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His Invisible Mate

“I turn to look at him when he clears his throat, clearly trying to get my attention. His story grey eyes never blinking as they stare into mine like he can see straight to my soul. I knew he was good looking but I didn’t realize he was this good looking. His brown hair is just long enough that he can run his fingers through it and when he does I can feel myself drool over the muscles flex with the movement….when he smiles, I swear my heart stopped. What the hell is wrong with me?” (His Invisible Mate, Chapter Five)

“We have literally had the same classes since Kindergarten! He has never given me the time of day, but he thinks I am new here? I knew I was a nobody, but I didn’t realize I was completely invisible. I always just assumed that they saw me but ignored me. Why does this realization hurt so much? It feels like someone has sucked all the airs from my lungs.” (His Invisible Mate, Chapter Five)

Ellie is used to being ignored; in a school where hierarchy reigns, she finds herself at the bottom of the food chain.  Though her twin brother Ryder is one of the popular kids, his sister prefers to spend time alone, drawing and binge watching TV instead of attending wild parties.  Her peers treat her like she is invisible, allowing her to know the most up to date gossip. She doesn’t eavesdrop, but it’s not her fault that people spill their secrets in front of her, never realizing that someone as inconsequential as her would be listening.

Aidan, the most popular guy in school, is among those who don’t know that she exists. That is, he didn’t know she existed until he turned eighteen and realized that she was his destined mate. He is a werewolf, though that is not known outside of the safety of his pack.  He is desperate for the love of his mate, but is unsure how to ease Ellie into the world of werewolves. Will Ellie accept the werewolf who pledges to devote himself to her for the rest of her days? Or will she take a human destiny and ignore the calls of her supernatural suitor?

I’m not sure how I felt about this novel.  I think that it fits perfectly into the paranormal romance genre, but I found its length annoying. This novel is only about twenty-five chapters, making it extremely, extremely short and quick. With the plot, characters, and setting of His Invisible Mate, this novel could have been extended over hundreds of chapters with various spin-offs.  This plot could have been savored (as I have noted with other web novels) but the author chose to rush past plot development, tension, drama, and conflict to find a resolution that almost directly follows the novel’s first chapter.

I went back and forth about Ellie as a protagonist.  I understand that the popular students at her high school have the ability to make her miserable, but she is also kind of whiny. She is constantly complaining about everything, filling the novel to the brim with teenage angst. When she is not complaining, she is constantly judging those around her. I understand that she feels like the “popular” and “pretty” girls have nothing in common with her, but she has a tendency to condemn first and ask questions later.  She thinks less of these characters because of their cruel treatment of her in addition to their life choices, making this a tricky line to navigate. She doesn’t deserve the treatment she receives, but that does not make her poor attitude and extremely condescending view of the world around her acceptable.

I liked how this novel acknowledges the pressures that women are often under, even from family.  Ellie’s mother constantly pushes makeup on her daughter, though she has shown no interest in lip gloss or eyeshadow.  She feels judged for not being like others, though the harshness of her treatment at the hands of her family and classmates is lessened in my eyes because of how judgey she is in return.  She is her own person and I can respect that, but that doesn’t mean that the women around her are “less” because they pursue things that Ellie is not interested in.

I will say that I enjoyed this paranormal romance because it took the popular subject of werewolves and presented it through the eyes of a human. In the average paranormal romance, the emphasis is placed on the attraction and love between two werewolves. It is interesting to see a human fall for a werewolf because he is handsome, charming, kind. She is not influenced by an innate pull that she would have felt if she had been a member of his species. This is something that I would have liked to see explored further in a longer novel. Would Ellie initially reject Aiden because the world of werewolves is so foreign to her own? What if a human tells others about their werewolf mate? Would their children be werewolves?

Overall, I was not unhappy when reading His Invisible Mate; it is a cute paranormal romance that checks the boxes for a teen love story.  I think this novel would touch a cord with teenagers who feel invisible or out of place in their schools.  This story would have gotten a higher rating if it had extended its story into something substantial and toned down the judgey attitude of its protagonist.