Visibility by Sarah Neufeld tells the story of a girl struggling to understand herself and the people around her. One thing separates her from sharing this situation with her peers: on her eighteenth birthday, Natalie discovers that that she has a superpower of sorts – she can turn invisible. With her bodyguard sitting in for her absent father and her mother, Jadyn, acting invisible in more ways than one, it’s no surprise that Natalie is unsure of how to deal with her new ability. After spending years in the infamous Jadyn Irving’s shadow, Natalie strives to keep her talent hidden, but this proves to be more of a challenge than she expects. Caught up in a world of blackmail, deception, and absent family, Natalie must learn how to use this ability to discover truth, without endangering her own life and the lives of those around her.
As an illustrated novel, Sarah Neufeld’s Visibility falls in between graphic novels and common novels. Less intimidating than a graphic novel, it has the potential to introduce otherwise cautious readers to the genre. As someone who is always trying to convince her friends to try out a graphic novel, I am thankful to find a book I know they won’t regret reading. Furthermore, Meister’s illustrations are extraordinary, adding to the vividness of the plot without distracting from the text.
Neufeld skillfully merges the power of invisibility into her work of fiction so that Visibility remains accessible to readers of all genres, not just fantasy. Told from Natalie’s perspective, the reader feels her panic at being caught by her bodyguard after sneaking out and even experiences invisibility with her. While Visibility won’t take long to read thanks to the fast-paced plot and frequent illustrations, it will leave the reader with a first-rate impression of illustrated novels that will linger for days to come. 8 out of 10.