Shadow Girl
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.

Shadow Girl Details

TitleShadow Girl
Author
ReleaseDec 19th, 2017
PublisherHarperTeen
ISBN-139780062306678
Rating
GenreMystery, Young Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy, Paranormal

Shadow Girl Review

  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)This was a contemporary story about a girl staying in a haunted house. Mei was a nice girl, and she worked so hard to try and get somewhere in life. She also really cared for her family, and was irritated by the way her brother behaved.The storyline in this was about Mei being hired as an academic tutor by a rich family, and being asked to move into their summer home with them. There was some strange goings (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)This was a contemporary story about a girl staying in a haunted house. Mei was a nice girl, and she worked so hard to try and get somewhere in life. She also really cared for her family, and was irritated by the way her brother behaved.The storyline in this was about Mei being hired as an academic tutor by a rich family, and being asked to move into their summer home with them. There was some strange goings on, and the daughter of the family, who Mei was tutoring, claimed that the house was haunted by the daughter of the family who originally owned the house. The ending to this was pretty good, and I liked the little twist at the end.7 out of 10
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  • Rachel Lightwood
    January 1, 1970
    Shadow Girl was a poorly paced borefest. I do not understand why this is being pitched as a paranormal mystery when it was so clearly not. The supposed ghost lore is mentioned only a handful of times, and even then, it is not a focus of the story. It was not remotely spooky. There are a few bumps and wails in the night, but they could - and were - easily explained away. It was mostly driven by the fact that Ella, Mei’s student, claims her room is haunted by a ghost. I need way more suspense and Shadow Girl was a poorly paced borefest. I do not understand why this is being pitched as a paranormal mystery when it was so clearly not. The supposed ghost lore is mentioned only a handful of times, and even then, it is not a focus of the story. It was not remotely spooky. There are a few bumps and wails in the night, but they could - and were - easily explained away. It was mostly driven by the fact that Ella, Mei’s student, claims her room is haunted by a ghost. I need way more suspense and atmosphere and haunting shenanigans to keep me interested than that. The entire subplot was messy and disjointed, thrown in without planning or consideration, and making little sense. We barely know the identity of the ghost - if there even was one - let alone anything more about this world’s ghost lore. I wanted to be spooked. I don’t necessarily mind an open ending, in fact, I would have liked it if the story had left us wondering whether it was real or all in Ella’s head. I just needed the story to choose whether it was a paranormal mystery or not and commit to delivering that story, not half-assing it like it did.The fact that we follow the petty drama of the Morison family, rather than the ghost story, could have been perfectly fine if I had actually cared about the family. But I didn’t. Their lack of personality made it hard for me to empathise with their situation. Henry was stereotypical and dry. His romance with Mei was rushed, awkward and unnecessary. I did like Ella but Vanessa, Jeffery, Mei’s mother, Doris and Mr Morison were all shallow and underdeveloped. I was also confused by the Jeffery drama. They clearly state was is happening halfway through the book - or imply it so heavily, so clearly, that it is obvious to everyone - but the fact that it is a Thing was a big twist at the end? I did not even realise it was meant to be a mystery!I wish I could say that I loved the narration but I honestly did not even enjoy Mei as a protagonist. Her internal monologue revealed how she hid her rude and judgemental self under layers of over-the-top politeness and fake smiles. I found it difficult to care about her when I was so frustrated with her. She made Henry out to be this snobbish rich boy for no good reason. He was sweet with his sister and kind toward her. Her antagonism was off-putting and just judgemental.Liu does have a very simplistic writing style. I loved how well the story flowed and how it was so easy to flick through the whole book in a single sitting. I wish she had focused on developing her character more, however, or at least given us a creepy atmosphere for the ghost elements to shine.I did like that Liu did highlight the microaggressions faced by a lot of Asian-Americans in their daily lives. Obviously, I cannot speak for the representation myself - Mei is Chinese-American - but I loved how well the cultural differences between Mei and Henry were woven in. It was a nice touch. Overall? Very disappointing. There was nothing substantial that I enjoyed about this book. At all. Review copy provided by the publisher for an honest review.
