Invisible Ghosts

Book review by
Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media
Invisible Ghosts Book Poster Image
Cute but predictable teen romance … with ghosts.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

A few art history references from scenes that take place in an AP Art History class. The plot of Dracula explained.

Positive Messages

Don't let your grief and guilt consume you. Making difficult decisions is an important part of growing up. You can move on with your life without abandoning those you love.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Rose is a kind though passive kid who sometimes makes bad decisions. Jaime is a good, ethical, caring person. Logan loved and took care of Rose. Rose's parents are attentive, strict when they need to be, and clearly love her. Rose's group of theater friends are fun, kind teens.

Violence

A ghost loses control a few times and overturns tables. One character is hit in the face and injured by a thrown alarm clock. A kid falls and dislocates his shoulder.

Sex

A high-school romance is a major plot point, so story has lots of descriptions of physical attractiveness, attraction, and longing. A few scenes of kissing and making out. One graphic description of a heavy make-out session just short of sex.

Language

Characters swear infrequently and mostly for emphasis, including "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "God," "crap," "d--k," "damn," "butt," a--hole," "dumba--."

Consumerism

References to products and media, but mostly for scene setting, including Trader Joe's, Netflix, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Messenger, Facebook, Netflix, Coke, Chick-fil-A, iPad, Prius, Outback, Mercedes, Birkenstocks, PopTarts, and several TV shows.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teens drink beer at three different parties but don't get drunk. At one party, the parents allow the drinking using the "We'd rather you did it at home" argument. One character drives after drinking but isn't drunk. One character sees kids using a vape pen at a party.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Invisible Ghosts by Robyn Schneider (Extraordinary Means, The Beginning of Everything) is a combination light romance and ghost story about a teen who's struggling after the death of her brother. The book centers on Rose's regular visits with her brother's ghost, her budding relationship with a boy at school, and the complications that arise from both of those relationships. Issues  around grief, guilt, and how to move on from loss factor largely into the story. Other important topics include dating and friendships. Most of the characters display typical teen behavior, such as lying to parents, some drinking, and making out, but there's nothing too extreme here. Characters swear rarely ("f--k," "s--t," and "crap"). Teens drink at three different parties, but no one is shown drunk.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

In INVISIBLE GHOSTS, Rose Asher is grappling with grief and guilt five years after her brother Logan's death. She's also dealing with his ghost every day when she gets home from school. It's a secret she can't share with anyone, because she's not sure whether the ghost is real or in her head. Either way, she's happy to spend afternoons watching their favorite shows and hanging on the couch with him. At school, however, Rose has withdrawn from her old group of friends and makes do socially with a group of girls she doesn't connect with. Jaime, a cute boy she knew years ago, moves back, throwing her social life and her relationship with Logan for a loop. Jamie's own secrets further complicate things. As Rose figures out that she needs to live her life to the fullest and plan for her future, all her relationships go through serious growing pains.

Is it any good?

In this sweet but tepid romance, a teen girl hangs out with her brother's ghost and struggles mightliy with the complications and fallout resulting from the unusual situation. Invisible Ghosts offers an interesting premise in using the ghost as a way of showing that Rose is having a hard time moving on after her brother Logan's death. (He died from an allergic reaction to bee stings when he went looking for her after they had an argument.) How can she grow up and move on when he's stuck at age 15? Every advancement she achieves is a reminder of the life he never got to have.

The story starts to feel a little forced when love interest Jamie enters the picture with his own secrets, and it falters further under shallow characters and a predictable storyline. Repetitive phrasing and characters that completely drop from sight drag it down a little more. However, author Robyn Schneider does a good job with the teen dialogue and banter. She also nails teen girl social dynamics, especially when she shows that many young women dim their personalities and fly under the radar to avoid scrutiny in high school. Overall, this is a light, fun read, especially for teens who are into "shipping" fictional characters.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way movies and books like Invisible Ghosts deal with grief. Do you find some situations sadder than others? Do you understand the concept of "survivor's guilt"?

  • How do you feel about ghost stories? Do you prefer them to be more vague, as in maybe the ghosts are real or maybe they aren't? Do you like the really scary stuff?

  • Have you ever held yourself back from pursuing what you want because you're afraid to fail?

Book details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love grief tales and ghost stories

Our editors recommend

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate