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Book review: 'Blindsided' brings thrills and angst to the 2nd Transparent installment

Published: Monday, Aug. 3 2015 1:30 a.m. MDT

"Blindsided" is by Natalie Whipple and the sequel to "Transparent." The book launch is Jan. 2, 2014. (Hot Key Books)

"BLINDSIDED," by Natalie Whipple, Hot Key Books, $9.99, 336 pages (f) (ages 14 and up)

Fiona should be able to relax. She and her family are safe, her boyfriend can see her, and she’s not being forced to work for her father — a crime syndicate boss.

But the peace of Madison, Ariz., is quickly disrupted when the Army moves in and the local syndicate starts making demands. And things aren’t going all that well with her boyfriend either.

Fiona and her friends start poking around the old Radiasure factory and realize that there is a possibility to restore a balance to the world. But Fiona might be too blinded by her own desires to see the danger coming before it's too late.

“Blindsided” is the sequel to “Transparent” and picks up soon after the conclusion of the first book. And like “Transparent,” one of the primary struggles for Fiona is her invisibility — a unique genetic mutation when just about everyone has some sort of enhanced ability thanks to a side effect of the drug Radiasure. Since she discovered that her boyfriend, Seth, can see through her invisibility, Fiona has been trying to piece together how her physical appearance works into her identity.

Natalie Whipple is the author of Natalie Whipple is the author of "Blindsided," which is the sequel to "Transparent." The book launch is Jan. 2, 2014. (Provided by Hot Key Books)

Fiona becomes jealous of Seth and obsesses over her physical appearance. While it’s easy to understand Fiona’s need to feel visible, her lack of communication with Seth can be frustrating. The conflict with Seth is a very significant subplot and gives “Blindsided” a much more angsty tone than the first in the series.

However, the plot is very evenly paced. Fiona has a natural leadership ability, and while she’s not quite one step ahead of the Army or the syndicate, she makes smart decisions and thinks on her feet.

The twists and turns can be easy to guess, but some will be unexpected and exciting. Fiona also benefits from a strong friendship with Bea, and her mending relationships with her mother and brother Graham are very sweet.

“Blindsided” has a very cinematic feel and reads like a blockbuster action movie. The ending is satisfying and fans of the first book will be pleased with Fiona’s development and the fates of their favorite characters.

“Blindsided” is appropriate for teens 14 and up. There is mild cursing, and sexual situations are only alluded to and never described. Drug use is limited to the use of Radiasure and its effects on addicts.

Author Natalie Whipple is a Utah resident and blogs about her writing and other adventures at betweenfactandfiction.blogspot.com.

If you go ...

What: "Blindsided" launch party and Natalie Whipple book signing

When: Thursday, Jan. 2, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com, betweenfactandfiction.blogspot.com

Note: Places in the signing line are reserved for those who purchase a copy of the featured book from The King's English.

Emily Ellsworth is a blogger at Emily's Reading Room at emilysreadingroom.com, which is blog dedicated to promoting a love of young adult fiction and includes book reviews, author interviews and more about the latest in young adult fiction.

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