Book Review: The Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer

The shadow girl 2Title: The Shadow Girl

Author: Jennifer Archer

Summary: 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. -Goodreads


*Warning: May contain spoilers.  “May” as in “will most definitely” contain spoilers.  Oh, yeah, this is one of my rant reviews.  You should probably turn around before this gets too crazy.  Go on, then.  Shoo!  Just kidding, but expect this to be long!*

I found The Shadow Girl when I was looking for some good mystery books to read.

I found the cover very intriguing.  And, it totally fits the story.

After only a few pages, I was drawn into The Shadow Girl.  Almost immediately I had questions.  What was Ty’s (boy Lily likes) task?  Why did Adam (Lily’s father) freak out when he recognized Ty’s mom’s name?  Just sooo many questions.  I was dying for answers.

I soon began to lose interest in the answers and questions and… well, I don’t know what I was so interested in, but obviously it was interesting enough, or you wouldn’t be here reading (skimming, possibly HAHA!!!)) this review.

Now that I’ve read the book, everything makes sense.

This book was very dramatic.  But, I swear, the drama reminded me of bad acting.  When Lily’s dad died… well, here’s a quote:

I prop an elbow on the table and cover my face.  “It shouldn’t have happened,” I cry.  “It didn’t have to.  I could’ve stopped it if–“

“Don’t Lily.”  She [Addie, Wyatt’s (Lily’s BFF) grandmother] squeezes my shoulder.  “Blaming yourself won’t change a thing.  The accident wasn’t your fault.  You couldn’t have known what was going to happen.”

Tell me that doesn’t sound like bad acting.  Maybe, if it were written in third person, it would have been a bit better.

The emotions of the characters in this book were so unrealistic.  She always forgave her mother just like that, even after finding out the secret she and her father had kept from her for her whole life.

I was seriously beginning to suspect Lily was bipolar.  One minute she’s mad at a person, next she loves them, then she tells them she hates them, then she feels the sudden urge to throw her arms around them.  It was waaay too dramatic.   

Then, she’s lashing out on her best friend because he’s trying to talk to her, but when Dude From the Woods (Ty) talks to her, she gets all googly-eyed and feels the need to kiss him.  What the heck?!?!

In the beginning, the clothing descriptions really bugged me.  I don’t like it when authors go into that much detail when it comes to their character’s apparel.

I found most of the characters in this book extremely hard to like.  The mother seemed like all she cared about was herself in the beginning.  She would disappear off into Adam’s workshop and lock herself in there when her kid is suffering because she LOST HER FATHER.  I didn’t like the Lily/Ty relationship at all.  It seemed really rushed, love at first sight kinda deal, and frankly, I’m not a fan.

My favorite character was Wyatt.  He was the only one who didn’t annoy me.  He was like Jacob and this book was like New Moon: Wyatt was a big part of making this story better.  He seemed like the only likeable character in the story.  OMG, he was like the Simon (The Mortal Instruments) of the story!!!  Not that I dislike TMI, I’m saying that he likes his BFF, but she has another love interest, but they have a short relationship (City of Ashes) but in the end… they don’t : (

I really, really, REALLY liked the short Lily/Wyatt relationship.  I felt like the whole thing between Lily and Wyatt wasn’t tied off.  There were some loose ends, I think.  Like, she willingly kissed him WHEN SHE WAS MAD AT TY, but when Ty came back, she was all, “See ya!”  She was stringing him along just like Bella was stringing Jacob along.  She kissed him willingly just like Bella kissed Jacob willingly in Eclipse… OMG… the characters are really comparable, now that I think of it… a handsome stranger who has a secret *cough, Edward, cough*, a boy who likes the main female character *cough, Jacob, cough*.  WOW!!!

By this point, I’m a little under halfway through the book, and I’m in my last sitting.  I’m staying up trying to finish this because I was wondering about something…

…As I got even more into the book (pagewise, at least), I began to unravel the story and the relationship between Lily and Iris deeply and uncannily reminded me of Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Double Identity.  Yeah.  That’s right.  Only just after the halfway point, I thought Lily was a clone.  Then I wondered if it was just a red herring.  It turns out it was.

Lily seemed very unappealing.  She was very flaky and wishy-washy, hypocritical.  I didn’t find her a very good female role model.  She was kind of like Bella Swan.  Yeah.  I went there.  She was always feeling sorry for herself: “Oh, I wouldn’t blame him [Ty] if he never wants to hang out ever again,” or “I’m messed up!”  Not in those exact words, but you get the gist of it, right?  And she didn’t seem very smart either, trusting strangers and whatnot.

But here’s the thing that really got me.  At one point, she told Ty everything she’s found out after her father’s death, which are basically her deepest darkest secrets.  She told a person who her mother was already wary of.  A person who she just learned that her father might have been wary of.  But she just feels the need to jump to defend this boy who freaking EVERYONE is wary of!!!  All because of what?  What’s that?  *puts hand to ear to hear more clearly*  OH YEAH, BECAUSE HE’S ATTRACTIVE.  Can you sense the dryness in my words?  I think you can.

Oh, and then, she starts to rethink her brilliant plan of spilling her guts to a stranger after the fact.  ‘Cause, if you think about it, Lily hasn’t known this Ty dude for very long.  She was way too trusting and was never suspicious until she’d already done something.  Blah.

After the whole “secret sharing” bit, Lily kicked Ty out of her house for lying to her.  YAYA!!!  I didn’t like him at all.

And boy, this story just kept getting better and better *sarcasm*: “I’m torn between wanting to hurt him [Ty] and wanting to throw my arms around him and tell him I’m sorry.”  Um, hello?!  We’re talking about they boy you threw out of your home because he lied to you!!!

So when she began chasing after Ty, I really debated on whether or not to put it down.  But, of course, curiosity got the better of me.

I’ll admit, I did sympathize with Lily when she found out about her parents’ real last name.  Chick can’t catch a break, I’ll tell ya that, but this seemed like it was part of the… more realistic… side of The Shadow Girl.

When Lily and Wyatt went to see Ty at his apartment, OMG, he seemed so stalker!!!  He kept newspaper clippings and pictures of Iris and her father.  But, oh boy, the story did take a turn and began to get goood!

And then, oh gods, this is rich, Lily used Wyatt’s invitation to his senior party so she could sneak off on another adventure with, guess who?!  The amazing and wonderful Ty Collier!!!  At least she had the decency to feel bad about it, but still!  She knew how Wyatt would see it in his eyes: he’d see it as a betrayal.  UGH!!!

Towards the end, Lily begins to wonder if she’s a clone, just as I started to suspect earlier.  She…AHHH!!!  When I found out she was a clone and I’d been right, I felt the sudden urge to scream my head off.  ‘Cause who doesn’t like being right, right?!  The book’s interesting-ness level did increase 😀  It all started to click in my head when Lily was watching the old video of Iris playing the violin.  then, when Myla (Lily’s mom) told her that going to another state for college would help her blend in like an “ordinary girl.”

Even though there were some awesome parts in this book that I did enjoy, the stuff I didn’t like really over shadows that.

This book barely gets a 2/5 rating.


The ending was so sad, I just couldn’t resist, I had to give this book a few extra points: my final rating for The Shadow Girl?

2.5/5 stars.  I’m not seeing myself reading any of Ms. Archer’s other books any time soon, though.


If you’re still here reading this, thanks!  If not, well, you’re not even here to read this, but thanks for reading a bit of it xD  I know this was more of a rant/review than a review/review… whatever a review/review is…

Anywho!  That was a long journey.  I took seven days to read this because I was reading other books as well.  Have a great day, guys!



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