Dec 6, 2013

Book Review of Shadowlands by Kate Brian

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: January 8th, 2013
Pages: 336
Genre: Middle Grade-Fantasy
Source: I own a copy via Kindle.

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Description from Booklikes: Rory Miller had one chance to fight back and she took it. Rory survived and the serial killer who attacked her escaped. Now that the infamous Steven Nell is on the loose, Rory must enter the witness protection with her father and sister, Darcy, leaving their friends and family without so much as a goodbye.

Starting over in a new town with only each other is unimaginable for Rory and Darcy. They were inseparable as children, but now they can barely stand each other. As the sisters settle in to Juniper Landing, a picturesque vacation island, it seems like their new home may be just the fresh start they need. They fall in with a group of beautiful, carefree teens and spend their days surfing, partying on the beach, and hiking into endless sunsets. But just as they're starting to feel safe again, one of their new friends goes missing. Is it a coincidence? Or is the nightmare beginning all over again?

Review: When this book first hit the scene, I kept reading the adjective "weird" to describe it. After a few positive and not-so-positive reviews were published, I noticed the trend where reviewers kept mentioning the oddities of this story. My interest was piqued, and I thought to myself, "Weird is good. I'm weird, my interests are weird, and the things I love are really weird. This is a book for me."

You know what else is weird? Cuy, which is just baked guinea pig. Weird isn't always tasty and attractive. You know what else is weird in a not-so-awesome way? This book.

The start of the book was an instant catch. I liked how easy it seemed to slip right into the story. I will give props to the author for the hook, line, and sinker routine to yank the audience right into the book. However, it just seemed to spiral down from this point.

I would mention how I almost liked Rory as the basic heroine that is built to fit the unimpressive girl-next-door stereotype, or how much I disliked the pretty yet shallow sister, or my displeasure over the cliche "dead parent and grieving parent" combo, or even how I felt uncomfortable about the oddly Twilight inspired hot guy role, but all of that pales in comparison to my displeasure that the story kept running and running until I became bored and put off by the entire plot. By the time the twist hit at the end, and I literally mean the very end of the book, I was just ready to have this one done and over. The entire story was a massive rush of action and limp emotional reactions. I never seemed to connect to the story. In fact, I felt that I was intruding in on the story line and kept comparing myself to the person who was invited to the party as a favor. I felt unwanted by the story. I was on the outside as much as Rory, and the entire "pretty people versus main character" genre never seems to go over well with my personal taste.

This isn't a long review, but I blew through this book without any real thoughts besides my continual annoyance at the neck-breaking speed of the storytelling and the nagging feeling that I should just put the book down and find something better to do. 

2/5 Dragons


  1. Cuy... hee hee. "I felt unwanted by the story" Hilarious review, Lyn. Did you mean it that way? And I don't get what the cover is supposed to mean/signify. The girl with the awesome hair looking up in pretend deliberation at.., crows? I really do not care for crows- ugh they crap everywhere, on my parents' car so I can't sit on the roof. Causes great deal of trouble.

    1. Thank you! I did have some things I meant, and I didn't want to be snarky, but I felt no better way to describe my feelings for the book.

  2. Well., I have been hearing mixed things about this book
    I am intrigued, too
    It looks interesting
    Your reader

    1. I really hope you like it if you pick it up!

  3. I agree with everything in this review! We have the same opinions on this one. I think the whole book was typical,stereotypical and just bland and uncreepy and that cliffhanger came out of nowhere! I don't even see the point of it and I have no idea where the series is going. Awesome review :)

    1. The cliffhanger was just.....ugh.

      It was more confusing than creepy. I am glad to know I am not alone!

  4. I thought this book was wayyyy weird, and I wasn't sure how I felt about it. But I did end up buying the sequel, which I'm reading right now. I have to say: you're definitely not missing anything by giving up on this series.

    1. Well, I'll read your review for the second book, then!

    2. I'm actually back to amend my statement. After finishing Hereafter, I kind of like where the series is going. If you're able to ignore the stupid romance elements, you might enjoy it. Now it's just a simple paranormal story, but I kind of like it.

  5. Oh well, I guess I should be glad you pointed out that it is not 'good' weird, but rather just weird or sliding towards 'bad' weird! It's too bad you got so sucked in in the beginning, and that's the only really good part about it. I hope your next read will be awesome, Lyn!

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

  6. I am super sorry that this did not work out for you. However I am happy you read it because otherwise I would never have known what baked guinea pig was. Or even that it was a thing that exists on this Earth. And what kind of life would that be?

    "The entire story was a massive rush of action and limp emotional reactions. "

    And I remember this book coming out -- I wanted it SO BAD and then people read it and went "Buh?" and I went "No sireee" and didn't buy it. The long story being, your suffering saved me from reconsidering and trying anyway. You're the best.


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