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The Shadow Girl Paperback – April 9, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Lily Winston has never truly been alone. Her "shadow girl," Iris, is always with her, whispering in her mind, keeping her company. On her 17th birthday, Iris saves Lily's life, but is unable to save her father from dying in a tragic accident. In the wake of his death, Lily's mother retreats into her grief and as her daughter tries to cope, she learns that her parents have been keeping secrets from her. As Lily begins delving into her parents' past, she confides in both her best friend, Wyatt, and the intriguing new guy in town, Ty, with her deepest secret. It turns out that Ty has secrets of his own, having come to Silver Lake to search specifically for Lily's father. Lily must decide who she can trust as she comes to learn her own true identity. Archer builds suspense beautifully, revealing small secrets one by one, building Lily's discoveries into one culminating life-altering event. Intermingled within the mystery of Lily's identity are her conflicting feelings for Wyatt and Ty, as well as her guilt and grief over her father's death. As the story concludes and Lily determines where she will go from here, the only detraction is one confrontation that seemed to be looming, but never actually comes to fruition. Aside from that, Lily's story is one that will draw in most readers with its well-done blend of suspense, mystery, and romance.-Jessica Miller, West Springfield Public Library, MAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


"The Shadow Girl is an emotional thrill ride of self-discovery through the eyes of a teenager whose own shadow holds the key to her purpose and place in the world. The stunning conclusion left me starving for more of Jennifer Archer's evocative prose and phenomenal imagination. I'm a fan for life!" - A.G. Howard, author of Splintered

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (April 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061834602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061834608
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,280,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Publisher's Weekly called Jennifer Archer a writer who "captures the voices and vulnerabilities of her characters with precision." Archer is an eclectic writer of women's fiction and romance, young adult fiction, and non-fiction. She has twice been a finalist for Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart award, and was a finalist for the prestigious Rita Award and a nominee for a Romantic Times Bookclub Magazine Reviewer's Choice Award. Jennifer's debut novel for teens, THROUGH HER EYES, was selected by the Texas Library Association for their TAYSHA list and for the Spirit of Texas Reading Program - Middle Grade. A second novel for teens, THE SHADOW GIRL, will be released by Harper Teen in April, 2013.

Drawing upon the information in her non-fiction book HAPPINESS REHAB: 8 CREATIVE STEPS TO A MORE JOYFUL LIFE, Jennifer has taught creativity and creative writing and has presented numerous talks and workshops for educators, students, writers' organizations and bookstores.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Ward TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
4.5 Stars

'The Shadow Girl' is an enthralling and fully captivating young adult fantasy/mystery novel that follows Lily Winston after the tragic death of her father rips her family apart. After overhearing a strange conversation between her parents and her father's final - and cryptic - words to her, Lily begins to wonder what big secret her parents have been keeping from her. The shadowy figure inside Lily's consciousness and mind - Iris - begins to push Lily to find out what her parent's are hiding. What they discover will completely rock Lily's family, Iris' existence, and Lily's own identity.

This book was a mix of a masterful mystery and a supernatural story. I loved the twists and turns that filled the story - each one pressing me forward alongside Lily on her quest to figure out the big secret her parents have kept from her. The way the mystery is written, with only small snippets of clues and some flashbacks, really engages the reader to unravel the enigma and finally release the secrets that have been locked tightly away. The characters were interesting and quirky, especially the Lily and Iris relationship. Iris was a big part of the mystery and I found her to be fascinating and unnerving at the same time, only because I couldn't fully guess at her role in the book. Lily was a great main character and I immediately liked her and found myself pursuing the truth along with her throughout the novel. There is a bit of a love triangle in the story between Lily, Wyatt - her best friend since forever, and Ty - the mysterious and gorgeous stranger in town. Ty's role is also a bit of a mystery in the novel, at least for a while. It's clear that he somehow plays a bigger role than a love interest and I loved trying to figure out how he fit into the mix.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Audrey on April 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jennifer Archer captured my attention from page one to the epilogue. I wasn't ready for the book to end. The premise is original and the suspense lingers to a surprise ending. I fell in love with Lilly and Iris. A great read. Audrey Streetman, author of "The Well" available on Amazon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angie on May 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
Well, that was certainly something different. I'm not really sure how to categorize The Shadow Girl. It's some kind of mix of paranormal, mystery, sci-fi, and thriller. It's an interesting combination, but something about it didn't fully work for me. I did enjoy the book, but I figured out the mystery pretty early on, so in a sense I spoiled it for myself. There were a few details that I hadn't worked out, so those were still shocking, but over all, the big reveal was lacking.

The Shadow Girl is about Lily who has always felt another girl's presence in her life. Iris can't be seen, even by Lily, but they can hear each other's thoughts and feel each other. Lily's parents act strangely when she mentions Iris, but any parent would be concerned about their child hearing voices, right? Well there's more to it than that, which Lily discovers on her 17th birthday after her father dies in an accident. Her mother sometimes says strange things, and Lily has visions that feel that memories, and Iris feels like there's something she can't quite remember. It's all very mysterious, but like I said, I formed my theory early and it was correct.

Of course there's a romance. It's a big part of the story, but not entirely the focus. There's also some sort of love triangle at play, but it's not the overly done, forced kind that seems to dominate YA today. Lily just gets caught up in a moment and ends up kissing her best friend, Wyatt. She doesn't want to ruin their friendship with a failed relationship, but she begins to be confused about her feelings. Then there's the mysterious new guy in town -- Ty. He's super hot, so of course Lily is attracted to him, and she's a redhead so everyone is attracted to her.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bookish Things on April 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I have mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed the story line, but I felt like the pacing was a bit off.

Lily is an ok character. She's strong when she needs to be after dealing with her dad's death. Her mom seems to have completely gone off the deep end, and Lily has to be the grown up sometimes. I didn't like that she automatically trusted Ty. She didn't know him at all, and was constantly defending him. She's also getting mixed up feelings for her BFF Wyatt. All of this is right after her dad dies. I mean come on, you don't start wigging out over who you like days after your father's funeral. I did however love Wyatt and his grandma. They are incredibly sweet and are always there for Lily and her family. Wyatt is also incredibly loyal to Lily. Even though she does some crappy things, he sticks by her. He may have more than friend feelings for her, but he'll always be there as her best friend. Now on to Iris, the shadow girl. I like how passionate she is, but I don't care for the fact that she's pushy when she doesn't need to be. She's so focused on her needs, that she completely ignores the needs of everyone else, including Lily.

In some places the pacing was great. The story flowed easily, but I felt like the last 1/4 of the book was rushed. It just felt like everything built up for this big thing to happen. I just didn't like how it went from slow-going to fast paced events. I also didn't care for the some-what love triangle. The story would have gone along more smoothly without it.

Even with the things that bothered me, I was engaged with the book. I think if we would have had a few more glimpses from Iris, and maybe made it a little longer, I would have liked it a lot more. It would be great if we could see Iris's childhood in a novella or short story though.
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