Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Becky's View: The Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer

The Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer
♦publisher: HarperTeen
♦release date: April 9th, 2013
♦paperback, 336 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦source: from publisher for honest review
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.

Review: This is the story of Lily and Iris.  Lily lives a fairly normal life, except for one thing---she has always had a voice in her head, a consciousness inside her apart from her own.  For the most part, she thinks nothing of it, it's all she's ever known.  They support eachother, cheer eachother; it's a second opinion, another idea.  It's Iris.

But what is Iris, really? And what is this big mysterious danger that her parents seem to think she needs protecting from? That's where the real story lies.  I enjoyed watching this intriguing plot unfold so much.  While I admit that once I hit a certain point, I got a pretty strong inkling of what was really going on, but the exact details always escaped me until I watched the secrets completely unravel into Lily's lap. 

The only thing I didn't absolutely love about this one was the love story.  Unfortunately, the triangle really plays a bigger part in the story than I think it needed to.  While they both could have been two people in her life helping her through an incredible tough time and helping her find out what really happened, as love interests both Ty and Lily's best friend, Wyatt, became petty little boys.  I couldn't get behind Ty---he is kind, but you know from the very beginning that he is just hiding way too many secrets. Even if his intentions were good, he just went about them in such a backward and shady way.  And Wyatt---loved him as Lily's friend, but once they start toward something more, he just got whiney and overprotective and surprisingly insensative toward the fact that his best friend's dad just died. They both have their good moments, but they both definitely also have their bad ones.

BUT love story aside, the concept and mystery of Lily and Iris was strong enough on it's own to really keep me enthralled with this story.  I love fact that until almost the end, you really don't know if you're reading a psychological thriller, a ghost story, a sci-fi, a paranormal---it really could have gone any direction.  It really compells you to need to hear the truth.  And when the ball finally dropped, I was completely satisfied with the direction the story took and how it ended: with Lily really making peace with the truth and using it in the best way she could.  I really enjoyed this one and recommend it!
Find Jennifer Archer online:  Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase Shadow Girl:  Amazon  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound


  1. Despite the bad-sounding romance, I really like the concept. It's great that the genre isn't clear until the very end and I'm happy you were satisfied with the conclusion :) Great review!


    1. It wasnt so much bad as just slightly irritating lol. Definitely didnt keep me from really liking the story, just kept me from giving it a full 5 cupcake rating! Thanks, Mel!

  2. The romance does seem a little bit shaky, mainly because I hate when a character gets whiny when the relationship really starts. It's like you're waiting for that spark moment, and then all of a sudden it happens and you're like "NO YOU JUST RUINED ITT" you know what I mean? I've heard fantastic things as well on the dynamic between Lily and Iris so I'm glad that lived up to its hype. Your last few sentences have me really intrigued to see though. I like being kept guessing (as long as it doesn't detract from the story) and the mystery of what genre is always fun.

    I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Becky! Great review!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Eileen! Yes, Lily and Iris were great characters. It was funny how Iris, with being just a voice inside Lily's head, was such a distinct character of her own.

      Hope you get a chance to try this one out!

  3. Darn, I'm a huge character driven reader so if the guys were petty and annoying then I'm not sure I could make it through the whole book. Plus I do love some great romance and it sounds like this book was lacking there as well.

    Thanks for the great review, glad you liked it!

    1. Yes, the romance was definitely not it's strongest point, so if a good love story can make or break a book for you, I don't think I would recommend this one to you!

      Thanks for stopping by, Alexa!

  4. Curse these love triangles! Why won't they just die already?? Because there is nothing attractive about guys that act so petty. But I'm glad you still managed to enjoy this one despite the triangle - it does sound pretty good, ignoring the romance!

  5. There's definitely something intriguing about this story! I'm curious about Lily and Iris and their connection to one another - and what it all means. I'd definitely read the book for that, even if the love triangle would probably make me roll my eyes.

  6. I was all excited about this concept until I read about the romance bit. I wish the mysterious plot was actually the whole of the book, not just a part.