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  • Writer's pictureAnnika Pillai

i read if you could see the sun by ann liang and it was actually really good!

I came across this book on TikTok (surprise, surprise) and as someone who rarely dips her toes into YA, I was beyond excited when I received the ARC for this book. As I just said, YA is not a genre I typically read, but whenever I do, I tend to gravitate more towards thrillers/mysteries.

If You Could See The Sun by Ann Liang follows Alice Sun, who attends an elite private boarding school in Beijing as a scholarship student. Constantly surrounded by the richest, most influential teens, she has always felt invisible––but then she starts actually turning invisible.

Choosing to use her newly discovered power to her benefit, she decides to uncover the secrets her classmates want to know, for a price. But Alice very quickly finds herself, in over her head, when petty scandals, suddenly turn into serious crimes.

I really did like this book! Not only was the writing pretty solid, as a sucker for a good romantic subplot, I really did enjoy the budding romance between Alice and Henry. Henry was so sweet and supportive, and Alice was a great main character as well.

As a typical YA heroine, she did make some serious mistakes, but I could so clearly see her motivations and desires. Ann Liang did an absolutely wonderful job at fleshing Alice out into a real and raw character. She delved deep into the class-divides in society, and the effects that can have on someone from a low-income family. I could truly feel and understand Alice’s desire to claw her way out of the gutter, and into the world of the elite, and her growth towards understanding that there is more to life than grades and wealth, was refreshing, yet incredibly bittersweet to read. I think anybody who has ever struggled financially will easily be able to relate to Alice as a main character, and though she fucked up quite a bit, I could only sympathize with her. Her emotions were so raw and real, that at times it was almost too difficult for me to read, yet absolutely necessary, in my opinion.

The only thing I wished we learned more about, was why Alice actually turned invisible––it was sort of wrapped up in an odd place. Nonetheless, If You See The Sun did an incredibly poignant job at exploring class divides and the importance of happiness, and I can only recommend that you pick this book up.

If You Could See The Sun ➳ 4/5 stars


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