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No secret is safe.
Alice Sun has always felt invisible at her elite Beijing international boarding school, where she’s the only scholarship student in a sea of über-wealthy classmates. But she has a plan: be top of the class, attend a prestigious university, secure a killer job, and finally lift her family out of poverty.
Then her parents drop a bomb—they can no longer afford her tuition, even with the scholarship. But that’s the least of Alice’s problems because she has started uncontrollably turning invisible. As in completely, physically invisible.
Alice realizes there’s an upside to her strange new power—unparalleled access to the secrets of China’s most rich and influential teens. Soon, Alice has a new plan: offer her invisibility services to find out what her classmates want to know—for a price.
But between balancing schoolwork, a growing relationship with academic-rival-turned-business-partner Henry, and stealing secrets, things start to fall through the cracks. As the tasks escalate from petty scandals to actual crimes, Alice must decide if helping her family is worth losing her conscience—or even her life.
A Chinese American scholarship student with an inexplicable ability to turn invisible uses her newfound power to monetize her peers' secrets in Liang's imaginative debut. Unlike her affluent classmates, 17-year-old Alice Sun has only her hard-earned "established streak of success" going for her. After receiving news that her parents can't afford the tuition for her next semester at the prestigious Beijing-based Airington International Boarding School, she's faced with transferring to a local Beijing academy or moving in with her auntie to attend school in Maine. But when she suddenly finds herself able to turn invisible, she uses this gift for leverage. With help from her academic rival Henry Li, they anonymously create the Beijing Ghost, a phone app that allows students to request Alice uncover secrets and scandals for a fee. As the tasks escalate to a criminal level, however, the cost becomes greater than Alice anticipated. Liang paints a clear picture of what it's like to struggle for certain advantages that are seemingly handed to others, skillfully exploring themes of classism and privilege via a sympathetic protagonist who feels—sometimes literally—invisible. Ages 13–up. Agent: Katherine Rushall, Andrea Brown Literary.