Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “When I Was Invisible” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
When I Was Invisible
Dorothy Koomson
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

When I Was Invisible

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,819 ratings  ·  173 reviews
‘Do you ever wonder if you’ve lived the life you were meant to?’ I ask her. She sighs, and dips her head. ‘Even if I do, what difference will it make?’

In 1988, two eight-year-old girls with almost identical names and the same love of ballet meet for the first time. They seem destined to be best friends forever and to become professional dancers.

Years later, however, they
Published May 5th 2016 by Cornerstone Digital
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about When I Was Invisible, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about When I Was Invisible

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,819 ratings  ·  173 reviews

More filters
Sort order
That got unexpectedly dark.
Very, very dark.
I need a night light now. Perhaps a hug.
That was so... dark.
Vikki Patis
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I review When I Was Invisible by the incredibly talented Dorothy Koomson for the review panel.

As a rule, I tend to struggle with modern fiction. I like to slip into books, away from the world we live in, and so when I read about Facebook or iPods, I cringe a little bit. Some authors really struggle to recreate the modern world in fiction, but not Koomson. It’s as if she captures everything as she goes along, like a photographer, and manages to turn it into a story into which an
Shaz Goodwin
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

My curiosity was captured from Chapter one where Nika in 'present day' is in a situation and as a reader I had no idea how she got there. I have to mention here that I enjoyed the format. For both Veronika (Nika) and Veronica (Roni) we don't just have alternating chapters for each women but also timelines that go back to the first time they met and their shared passion of dancing and moving forward to 2016 so that a picture builds of what happened to them.
Jennifer Joyce
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1988. Two eight-year-old girls meet for the first time. With almost identical names and a passion for ballet, the girls become best friends.

2016. The two girls - now grown women - have led very different lives since they last saw each other two decades ago. One has been homeless for most of her adult life, the other became a nun. Though bound by a secret from their past, the women are no longer friends, no longer even acquaintances. But their past is catching up with them and the women are on co
Suze Lavender
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Veronica Harper, Roni, and Veronika Harper, Nika, are friends from the moment they meet at school. They have the same name and they have one big love in common, ballet. They both want to be a ballerina and they take extra lessons to become amazing dancers. That's when life gives them their first scars. After that things go downhill rapidly. Roni wants to pay for her sins and becomes a nun. Nika marries a celebrity who's mean and controlling. After that things get even worse. Until a moment in 20 ...more
Jo Ring
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. Not quite what I was expecting but still very good. 10!!
Margaret Madden
3.5 stars.
Best friends since the moment they met, Nika and Rony are two young girls with dreams of becoming prima ballerinas and remaining close for the rest of their lives. But circumstances change and the girls end up estranged and living completely opposite lives. Can their past links be re-connected or has the division become to wide? How did one girl become homeless while the other found God? Their invisible lives are the result of their past but can either of them hope to return to normal
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
A moving story about two young girls who were drawn together due to sharing the same name, bound together with their love of ballet and then torn apart by betrayal and secrets.

This book touches on many issues including friendship, abuse, betrayal and making amends.

The two Veronica's (one with a "c" and one with a "k") meet as young girls. They are inseparable until the actions of trusted and respected adults tear them apart. Both girls deal with the trauma in different ways and end up living com
Clare Holman-Hobbs
Although I enjoyed this, I felt there were some pacing and structure issues. I felt a lot of the character development went on for too long, and I was hoping for some exciting plot development earlier than it happened. I was much more enthralled by Nika's story than I was Roni's, not because nunnery life doesn't interest me, but I just felt it wasn't as fleshed out. Nevertheless, it was still a good read.
Lynsey Farmer
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Brilliant read loved the characters and how strong Dorothy made the characters.
This is an emotional read and the characters really do have it tough in this book letting us have a glimpse into the harsh way of life.
This is my second read of Dorothy books the first being the ice cream girls but I aim to read more of Dorothy others book as they are very empowering read
Rachel Gilbey
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are already a fan of this author and haven't read the book yet, then go out and buy it now..don;t even wait to end of this review, you won;t be disappointed.

If you have never read a Dorothy Koomson before, then you are missing out and this is an excellent book to get you hooked on the author.

This is a book that does tackle tough uncomfortable subjects, but thankfully leaves the intricate bits to your imagination.

One of my earliest concerns about the book was that it was two characters
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Its been a few years since I read a Dorothy Koomson novel and I forgot how good they are.

I love how you immediately feel connected to her characters, and caught up in the story. It was not an easy read, powerful and gripping I couldn't put it down. both Nika and Roni are making changes in their lives, and reacting to the things that they went through in their pasts, and the different ways they handled them at the time.

It showed the power of friendship, of having someone who has your back and som
Angela Free
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy the way Dorothy Koomson writes. It kind of sweeps me along like I'm floating on a wave. This story was addictive. Each chapter is told in turn by two women who were best friends as children but the horror of their childhood sent them on paths their lives weren't meant to take.
Rita Correia
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! Such a close friendship, lasting a lifetime and through so many obstacles. Reminds me of my best friend!
Nadine Snyman
I did this book in the audible version.


I’ve read a few Dorothy Koomson over the years and while I don’t think this was the one I enjoyed the most, I did enjoy it. While my best friend and I never came close to living lives that resembled the 2 in this story many phrases that describe this friendship resonated with me. I don’t know how I could ever live without my best friend and the gaping hole that was evident in this pairs lives when they were not together certainly describes what it would be
Donna Irwin
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every so often a book comes along that you want to give six stars to and this is one of them. Dorothy Koomson just keeps growing as an author. I have loved all her books but this is definitely the best so far.

