Monday, 17 June 2013

Review: The Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer

Title: The Shadow Girl
Author: Jennifer Archer
Release date: April 9th 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: ARC
Pages: 325
Source: Author

Sometimes I forget for an hour or two that she's with me. Sometimes I convince myself that she was only a dream. Or that I'm crazy.

For as long as Lily Winston can remember, she has never been alone. Iris, a shadowy figure who mimics Lily's movements and whispers in her ear, is with her always—but invisible to the rest of the world. Iris is Lily's secret.

But when Lily's father is killed in a tragic accident, his cryptic final words suggest that he and Lily's mother have been keeping secrets of their own. Suddenly, Iris begins pushing Lily more than ever, possessing her thoughts and urging her to put together the pieces of a strange puzzle her father left behind. As she searches for answers, Lily finds herself drawn to Ty Collier, a mysterious new boy in town. Together, Lily and Ty must untangle a web of deception to discover the truth about her family, Iris . . . and Lily's own identity.

Holy crap! This book was nothing like what I expected. The Shadow Girl is such an unpredictable and therefore incredibly captivating book. There are so many secrets that we don't find out until well past the halfway point. In fact, we find all the answers close to the end of the novel. So basically the whole novel builds up to that point. And man, did Jennifer Archer do a great job with the suspense!

The Shadow Girl revolves around secrets, and Lily's kept one her whole life. She hears someone inside her head. Iris. They can feel each other's emotions and are connected to each other on a completely different level. But Lily has no idea who Iris really is, where she came from, and why the hell she resides in Lily's head. When a stranger comes to town and Lily's father is killed in an accident, she thinks the weird things that are happening are related. Lily feels that Ty knows something about her family, but she can't get it out of him. On top of all that, she's starting to feel something more for her best friend, Wyatt, and it confuses the hell out of her. The more Lily discovers about the secrets that were kept from her, the more she realizes that she's in for a huge shock.

The one little issue I had with this book was Lily. On the whole, I liked her, but there were a few things that really bugged me. Lily spends the entire book complaining that no one's honest with her. Well, why can't she be honest with people? She hides so much from Wyatt and her mom. I get that she wouldn't want her mom to know, but Wyatt's always been there for her and she knows she can trust him. But no, she chooses to trust a complete stranger who is one of the most enigmatic characters I've read about. I've got nothing against Ty, though. I actually really liked him. It's just Lily's reaction to him I didn't like. The love triangle was a little annoying, when Lily kept alternating between the two guys. But it didn't dampen my enjoyment of the novel much, so it's all cool.

But that brings me to Wyatt and Ty. They both have their own amazing qualities, but I have to say I gravitated towards Wyatt. I tend to go for the dependable best friend instead of the mysterious stranger, I'm not sure why. Anyway, Wyatt is absolutely the sweetest guy ever. I loved him immediately. He's always got Lily's back, no matter what. Even though they fight and have misunderstandings, he'll always go back to her. In the book, someone tells Lily that Wyatt is the 'safe' option, but I don't think that's true. The reason Lily doesn't want to take things further is because she doesn't want to ruin their amazing friendship. So being with Wyatt is definitely not safe. Worth it, though, I believe.

Ty is completely different from Wyatt. Lily seems immediately drawn towards him, ever since he helped her right after the car accident with her father. As Lily gets closer to Ty, she realizes he knows more than he's letting on. And her anger sparks up when she finds out what exactly he knows, and what he's doing in their town. I liked the chemistry between Ty and Lily, something she didn't have with Wyatt. He got her through a lot, and she could really depend on him. I liked him a lot better towards the end of the book. At the beginning, I wasn't so sure. But Ty did end up winning me over. Though I'm still Wyatt all the way!

This book, guys. I never saw any of it coming! Not until we were right on the edge of the metaphorical cliff. And when everything falls over, BAM. Amazing climax! I'm serious, before starting the book you definitely won't know what it's all about. Throughout reading the book, I was dying to find out all the answers. And that's why there's so much suspense in it. The build-up is awesome. The plot is fast-paced and intense, and it even started out that way. Usually I don't like it when books start out slow, because in my opinion an interesting beginning is what keeps you reading on. And The Shadow Girl definitely has one.

Bottom line? Read this book. If you haven't already, that is. The plot twist came as a huge surprise to me, and even though there were tiny hints in the novel, I seemed to have overlooked them. But that made it all the more intense when I reached that point! Jennifer Archer has created such an epic story with this one, and I really hope there's more. I'd love to know how everything plays out!

*Thank you to Jennifer Archer for providing a copy for review*

Rating: 4.5/5

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