether it was "Aww I can't believe Stephanie has to go through that" or "Aww I love Stephanie" or "Aww that girl is such a bitch". This is one of those books where you find yourself going through a full range of emotions. Half of the time I was mad at some of the characters, and the other half I was in love with some of them. Half of the time I was feeling so bad for Stephanie, all sad and stuff, and then half of the time I was all giddy that Stephanie had found a friend. I really, really liked this book, and I'm very surprised this is a debut novel from Mary Hanlon Stone, you would've thought that she had been a big-time author, perfecting the craft for many years. Like a Deb Caletti novel of self-discovery, Mary Hanlon Stone writes about how hard it is to forget the tragic events of our lives, and how to forgive the ones who caused them. I love it when I actually learn something from a novel, like something moral, not educational. And from this novel, I have learned that trying to be something you're not is pointless, and that as long as you stay true to who you are, everything will fall in place. I read books to connect with the characters, to connect with the authors, to experience things I wouldn't normally experience. And I'm so glad to say that I did all three of those with invisible girl. Though the topic of child abuse is very present in this novel, the majority of INVISBLE GIRL is about what happens after the abuse. It's hard to say "I recommend this novel to people who love to read (insert genre here:_______)" because this book is very individual. I'm just going to end this review saying: Read invisible girl. You won't feel like it's time wasted, trust me. I couldn't stop smiling when Mary told me she has another book coming out next spring, because she is on my "authors to look out for" list. (:
This book nearly made me cry at least three times. Considering a book rarely makes me cry, this should be news enough not to miss this book. I'd heard rave reviews about it from Brent at Naughty Book Kitties, so when I got a copy sent to me, I was naturally excited. But...I had no idea exactly how deeply I would end up investing myself into this book.
Stephanie's mother is a drunk. She drinks and drinks and drinks, only stopping to hit Stephanie and boss around her father. Even though there are times when there is no alcohol, and her mother is the shining example of love and devotion, the fear always remains. When Stephanie's mother decides to walk out on them for good, she can barely contain her mixture of relief...and depression. Stephanie's dad can barely handle her, and he rarely ever speaks, so when he decides to send her off to an old friend's place in LA for a little while -- to settle things, as he tells her -- she can barely care less.
She gets transported to a world where everything is cookie-cutter perfect. The family is perfect: a doting mother, a daughter named Annie who is beautiful and the local queen bee, and a father who reminds her of Nancy Drew's own dad. It just may be so that Stephanie doesn't have to escape into her world of mysteries anymore...that she may be able to make her own family out of this new one. Unfortunately, things rarely work out that way.
The characters in this novel thrive with life. It shines from them like thousands of rays of sunlight. Stephanie is such a deep, introspective character that expresses emotions so vividly and honestly, you really feel them yourself. Annie is an incredible witch who manages to be evil and conniving but never once over-dramatized. Annie's parents are much the same way -- the characterized honesty and lack of exaggeration made them ultimately more powerful than most characters in any work of fiction. Stephanie's friend, Amal, was also a wonderful character, managing to convey a message of antiprejudice and of the lasting effects of friendship based on emotional bonds.
The plot is basic in terms of what's going on -- a problem novel usually is. However, Stone weaves complex conflicts within based on the smaller things characters do. Stephanie not only works on not becoming invisible, but also reflects a slow realization of the nature of alcohol and how it pertains to her mother. It also explores the depth of the father figure, and what is and isn't accurate about it. Even her escapism with Nancy Drew books and her progress into biographical fiction is momentous and vital to the overall story arc. To make a simple book so addicting and multi-layered is wonderful, and I loved every minute of it.
Stone's writing is just as good, combining excellent descriptors and metaphors with spurts of dialogue that fit together so well. Normally I enjoy more dialogue than description in these types of novels, but I breezed through so well that I never once thought that with Invisible Girl. Her vocabulary is also great -- especially its integration with Stephanie's Warrior Words -- which were very inspired and gave her a level of strength and courage victim characters sometimes lack.
To say this is my new favorite debut would really be an understatement. Stone does everything right -- even some things I never knew were wrong! I want to stay with Stephanie long after the last page, and I can't wait to see what happens next for the author, even if she doesn't return to Stephanie and company. This book will warm your heart and is ultimately a story of pure teenage survival in a world that thrives so much on fighting for a spot of visibility.
Reviewer: Vanessa Van Petten is the founder of RadicalParenting.com. As a published author at 17, business owner at 22, and venture capitalist at 24, Vanessa writes for numerous publications, websites and blogs.She travels the country speaking to all types of groups about family relationships, teen lifestyles, and many other issues pertaining to Gen Y.
What We Thought:
Who is this for?
Teen Reviewer Quote:
Invisible Girl is a stellar first novel that clearly shows the author's experience in working with troubled children as a district attorney in Los Angeles and as an advocate for girls. I look forward to reading her future work.
I love how the story begins. It has a strong and direct impact on the readers. The reader is immediately thrown into the abused and tortured world of Stephanie and feels her emotions through her. I was immediately pulled into Stephanie's world of chaos,loneliness and fears. I almost had goosebumps while reading the first chapter!
Mary Hanlon Stone does a great job in portraying Stephanie's feelings and voices her thoughts in a way that made my heart go out to her.
THE AUTHORS:CYNTHIA BASEMAN, author of Love Mom: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Hope,
Don't plan on picking up invisible girl unless you have the time to finish it. If not, you run the risk of running very late for whatever it is you have previously planned. (In my case, I missed the first 30 minutes of a good friend's twins' bar Mitzvah.)