This tormented tale of friendship and betrayal is beautifully written despite the dark subject matter. She really gets under the skin oh her characters and her reader.

I was holding my breath at times as things got darker and darker. I felt the pain of Nika and Roni as if it was happening to
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is the first novel by Dorothy Koomson that I have read and I found it very good indeed. From the moment it starts, I wanted to know all about how the two Veronicas got to where they are in the present day, and why they apparently fell out big time years ago. I must admit I did kind of guess what happened at the ballet lessons , as well as what happened with Veronica re her uncle, but its all absorbed into how the lives of the two girls intertwines and is very well done, so that it all emerg ...more
Julie Cohen
Gritty and emotional. What I like best about Dorothy Koomson's books is that they are always, always about empowering women. I couldn't put it down; I think this is one of her best.
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chic-lit
struggled a bit at start but wow am glad i did not give up what an amazing read lots of twists and turns. amazing friendship between nika and roni. totally awesome
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have read a few Dorothy Koomson books before but always found them a bit hit and miss for me but I’d had this one on my Kindle for a while, so I picked it randomly as my next read and jumped in.

The main characters are Veronica Harper (Roni) and Veronika Harper (Nika) when they meet at school and become best friends at the age of eight. They discover that not only do they have the same name but they also have one big love in common, ballet. Their lives start to spiral out of control when they t
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ana Lepur
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was certainly not the "fluffy"story about little ballerinas, that I was expecting. It is a Very Dark tale about the directions the lives of two little girls take, following their youthful friendship through a love of dance and their shared names. Many little girls cherish, at some stage in their youth, a dream to become a famous ballerina. This is the foundation upon which the author builds her story.
The two Veronicas (Roni and Nika) are very close and share secrets, but when one of t
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to get into this book, but once I was, I stormed through it. It turned out to be significantly darker than I had expected after reading the back cover, but the trigger warning on the front page helped me to realise that perhaps I wasn't in for the light chick-lit experience I'd expected.

I had enough thoughts during the reading process to start making a note of them in my phone. Rather than talking too much about the story, which is quite hard to do without spoilers, I thought
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2017
The two main protagonists, Nika and Roni, have been friends since they were eight years old. The storyline moves around through the decades, from 1988 when they first meet, to 2016, when they are both in their mid-thirties. I found this very confusing at first, but it works very well as a device for unfolding the complex plot.

The story builds up with just the right amount of tension, revealing exactly what needs to be told at each point, until the dramatic climax which reveals not just untold s
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with all of Koomson’s work, the topic is heavy & the writing tugs in all the right places, but it doesn’t feel like a strain to read. She manages to keep fleshing out the characters until the very end, so when you think you have a grasp on them, you’ll learn something shocking, new or just unexpected.

I love the way she drops twists almost casually - no build up, very little drama.. just fact & the characters’ responses, which is one of the many reasons her books are so compelling. It
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this author. But this book is not one of my favourites. It was confusing having characters with the same name and the story flipping between them and time. I got lost a couple of times. On a positive a strong storyline throughout. Favourite line “that was what was so odd about being known as homeless. It was as though being called that means you are merely without a roof over your head. What if you’re without all the other things that make up a home: love, acceptance, attention and caring ...more
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Events in your life and how reactions, choices, decisions can change your life completely and not necessarily for the better....."do you ever wonder if you've lived the life you were meant to?" 'A very moving story. ..sensitive. ..thought provoking. ..emotional. ..well written with unexpected twists and turns....a read that will make you think and be grateful for what you have....and want to make it even is for living.
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, audio-book
Dark subject matter but most engaging

From the first 5 minutes this book has you hooked. Whilst not a nice underlying subject the book tells an engaging story of the long term impacts these events can have on individuals, and all their relationships.

There are some interesting turn of events with the outcomes not always as anticipated.

Another interesting read from an Author I recently discovered.

Keeps you hooked but subject content won't be for everybody.
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
A book very well written, as every book I read so far from Dorothy Koomson, she's an excellent writer and storyteller.

The reason why this is not a four star review is this one, I liked Nika's story very much, loved reading about her life, if it was just her story, I would definitely give this five stars.

On the other hand, Roni's story left me a bit indifferent, I couldn't connect with her, the way I did with Nika.

Still, a book definitely worth reading ...
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Lost and Found
  • Outrageous Fortune
  • The Magdalene Cipher
  • The Templar Concordat
  • The Secrets Sisters Keep
  • A Winter Wish (My Secret Unicorn, #7)
  • How to Mend a Broken Heart
  • The Singalong Society for Singletons
  • The Memory Collector
  • Nærmeste Pårørende
  • Never Can Say Goodbye
  • The Cosy Christmas Chocolate Shop
  • Secrets of the Sewing Bee
  • Wildflower Bay: Part One
  • Emma Ever After
  • Party Games
  • Someone Else's Son
  • The Woolly Hat Knitting Club
See similar books…
Hello, my name's Dorothy Koomson and I'll try to make this bit that's all about me as interesting as possible.
I wrote my first novel called There's A Thin Line Between Love And Hate when I was 13. I used to write a chapter every night then pass it around to my fellow convent school pupils every morning, and they seemed to love it.

I grew up in London and then grew up again in Leeds when I went to u