Author: Liana Liu
Genre/Themes/Demo: YA, Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Release Date: December 19th 2017
Page Count: 336
Format: ARC provided by publisher
Initial Post Reading Thoughts
While Shadow Girl has an intriguing premise, it sadly fell a little short for me. I was really excited about the fusion of contemporary and mystery/suspense, but unfortunately it didn’t work very well in this case. There was a lot that was left unexplained and not in a good way. I did like the contemporary aspects of the novel though!
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..
What I Liked
The mystery. I really did enjoy the mystery of this story…until I realized that I wasn’t going to be getting any answers which you can read more about below. The mystery and suspense is what kept me from putting this book down! I really wanted to know what was going on the entire time I was reading which made Shadow Girl a really fast-paced read!
The contemporary moments. As you’ll learn more about below, Shadow Girl was a bit of a fusion novel. It contained both Mystery/Suspense and Contemporary elements. There are my top two genres to read, but I think I love contemporary just a tad bit more. I loved the contemporary aspects of this book. I liked learning more about Mei and her family and how she will do anything to become successful. I loved her interactions with the Morison family and how she fell in love with their lifestyle which is the complete opposite of her home life. These were the moments that ultimately captured my interest in the end as I was so sure I was going to love this book for it’s creepy/suspense factor.
What I Didn’t Like
The lack of answers. Towards the end of the book, I kept reading and reading and the amount of remaining pages I needed to read were becoming less and less and still, I was getting no answers. What was the point of the haunted house? Why was this ghost terrorizing Ella and Mei? Was it relevant? Honestly, I don’t think so. I just honestly didn’t understand the point. The horror/suspense aspects of this novel are what initially made me pick it up and, unfortunately, those aspects fell short.
The genre fusion. Initially, this was what I was the most excited about when it came to Shadow Girl. Contemporary and Suspense/Mystery are my favourite genres to read and to have them mixed together for this story really intrigued me! However, as you can see above, it didn’t end up working so well in the end. I just wish there was a little more to it. The idea was there and it could have been really cool, but to much was left unanswered…and not in a good way.
While I enjoyed some aspects of Shadow Girl, I was left feeling disappointed by others. I really wanted to love this one, but unfortunately it lacked in the areas that I was initially really excited for. I won’t give up on Liana Liu’s stories just yet though as I really did enjoy her writing style!
About The Author
Liana Liu is from New York City. She likes reading, knitting, scrabble, pottery, baked goods, and talking about feelings (yours and hers both).
Thank you for reading!