We've all seen the "fish-out-of-water" device. In this story, however, the tension is so tangible, you can't help but follow along, step by step, as 14 year-old Stephanie is thrust from her deeply troubled, working-class home in Boston to the ultra-hip, superfast, first-class digs of a family friend's in Encino. As a mom, I know if you back a kid into a corner, he or she will lie. I cringed as Stephanie's dishonesty was bound to boomerang back at her. The storytelling is raw and honest and as I finished the last page, I couldn't help but wonder: had I inadvertently overlooked "invisible girls" in my own day-to-day life?
Eudora Welty is reported to have said that the purpose of good literature is to break down walls. In a straightforward manner, that is precisely what invisible girl manages to do.
LEILA COBO, author of Tell Me Something True,
Mary Hanlon Stone's invisible girl provides an unflinching, often painful, look at adolescence today, through a riveting story that keeps you reading past the heartache. This beautifully written account of one girl's journey toward self-worth rings devastatingly, but also, hopefully, true.
This is a book you can relate to, no matter who you are, whether you are invisible, or loved by everyone around you. You could feel sympathy for Stephanie, and connect with her. This is the type of book you get into from the first sentence to the last. I have only positive feedback on this book. I thought Amal's character was genius. She was stereotyped as "thinks she's all that" by Stephanie and her "group", yet Amal is the most moral, ethical, sweet character...
invisible girl was a book that i could really relate to. Stephanie, the main character struggles through daily teenage drama, and many teenagers can relate to it, and learn from her mistakes as well... I learned that one lie leads to another, and ends up causing a lot more problems than you thought it would Also be yourself and not be something or someone you're not...
Although I never experienced the kind of abuse that Stephanie had to put up with (thankfully!), I could completely relate to her. When my family moved when I was in middle school, I found learning a new school and social system really tough. All of Stephanie's emotions and insecurities were so tenderly described. You won't always love what she does, but you will always understand her. I absolutely loved how Stephanie found so much of her strength in books. I would recommend this to all my friends.
I would definitely recommend this book! The story evokes emotion from the reader, both smiles and tears... One can easily relate to any of the characters and the story itself is realistic as well. Overall, a very good read and a book I would suggest to my friends. Read it!!!
This book is not only entertaining and a good read, but it also teaches you about life no matter what age you are. Although I am a little older than the suggested age range for this book, I found myself unable to put it down until it was finished. I highly recommend this novel!
This is such an amazing book for young girls. You feel sympathy for the main character, find her mistakes to be completely understandable, and just fall in love with her innocence from page one. Honestly, what more can you ask for? Amazing book, I recommend it 100%.
I loved this book!!! My mom caught me reading it in my bed with a flashlight. After my mom went to bed, I finished it. I was so tired the next day, but it was so worth it. You will not want this book to end.
This book is a fantastic, gripping read that reveals the cruelty of today's generation. Horrifying and fascinating at the same time, this amazing novel will keep your eyes glued to the pages until the very end.
This book teaches u to never lie about even the smallest things because eventually everything will get messed up. Also, that if you try, you can find the right friends even if you end up moving away. It's a great book.
This is a geat book that I recomed to all older readers who want to read about a teen living in a biffeet wolrd than she is used to, she has a lot of new expersen and she is trying to find a way to fit in. I think you would and should love this book!
Such a great time reading it and I recommend it to all.
ROBIN SAX, Former Prosecutor, Victim Advocate, Legal Analyst and Author It Happens Every Day, Inside the World of a Sex Crimes DA,
I am so impressed by Mary Hanlon Stone's novel, invisible girl, a powerful story about how a lonely teenager is catapulted into a life of privilege after a childhood of abuse. Hanlon Stone, a dedicated youth advocate, attorney, and devoted mom of two sons, shows readers how much strength and resilience teens need in today's fast-paced, unpredictable world.
MICHELLE UPCHURCH, Crisis Response Team Counselor
In her first book, invisible girl (Philomel Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group), Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Mary Hanlon Stone drops us into a place which is sometimes as heart wrenching to the reader, as it is gut wrenching to the young, unwanted and abused Stephanie — the invisible girl. We meet Stephanie in Boston, cowering and reading her treasured books in her musty crowded closet, trying to shield herself through invisibility, from her powerfully abusive mother and her powerless, inadequate father. Although quite adept at remaining imperceptible as she attempts to live her 14 year old life, the reader is quickly witness to one price of visibility for Stephanie. We are at her side as her mother invades her closet sanctuary, panting, clawing, pounding and dragging Stephanie into a most hellish and undeserved nightmare. Ms. Hanlon Stone wastes no time getting us to begin to understand the defense mechanisms so necessary for the survival of innocents like Stephanie — the closets, the books, the words, all peaceful hiding places to attempt to self-soothe and repair.
Following our young, awkward, fearful friend to a land of swimming pools and movie stars, we hope with the turn of each page that she will somehow overcome her dreadful existence, and her dread of visibility. The journey is intense for Stephanie, as well as for us. Our lessons learned as readers of invisible girl, although less rigorous and less brutal than those learned by Stephanie as she attempts to fit in with an affluent fast living crowd, are trying and emotional, yet evoke an understanding of the fallout of abuse. Mary Hanlon Stone's experience, insight, and flair for the written word make invisible girl a poignant, stirring, and very touching read.
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