Sunday, May 11, 2014

Review ~ In the Shadows by Kiersten White and Jim Di Bartolo

Series: ??
Genre: YA paranormal (part graphic novel)
Pages: 384
Publication date: April 29th, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Goodreads Description: 
From the remarkable imagination of acclaimed artist Jim Di Bartolo and the exquisite pen of bestselling author Kiersten White comes a spellbinding story of love, mystery, and dark conspiracy, told in an alternating narrative of words and pictures. 

Cora and Minnie are sisters living in a small, stifling town where strange and mysterious things occur. Their mother runs the local boarding house. Their father is gone. The woman up the hill may or may not be a witch.

Thomas and Charles are brothers who’ve been exiled to the boarding house so Thomas can tame his ways and Charles can fight an illness that is killing him with increasing speed. Their family history is one of sorrow and guilt. They think they can escape from it . . . but they can’t.
Source: I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in return for an honest review.

There are three words that describe how I feel about In the Shadows: I don't know. I really don't. There were some pretty awesome parts in it—the two story-lines, the mystery, Minnie and Arthur, the illustrations, the twists, the rich descriptions—but as much as I liked all of them, I was never fully into the book. I was a bit distanced, so all the excitement going on didn't sink in enough for me to . . . really enjoy the story.

The thing that let me down the most about In the Shadows was that it felt underdeveloped. The supernatural part, the why and how, just didn't seem to see as much development as it deserved. There were some things towards the end that I would've loved to read in more detail, but sadly, I was left wanting more. So, when I finally finished reading (it was a slow read), I was a bit . . . underwhelmed. (Maybe that's why I'm not sure how I feel about this book.)

Overall, this was a read that didn't do much for me. It had many awesome components, but not enough to make me love the book as a whole. I was impressed with Jim Di Bartolo and Kiersten White's creativity and how their story lines twined really nicely towards the end, but I was still underwhelmed by the events going on. I'm sad to say that In the Shadows didn't work out for me as much as I'd hoped, but maybe it just wasn't my type of book.

My question for you:

Have you ever read a book where you just didn't know what you thought of it?


  1. I was approved for this book, but never got to it. I wish the publishers would label the books that cannot be sent to a Kindle. That said, I did pick up the finished copy of this from the library, but haven't started it yet. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, though. It's a bummer the book didn't feel complete. I might skip the narrative and just "read" the illustrated story. Great review!

    1. I wish the publishers would do that too. The illustrations are amazing, and I really liked that part of the story. I didn't like the narrative as much, but I really recommend reading it! The illustrated story wouldn't have been as good without the written story to accompany it. Thank you!

  2. Uh-oh. I wasn't sure about this because I'm really not a graphic novel person. And if you say that the story part is not fully developed, I'm worried. Maybe I'll see if the library has this and try a bit first.
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

    1. I would definitely still check it out from the library. While it wasn't quite the type of book for me, it seems that many people have enjoyed it!
      You're welcome! Thank you for stopping by my blog too. :)


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