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  • Annie (Diverse Reads)
    January 1, 1970
    • MC (Mei) is biracial, Chinese-American.• Chinese-American SCs, including her brother and best friend (Doris).• MC's mother is Chinese + has an undiagnosed hoarding disorder.
  • Lissa {rabidreadings}
    January 1, 1970
    The mystery was the driving force for me as I wasn’t a fan of any of the characters. I needed to know what was happening, why it was happening, was there actually something happening?! I’m like a dog with a bone when it comes to unanswered questions so Shadow Girl hit all the right marks with the mystery. Right up until the end.. where I was left wanting more regarding the conclusion.In many ways the thing that may interest the reader is the mystery of the house on Arrow Island, but Shadow Girl The mystery was the driving force for me as I wasn’t a fan of any of the characters. I needed to know what was happening, why it was happening, was there actually something happening?! I’m like a dog with a bone when it comes to unanswered questions so Shadow Girl hit all the right marks with the mystery. Right up until the end.. where I was left wanting more regarding the conclusion.In many ways the thing that may interest the reader is the mystery of the house on Arrow Island, but Shadow Girl is more about family and personal sacrifice.. what Mei is willing to sacrifice for her family. I very much liked how Mei’s personal story is concluded, I simply wanted more from the mystery aspect of the plot.Overall Shadow Girl is a solid read, and really shows how flawed people can be regardless of how much money they have or the appearance the set before us. Nobody is perfect. If you like a bit of a mystery mixed with a young girl’s personal growth story I recommend you give Liana Liu’s Shadow Girl a read.
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  • Cathryn
    January 1, 1970
    This was a heck of a page-turner – I was totally hooked by the gothic creepiness and the increasingly oppressive atmosphere of the Morisons’ island. I loved how that atmosphere echoed the way Mei felt trapped in her family life, and the way the ghost story paralleled and linked together with Mei’s personal journey. An evocative and memorable read.Read the full review at Starship Library
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  • Jeraca
    January 1, 1970
    I received this free eARC novel from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review. Mei has been working one way or another for the past few years and has everything planned out. First she started as a camp counselor and learned how to deal with hyper, wild children. Then she would talk to those kids parents about how she was doing tutoring throughout the summer and throughout school, getting those same kids that she has already learned about their behaviors. She would take on no more than 5 kids f I received this free eARC novel from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review. Mei has been working one way or another for the past few years and has everything planned out. First she started as a camp counselor and learned how to deal with hyper, wild children. Then she would talk to those kids parents about how she was doing tutoring throughout the summer and throughout school, getting those same kids that she has already learned about their behaviors. She would take on no more than 5 kids for each semester, and she would do tutoring in the summer too, for those who were struggling a lot. So basically Mei was playing the system and making lots of money from it. Which was nice since it was just her mom and her so they needed all of the money they could get. And there was no way that Mei was going to pass up a tutoring gig that paid over twice as much as her last tutoring kids last year. Plus it was just one girl and Mei was going to be living with them. On an island. Getting lots of great food and being able to go to the pool or the beach when she wasn't tutoring. But Mei knew that she was only an academic tutor and wasn't to get any special treatment - even though she was getting some extra perks. And not everything was going as smoothly for the Morrison's as they wanted people to believe. Ella is a smart girl but she seems to get the answers wrong on purpose. Her mother, Vanessa, is always trying to spend money and throw parties, but her husband Jeffrey is never around. He's always back in the city working and 'tries' to come to the island every weekend to visit. And Ella's older brother Henry is annoying Mei crazy. And then there is the matter of Eleanor...the 8 year old girl who died on the island with the original owners. But Mei doesn't believe in ghosts, even if Ella is convinced Eleanor is there all of the time. Mei just needs to make it through the summer without anything too weird happening so she can get back on track. But the longer Mei is gone, the more she is changing, and the more she may be wondering if the island is really haunted or not...This was a very interesting, and intriguing novel! I wasn't sure where it was going, and honestly I'm not quite sure what the overall message behind the book is actually about... I mean, there were a lot of factors going throughout the novel, but then it had an abrupt ending and a hint of mystery at the end that never really resolved anything. I loved seeing Mei get to experience new things and live her own life for once. She was stuck at home with her mom paying the bills and worrying about things from day to day, but she was able to just relax and do things that she wanted to do just for fun. Being around Ella and Henry helped too because they were able to convince her to hangout with them and just be a kid for once. The whole supernatural aspect of this book was a bit odd for me... I get what the author did at the end to make the reader think, but it just wasn't really there for me to be honest. Though if this was made into a movie and had the suspenseful music, I may be changing my tune.The Morrison's are an interesting family and they all have their issues and quirks. I honestly wouldn't want to live their lives of money and riches because it makes them spoiled and elite. And I think Mei got that feeling too, being on the other spectrum of the scale for money and fame. Overall, I did enjoy this book. It definitely has left me thinking about the whole book and what really happened, so it did it's just right where I'm still thinking about it. I'd actually be interested to read another book with these characters to see what happens after this ending. See if they reconnect again or not. I think a lot of readers will enjoy this book and I will definitely be recommending it when it releases in December 2017!
