If You Could See the Sun
Published October 11, 2022
About If You Could See the Sun
Alice Sun has always felt invisible at her elite Beijing international boarding school, where she’s the only scholarship student among China’s most rich and influential teens. But then she starts uncontrollably turning invisible—actually invisible.
When her parents drop the news that they can no longer afford her tuition, even with the scholarship, Alice hatches a plan to monetize her strange new power—she’ll discover the scandalous secrets her classmates want to know, for a price.
But as the tasks escalate from petty scandals to actual crimes, Alice must decide if it’s worth losing her conscience—or even her life.
In this genre-bending YA debut, a Chinese American girl monetizes her strange new invisibility powers by discovering and selling her wealthy classmates’ most scandalous secrets.
I think one of my favorite things about this book is actually that Alice never learns to control or perfectly predict her ability to become invisible. She knows about how frequently it happens, so she can kind of hope and loosely plan, but that extra tension made every job she took risky because she couldn’t guarantee she’d become or stay invisible when she needed to.
In other teens-with-superpowers books that I’ve read, I’m pretty sure all of them learn to control their ability at least to a certain degree, so I also liked that Alice never having dominance over her ability set this book apart and made me feel like it added a new type of story to the supernatural ability book list.
Alice is driven and smart, but not in a prodigious way. I liked that though she is used to keeping to herself, her ability and decisions about it forced her to open herself up to others in a way she hadn’t before. It made her realize how lonely she’d been and that people weren’t always who she initially thought them to be. I really liked Henry and Chanel, and I was glad that she formed bonds with them.
IF YOU COULD SEE THE SUN explored a lot of themes that resonated with me, including friendship and family. I’m super glad I read it. I think readers who enjoyed HOW WE FALL APART by Katie Zhao or BOYS I KNOW by Anna Gracia definitely need to read this one.
Content Notes for If You Could See the Sun
Recommended for Ages 12 up.
Main characters are Chinese.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used somewhat frequently.
Alice follows a man accused of having an affair to find out if he’s meeting another woman. Kissing between boy and girl.
Alice has an uncontrollable ability to turn invisible.
One student plots harm against another student and requests Alice’s help. A man injures a student.
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