First, I would like to say that writing this review was terribly hard to do because I know the author is going to read this, and I wasn't sure how exactly to express my opinions on the book. Actually, that is one of the reasons I've been procrastinating on this review, but don't get me wrong, I really did like the book. Just like every book ever written, there were some things that were very strong, and some things that felt a bit weak, but of course all of the minor potholes I found in her book will improve with practice.
|Please note that I took this picture from|
the Amazon.com listing of Hilda's
Title: The Invisible Spy: Spying on the Lives of Celebrities
Author: Hilda Leticia Dominguez
Synopsis (from Goodreads): When fourteen-year-old Sofia wishes upon a star on her birthday to be able to spy on people without anyone noticing her, her birthday wish is granted with the help of a magical star ring. With it, she has the time of her life until she loses her ring. All the while, she juggles with a friendship that might lead to her first boyfriend. But without her birthday ring, Sofia feels empty and depressed. Will she be able to find it? Will she ever be able to spy again?
My thoughts: As I said before, there were many things that I adored in this book, and some didn't quite seem totally developed to me. Now, I'm not saying that I'm a perfect writer at all, but a couple things just didn't hit the hammer on the head with me. Let's start off with what I loved!
- Hilda was able to craft a smart story in a funny, realistic way (well, as realistic as it could be with a magic ring, haha). She made me laugh out loud several times, which was good because not many books do that :) For example, on the bottom of page 3, there is some dialogue between Sofia and her brother Joseph that I would like to share.
"I want you to take a good look at Cindy and Marigold." -Sofia
"For the last time, they are not my type! Thank you." - Joseph
He got up but she pulled him back down. "No! Just park your butt on the bench and watch them." -Sofia
This sort of reminded me of how my brother and I talk to each other, and just the way that Sofia and Joseph banter back and forth is so cute sometimes!
-I also really loved how Hilda threw in the occasional Spanish word here and there. If you didn't know, Hilda actually speaks a little bit of Spanish because she comes from a Spanish speaking family, and I think that is totally awesome. I adore when books do that.
- And I also loved the other small plots underneath the first and how they both tied in to each other. Sofia is also dealing with some jealous, mean friends, and on top of that, she has a boy at her front door who likes her, but she doesn't quite know what she thinks of him yet.
- I loved the ending because it wasn't something I expected, yet it seemed natural for the book.
And now for a few critiques, because that is a part of reviewing that we have to deal with.
- Sofia often calls her brother wise, which I think is a bit unnatural for the ages the two of them are at. Usually, but not always, when siblings are so young (high school age), they don't have that strong of a relationship, so I found that a little strange and hard to relate to. Plus Joseph's character seemed wayyyyy too mature for a high school boy. He almost seemed like a fatherly character.
- I wish the subplot with Sofia's friends didn't resolve so easily. I won't tell you how it ends up, but it seemed like an easy get-out resolution, if you know what I mean. I was looking for a bit more of a bang.
- Sometimes, in the writing the tenses are changed from past and present, even in the same sentence. That made it a little choppy for me to read sometimes, but that can be improved with practice!
There were also a few editing mistakes in the book, but that's common in a lot of books. It's often not the writers fault, but the editors.
Overall, I think Hilda did a wonderful job writing this and developing the main plot.
My Advice to the Author: Keep on writing, rewriting, and getting opinions from others, but don't let what anyone says stop you because you can only keep going up! Let your creative side shine through, and be unique as a writer. You'll show all the haters what's up when you have a best selling book one day! :) Oh, and also, I think a sequel would be cool *hint, hint* Rating: 4 magical rings out of 5. I had to take a star off because of my age. I know that I would have loved it when I was younger, but at 15, I felt a little bit above the reading level.
Recommended Readers: 3rd - 7th graders. I could see elementary kids reading this in school!
Order Hilda's book for yourself HERE for a reasonable price of only $7.19 or €5.19!
Also, Hilda is writing another book just for girls with advice about various things. Check back to her blog for details on when it will be published. I am pretty sure that it's still in the works right now, but I'll also let you know when there is a new development in it's progress.
Go stalk Hilda's blog and tell her I sent you :)