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  • Angelica (The Bookish Angel)
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book from Edelweiss but it doesn't affect my review in any way. Rating 3.5Shadow Girl was the book I needed to get me up from my reading and blogging/reviewing slump. It's not a book that may win literary awards but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and it's all that matters.From reading the synopsis you may get a super creepy vibe but the book wasn't really like that. Well I admit that I almost stopped reading it because of my mind imagining super creepy things but thi I received an ARC of this book from Edelweiss but it doesn't affect my review in any way. Rating 3.5Shadow Girl was the book I needed to get me up from my reading and blogging/reviewing slump. It's not a book that may win literary awards but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and it's all that matters.From reading the synopsis you may get a super creepy vibe but the book wasn't really like that. Well I admit that I almost stopped reading it because of my mind imagining super creepy things but this book mainly focused on personal and family issues and the mystery took a backseat.I like Mei, the main character, and related to her in a way that she doesn't see her own flaws and only the mistakes of the other people around her. Her character development was not fast paced, it took some time and some hard realizations on her part to change her ways.I must say that the romance is super cute and I like how things between Mei and Henry got towards the end of the book. This season is the perfect time to read the book because it is summer in the book but the mystery makes you crave for the autumn weather.
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    Shadow Girl was an intriguing novel that as I started to read, did not think I would like but ended up enjoying. Liu's writing is standard but good, and her characters are well developed and interesting. There were a few plot points that bothered me for their inconsistencies, but otherwise this was a solid contemporary read with a creepier, ghostly subplot that seems to have a larger meaning but I struggled to see the overarching connection at the end. Overall, it felt a bit unfinished.
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  • Elisabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Needs more show and less tell, plus a heavy dose of pruning. I was also hoping for more ghostly goings on, but I found the plot interesting enough to stick with it through the end. I was lucky enough to read an ePub before publication provided by Edelweiss, so I'm sure the final product will be much more polished.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    This book seemed scary but it really wasn't. It was about a girl getting a job being a nanny, but helping out the family. There might be a curse on the island or family. Some romance in the book.
  • Brittany
    January 1, 1970
    (ARC) LOVED LOVED LOVED -> More on the blog! goo.gl/xviWM6Thank you Liana for the ARC for #bookodyssey!
  • Natasha
    January 1, 1970
    If you're looking for a horror/ghostly tale then you might be disappointed because the paranormal encounters are very few and far between. This is more akin to The Nanny Diaries but with an Asian academic tutor to the rich kids and her tale trying to adapt to the goings on of the rich.
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  • Arururu
    January 1, 1970
    HOWLING.BETCH, IT'S SHIFTER.IS THIS A SHIFTER NOVEL?PLEASE SAY IT IS.BECAUSE >>>>> AUTOREAD
  • Eri (Airy Reads)
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this one, but the ending was a little lacking to me and I'm not sure I feel entirely satisfied. mini review to come
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