“Sound and movement gave him a fighting chance to be seen. For a few seconds, anyway.”

Genre: Middlegrade, Fantasy
Pages: 307
Published: April 25, 2020
Rate: 3 ⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads Synopsis
Eleven-year-old Casey is stubbornly friendly, but he’s eternally the new kid at Vintage Woods Middle School. Students look right through him—and they’re not faking. Casey doesn’t know why he’s mostly-invisible, but when he scales a colossal oak, he discovers a fortress in its branches. The forgotten sentry tree marks the border between his safe, suburban life and a fierce frontier.

Casey and his little sister Gloria infiltrate Sylvan Woods, a secret forest society devoted to ancient, wild things. Sky-high footpaths. Survival sewing. Monster control. Shockingly, people here actually see Casey—but being seen isn’t enough. He wants to belong.

Keeping his identity hidden–while struggling to prove he fits–is hard enough, but Butcher Beasts have returned to Sylvan Woods after a hundred years. Trickery is under siege. As the monsters close in, and the fearsome Sylvan Watch hunts Casey down, he and his newfound friends must unearth abandoned magic, buried at the forest’s roots…or be devoured along with everyone else, Sylvans and civilians alike.

A fast-paced middle grade fantasy/adventure book with all the monsters kids could ever hope for.

Disclaimer: A copy of the book was provided to me for the The_WriteReads tour but all thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

My Take
There’s a certain joy that comes with reading adventure stories, and The Mostly Invisible Boy was quite the adventure.

I loved the story. Its well told and easy to follow along. The premise of the story is also quite interesting. A new world hidden in plain sight. I was hooked. I had a love hate relationship with the characters. Some I loved, some not so much. AJ Vanderhorst explores friendship so well, and there’s some subtlety in how he talks about loneliness. I was in awe.

“A few seconds of hope only made things worse.”

What I didn’t like, the writing. I did struggle to get into it and realised I wasn’t enjoying it much. Kids solving problems where adults can’t is another thing I struggle to overlook but depending on what you like this is all up to you.

The Mostly Invisible Boy had some good moments amidst what I didn’t enjoy. Though it wasn’t the book for me, it may be for you.

Have you read the book? What did you think about it?