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The Visibles

3.05  ·  Rating details ·  999 ratings  ·  144 reviews
The only piece of information that Summer Davis takes away from her years at Peninsula Upper School -- one of the finest in the Brooklyn Heights-to-Park Slope radius, to quote the promotional materials -- is the concept that DNA defines who we are and forever ties us to our relatives. A loner by circumstance, a social outcast by nature, and a witty and warm narrator of her ...more
Hardcover, 323 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by Free Press
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Average rating 3.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  999 ratings  ·  144 reviews

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After much consideration, I've decided Sara Shepard should stick to what she knows best, which is young adult fiction.

This is how I felt during the whole thing:

The Visibles, her first effort in the adult fiction world, starts off shakily with a confusing-as-F preface/prologue/introduction that doesn't seem to add anything to the story. The first few chapters delve into Summer's life and provide unneccessary backstory. The Visibles is one of those adult novels I cower away from, the ones where ev
Apr 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I read an Advanced Copy of The Visibles and absolutely loved it!

The author has the ability to combine humor, wisdom and sadness in a refreshing and straightforward voice. I could not put the book down, and after finishing, read it again just to see what I might have missed!

I'm looking forward to all future books by this author. I'm sure she'll become one of my favorites!

Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
The snow globe incident. The snow globe incident. THE SNOW GLOBE INCIDENT. This book should have been called The Visibles: THE SNOW GLOBE INCIDENT OMFG for how often the snow globe incident was mentioned. SPOILER ALERT: SOMETHING HAPPENS WITH A SNOW GLOBE. And when you find out it will not be as monumental as the author hoped!

We meet Summer Davis, our heroine... or something, because I'm not sure she is heroic, but Summer Davis is our narrator at any rate. That rate is soul crushingly slow and w
Sep 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Thought provoking, sad, complex. I liked that she didn't settle for an easy resolution although I wanted to scream at some of choices that Summer made. The mystery behind her father's mental breakdown and the way it is developed in the story adds another layer of intrigue. ...more
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
I got 3/4 of the way through this book and didn't care enough to finish it- that almost never happens to me with novels- I will almost always finish them. And I can't even say anything awful about the writing itself- it isn't terrible, but the plot is convoluted and, frankly, BORING. The characters in this book are all pretty unlikable, and I simply didn't care what happened to them. I was surprised at how unbelievably SLOW this story was, too, as I devoured the PLL series by Shepard in a couple ...more
Jan 11, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't get into this ...more
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
I had higher hopes because I loved the PLL books so much but I should have just re-read them instead. Summer is such an annoying character, the book is all over the place without any resolution for anyone except the dad... her writing is still really good but the plot.... ugh.
May 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Sara Shepard’s novel The Visibles: A Novel is the type of story I generally love. It is a bit of a coming of age novel about a girl from a dysfunctional family. The novel is about a young girl named Summer Davis whose mother has abandoned the family. If that isn’t tough enough for a young girl, there is also Summer’s father who suffers from mental illness and an older brother seemingly in denial of it all. The theme of family, loss, and how family background and situations affects each of us dee ...more
Sep 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book at a book swap event where there was very little choice, so I gave Sara Shepard another chance even though I pretty much detested "Pretty Little Liars" in all its commercial, formulaic, glory.

Now I was in bed, recovering from a cold, and it seemed a good moment to start it. And then I read it in one go - so it seems rather well-written because I found it hard to put down. And yet there is something about it that left me dissatisfied and grumpy.

