Novels · Reviews · Teen Fiction

Review: The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko

Hello friends, happy Monday! I hope you’re all off to a good week! Today I’m going to be posting my review of Scott Stambach’s novel The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko.

The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko

The Invisible Life Ivan Isaenko by: Scott Stambach: Ivan Isaenko has spent his whole life at the Mazyr Hospital for Gravely Ill Children as he was born deformed. Spending his time in solitude and making everything a game, that is, until Polina shows up. At first he can’t stand her, but over time the two begin to form a friendship that slowly burns into a romance. This was an interesting concept for a novel. It started off really slow, but as the reader got partway through the novel the story became so engrossing that it was hard to put it down. Aside from the pacing that could have been better, the prose was beautiful. The way that Stambach talks about life and love and death was very matter of fact, but it was also so very poetic and just gorgeously executed. Now, as much as there was all this beautiful writing, what the reader wasn’t prepared for was the amount of sexual comments the main character made. At times it felt really unnecessary for it to be added, other times it’s understood that he’s a teenage boy, but it really just takes away from the story. The characters were raw, emotional and very developed. The main character, Ivan was a force to be reckoned with, his wit and cunning attitude really drove a lot of the story. The way that Stambach wrote his characters, even the secondary characters was so well done; he gave them all so much life, even though the irony of it all is that they’re ill. This became an absorbing novel that was really well crafted and written.

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