THE SHADOW GIRL by Jennifer Archer


Age Range: 13 - 18
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An 18-year-old and her imaginary friend investigate her parents’ dark secrets.

Lily’s been home-schooled all her life, but she’s not lonely. She has friends: loyal Wyatt, punky Sylvie and Iris, the invisible girl who’s been speaking to her since she was 4. Aiming for college, Lily is ready for her life to change, but it changes too much when her father dies in a terrible accident. Friction worsens between Lily and her grieving, elderly mother as the tragedy exposes secrets Lily needs to understand. Why were her parents always so secretive? Why are there photos that look like Lily's in places she’s never been? Why is there a hidden violin in her father’s workshop—and why is Lily convinced she would be able to play it? Clearly it has something to do with her father's secret past in bioengineering; Lily has frightening and inexplicable memories of scientists. Meanwhile, an attractive stranger, new to their tiny mountain town, is courting Lily. Is Wyatt’s seething distrust mere jealousy, or does the stranger have nefarious plans? While the premise is science fiction, the science itself is hand-wavy. With the coming-of-age and love triangle taking center stage, rather than the science or its ethics, a nicely paced reveal of Lily’s mystery devolves to an anticlimactic, feel-good conclusion.

Promising start, disappointing conclusion (Science fiction. 13 & up)

Pub Date: April 9th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-06-183460-8
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2013


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