Reading it was oddly upsetting -
Sep 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
The Visibles is not a page turner and my life is complicated at the moment. I really needed to be reading a page turner. But I could not keep the narrating character, Summer, out of my thoughts. Summer's mother never is brought into the novel with a physical presence, but she is a force with which Summer has to reckon. What her issues were that led her to abandon her family and disappear are not explained. Summer is left to hold her father and brother together as a family while trying to find he ...more
Sierra W.
Oct 31, 2012 rated it did not like it
I absolutely love Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game series by Sarah Shepard so I decided to give The Visibles a try. As much as I wanted to like the book, I could not get into it. Summer (the main character) was boring and the book was choppy. I didn't feel any real emotion towards any of the characters. I have a bad habit of wanting to finish bad books because I have already started them and this one was no exception. I had to struggle to finish it and I was relived when I realized that I ...more
Ken Kugler
May 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
I was truly disappointed with this book. Have you ever read a book that kept feeling like it was going to take off and never did? That is what happened with this one. I kept reading until about page 150 pages. I then decided I would stop and not continue. I skipped to the end to see if anything changed and nothing did. Oh well, they cannot all be good books
Haley Johnson
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
As much as I LOVE Sara Shepard and her books, I couldn't get into this one. The beginning was so confusing and I was so lost throughout the entire book. I can relate to Summer in some ways and I can appreciate some of the sacrifices she had to endure for her father and Stella. However, I did not enjoy this book as much as I had hoped. ...more
seanat (elka)
Feb 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Ignore the chick-lit type cover, this is a deeper book than it suggests and a compulsive read.
About how what happens in our childhood shapes us as adults. Enjoyed it much more than I'd expected to.
Sep 24, 2009 rated it liked it
a little depressing but the feelings are all real and credible
Dec 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-books
This was really slow for me. It never had a huge climax in the middle. The characters could have been better developed since I felt like they were pretty two dimensional.
Feb 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
i didn't finish this was horrible! ...more
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't know why, but I didn't like All the Things We Didn't Say. ...more
May 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
old account (rl)
Jun 04, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF 26%

I know, I promised I wouldn't DNF any more book this year but I honestly cannot read another word of this. I would maybe pick it up at a later date, to try and finish it, but its a library book that's due back soon and I honestly just cannot be bothered.

The writing is nonsensical for one matter. I can barely follow what is happening. It switches from present day events to flashbacks / memory-like scenes with no pause. You have no idea what point of timeline you currently reading about. A
Jun 18, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
You ask what I think? The answer...not a lot!

I was going to ditch it by page 50 but I plodded on...and on...and on!

What a depressing soul the main character named Summer is. She is a member of a dysfunctional family who has the knack of upsetting anyone talking to her, and of being upset if anyone pays her a the slightest compliment. She is so mixed up I wonder if the author's character has not rubbed off on her. If so, Sara Shepard needs to see a counsellor.

One of the reviewers mentioned that s
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Different and Touching

This novel is very different from Sara Shepard's other novels (I have read every single one!). It is more realistic and more deeply emotional. It is a wonderful read I would recommend for adults. Sara Shepard never disappoints. Let's be real!

The character depth of this novel is good. I enjoyed how real they are. There is also the underlying mystery that seems to weave through all of her novels. It adds so much to this book! You do have to pay close attention to the shifts
Jul 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was fine. There were parts I liked more than others. Summer is actually kind of annoying though. She goes through life just assuming things about everyone, making all these sacrifices that honestly to me felt like an excuse not to decide anything for herself. Also despite the synopsis claiming this was Sara Sherpard's first foray into adult fiction it still read like YA to me. 2.5 stars rounded up. ...more
Katlyn Webb
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Even though this is by far her most boring book and I didn't know if I could make it through it, I found this her deepest, most compelling novel. I did not know she was capable of writing a novel like this that touched on many personal and family issues and more. She is one of my favorite authors and this book made me respect her even more. ...more
Ira T
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-in-sydney
This book was very odd. The story was super slow and hard to read and the final secret was very underwhelming. Sometimes the book is about the journey, but not this one. The journey was arduous and very uninteresting because all the characters were underdeveloped and I just found myself not caring about them at all.
Jocelyn Cook
Nov 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
I usually enjoy Sara Shepard books and I feel like this has something I must be missing, but I did really love the scene between Phillip and the main character as children in the backyard. I want to know more about the parts of their story that were brushed over.
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
couple trying to make a family out of broken people. children who resent new girlfriend and pine for their mother. mother is completely crazy.
when oldest son runs away trying to escape the horrible atmosphere at home, all comes to a head.
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Yaaaaawn!!! Slow holiday read. Not much else to say really.
Karen Kirkham
Nov 06, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So wanted to enjoy this book as a fan of pretty little liars , tried my hardest but couldn't get into it and gave up reading book after chapter 3. ...more
Apr 02, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
skimmed over most of it and probs only read like 75%
this is the most confusing book i've ever read like ever and i already knew the 'plot twist' from when he said she said 'two words' like duh
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Sara Shepard Book...: Opinions on The Visibles 9 10 Dec 27, 2012 10:09AM  

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Sara Shepard graduated from NYU and has an MFA from Brooklyn College. She has lived in New York City, Brooklyn, Tucson, Arizona, Philadelphia, and now lives in Pittsburgh, PA. Sara's Pretty Little Liars novels were inspired by her upbringing in Philadelphia's Main Line. ...more

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