Title: Shadow Girl
Author: Liana Liu
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery
Date published: December 19, 2017
Page Count: 336
A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
The house on Arrow Island is full of mystery.
Yet when Mei arrives, she can’t help feeling relieved. She’s happy to spend the summer in an actual mansion tutoring a rich man’s daughter if it means a break from her normal life—her needy mother, her delinquent brother, their tiny apartment in the city. And Ella Morison seems like an easy charge, sweet and well behaved.
What Mei doesn’t know is that something is very wrong in the Morison household.
Though she tries to focus on her duties, Mei becomes increasingly distracted by the family’s problems and her own complicated feelings for Ella’s brother, Henry. But most disturbing of all are the unexplained noises she hears at night—the howling and thumping and cries.
Mei is a sensible girl. She isn’t superstitious; she doesn’t believe in ghosts. Yet she can’t shake her fear that there is danger lurking in the shadows of this beautiful house, a darkness that could destroy the family inside and out… and Mei along with them.
– MY REVIEW –
This book’s writing style really pulled me in! Shadow Girl was definitely one of those books that I was consuming without realizing that I was actually reading, or how much I was reading. I’m not sure if that makes sense, so just know this: I enjoyed most of this book. And here is why:
One Shadow Girl is an own voice book. I cannot stress how important own voices books are, whether they be children’s books, teen, YA, NA, adult, or whatever. I strongly believe that diversity is very important everywhere, including literature. Two, the writing was easy to understand, and intriguing. I just wanted to keep reading, to see what would happen, and to see how the main character would develop. Three, there was definitely a lot of character development, and it was very satisfying to see it happen!
Four, the setting was fresh for me. Most of the book takes place at the summer home of a very rich family. Liu did a great job at describing the summer home, as well as projecting how out of place the main character, Mei, feels.
I would definitely have felt out of place there as well, if I had been in Mei’s shoes, and I therefore sympathized and connected with her in that sense. Five, speaking of connecting with Mei, I also really felt for her when it came to her mother, because I feel the exact same way that she does regarding moving out and leaving her parent behind (parents in my case).
Five, there were some very creepy parts to this book. I regret reading some of them at night, in the dark, with nothing but my cellphone to light the pages, because I sometimes had to keep checking behind my book to make sure that a ghost wasn’t watching me or something! Ah! And while I enjoyed the creepiness of those parts, I also believe that these bits could have been a little better developed.
And that leads me into the part that fell a little short for me. The ending. Don’t get me wrong, it was very realistic the way things turned out. So, I have no issue with the credibility of Shadow Girl’s ending. I suppose, due to my being mainly a fantasy reader, I’m used to series, and more specifically, I’m used to epic endings with frustrating cliffhangers. But, Shadow Girl was a standalone, contemporary novel with hints of the paranormal, and I’m just not used to that kind of ending. I wouldn’t say it felt rushed, but rather, it was just not as satisfying for me as the rest of the book.
Overall, I did really enjoy this book. I read it in just two sittings, which doesn’t happen very often for me! It felt very realistic, maybe even including the paranormal aspects, and the character development was really fantastic. By the end of Shadow Girl, Mei felt like someone who I actually knew, because she felt so real. I definitely recommend this book to those who like to read contemporary YA with a lot of character development, and who enjoy a dash of goosebump-inducing paranormal elements.
– THE AUTHOR –
Liana Liu was born and raised in New York City,
and lives there still. She received her MFA in fiction
writing from the University of Minnesota.
– PURCHASE LINKS –
THANK YOU FOR READING MY REVIEW! HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK? AND IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET, DO YOU WANT TO, OR NOT? HOW COME? LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!