Review: Invisible Things by Jenny Davidson

Title: Invisible Things
Author: Jenny Davidson
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pub. Date: 11.23.2010
Genre: Historical YA
Keywords: Physics, Mystery, Family, Relationships, Secrets
Pages: 261
Description (from GoodReads):
Sixteen-year-old Sophie knows there is more to the story of her parents’ death. And she’s on a mission to find the truth. To aid her in solving the decades-old mystery, Sophie has enlisted her best friend, Mikael, whose friendship has turned into something more. It’s soon clear that Sophie’s future is very much wrapped up in the details of her family’s past, and the key lies with information only one man can provide: her parents’ former employer, the elusive billionaire Alfred Nobel.

As the threat of war looms in Europe, dangers to Sophie and her loved ones grow. While her determination to solve the mystery doesn’t waver, forces beyond her control conspire to keep her from her purpose. Then, news of her great-aunt Tabitha’s death sets off a chain of events that leaves Sophie questioning everything.

The more Sophie learns, the more she realizes that nothing—and no one—in her life is what it seems. And coming to terms with the dark secrets she uncovers means imagining a truth that she never dreamed possible. Full of gorgeous settings, thrilling adventure, and romance, Invisible Things is a novel that dares to ask, what if?


Jenny Davidson’s sophmore novel, INVISIBLE THINGS, is one of the most beautifully written novels I’ve read this year. That, coupled with regular mentions of characters like Niels Bohr and Alfred Nobel, cause the reader to feel as though they’re peering not only into the past, but into something terribly important.

Part one of the novel begins in Denmark at the Institute for Theoretical Physics where our main character, Sophie, resides. Sophie is a teen surrounded by brilliant minds and it’s clear she may someday join their ranks. She is an orphan with a mysterious past… and she wants answers. The deeper she digs, however, the more complicated things become. Not only is her past more knotted and manipulated than she ever would have assumed, Europe itself is falling to pieces… which presents unwelcome obstacles.

The one aspect of this novel that I wasn’t as taken with as I would have liked was the romance. I only point this out because romance is mentioned in the synopsis, which greatly heightens my expectations. Once I reconciled that this aspect wasn’t as prominent as I would have liked, I enjoyed the novel much more.

I’ll be taking the time to read Davidson’s first offering, THE EXPLOSIONIST, and, if you favor atmospheric novels with a rich, historical setting, I highly recommend you pick up INVISIBLE THINGS as well.

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