Date Completed: January 25, 2013
Publishing Info: January 8, 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Source: Swapped with Krista at Nawanda Files via YA Book Exchange
Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Paranormal, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Goodreads // Buy from Amazon
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 program. Entering the program alongside her, is her father and sister Darcy. The trio starts a new life and a new beginning leaving their friends and family behind without 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. 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?
Okay. OKAY. What. Just. Happened.
Guys, SHADOWLANDS is one wild ride. I felt like I was being pulled in a couple different directions, but in a totally good way. Okay, wait. Wait. Let me back up.
Firstly — We first meet Rory as she’s being stalked by a serial killer, tearing through the woods in an attempt to escape him. But wait — he’s her math teacher. Let’s all pause to shiver and be fully creeped out by that. I think my science teachers were a little creepier than my math teachers, but I digress. Any teacher at all, and that’s just twisted and wrong.
THEN — as you can see from the picture below, around 19-20 percent of the way through, I was already creeped out and then I had an “OMG WTF” moment. YEAH. I was flipping out. Kate Brian throws us a crazy curve ball that totally blew me away. I can honestly say that I’ve never been that scared/nervous reading a book before!!! Granted, I don’t read many horror-ish books, but still. I’m about halfway through this review and I still can’t form coherent sentences.
After the OMG WTF moment, we start to calm down and get into the meat & potatoes of the story, which was also kind of creepy, but in a more gradual way. As Rory gets to know the people of her new town, I got to mistrust them more and more. Weird things are happening, people disappearing, secret conversations between the “native islanders”, and worst of all, Rory still has a feeling like she’s being stalked by the serial killer! The whole time Rory and her family are enjoying their little beach more, I wasn’t quite sure what to believe or who to trust. I was constantly skeptical of everyone and then something worse happened. I started questioning the plot. Where in the world was this taking me? Why were things so weird? Is something paranormal going on? Is Rory going insane? Is there a logical explanation for everything and I’m just not seeing it? SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME!
So yeah…. It was an insanely wild ride. That’s for sure. As far as the end goes, I finished and was immediately flabbergasted and felt like I needed a hug. True story coming up: I was reading this in bed as my boyfriend was hanging out downstairs with his friends (I had to turn and face the door so, you know, no serial killers come sneaking up behind me) and he came in exactly as I was shutting the book because I finished. Freaky timing! And then he was like, “Were you crying?” so I of course said no, even though I totally was. Whenever I get totally skeeved out, for some reason tears are my first reaction and guys, I was majorly creeped and shocked and confused so those little tears just came oozing out of my eyes. Then I felt bad for saying no, but I didn’t want him to make fun of me for crying at a scary book hahaha.
Okay, I don’t even know where to go from here. Read it? YES. There’s a lot of twists and turns and insanity that happens and I totally loved it. I can totally see where people who didn’t like it felt like they were wronged, but I actually really liked that twist. I didn’t see it coming but I did all at the same time.
Rory: I really liked Rory! She wasn’t without her flaws, but she was definitely a great younger MC. I don’t know if it’s the authors or the characters or what, but somehow I feel whenever I read about a main character that’s 15 or 16, they always seem so immature. Not Rory. She was a little dorky (sometimes it was played up a touch too much for me) and responsible but I found her naive at the same time. Somehow it really just worked! She was easy to follow and I just really clicked with her!
Darcy: Darcy is SO Sarah Hyland/her character Hayley on Modern Family. That’s just exactly how I pictured here. Where Rory is dorky and more of an individual, Darcy is popular and a social butterfly. Since she’s so social and her world revolves around her friends, sometimes it’s hard to tell that she’s struggling after the loss of her mother and the attack of her sister, but we start to see that there’s more to Darcy than just the surface.
Mr. Nell: CREEPY. Just run away! GO. He was so terribly creepy and it was written so. well. The one part I liked about the movie for The Lovely Bones was how unrecognizable and disgustingly serial killer-ish Stanley Tucci was. Unfortunately, that was how I pictured Mr. Nell in this book!
Whew boy, this one was GOOD. I was totally racing through it, unsure of what was going on and man. It was a great read for me!