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The Shadow Girl

The Shadow Girl

4.3 4
by Jennifer Archer

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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.


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.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
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)
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, MA

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Jennifer Archer moved twenty-three times before her eleventh birthday—and once more at the age of sixteen. She has lived in Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Arizona, California, and Oklahoma. An avid reader no matter where she was, Jennifer has always felt at home in the pages of a good book. Today, Jennifer spends as much time writing books as she does reading them. She is also the author of through her eyes, as well as several novels for adults. The mother of two grown sons, Jennifer lives in Amarillo, Texas, with her husband and two dogs. 

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The Shadow Girl 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I REALLY got into this book and the mystery behind Iris and Lily's parents past was really well done, especially the first couple pages, so I really enjoyed this book. There are some points that the book really didnt need, like the love triangle for example. It really seemed to grag on at times that I got bored with the book during the first half and some parts of the second. But it ultimatly picks up again and has me exictedly engaged. And when it was finally over, this book had me very fairly entertained. I highly reccomend.
StephWard More than 1 year ago
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. The writing was very well done and the story was fast paced and exciting. The plot was unique and certainly was a breath of fresh air into the YA genre. I don't want to have any spoilers, so suffice it to say that this was a fantastically written, highly addictive supernatural mystery that fans of YA fiction will definitely NOT want to miss. Highly recommended! Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eertyiuopasdfgohhthhtv vbjgggh i hate this
Anonymous More than 1 year ago