Friday, April 19, 2013

Blog Tour: The Shadow Girl - Jennifer Archer (Review) + Interview!

First off, I'm so happy I was part of this tour hosted by Shane @ Itching for Books! It was a great book and I'll be sharing my interview with Jennifer Archer before sharing my interview :) Enjoy :D

The Bookshelves: 1.) What was the inspiration for The Shadow Girl?

Jennifer Archer: Several things, actually. My love of psychological thrillers and mysteries, for one. Also, an incident that took place when I was in elementary school. When I was in 6th grade, I went into the girl’s restroom one day while class was in progress. I was the only person in the small restroom, and while standing at the sink washing my hands, I glanced up, my gaze connected with my own image in the mirror, and I instantly thought: Who are you? That feeling of disconnection from my reflection lasted only a second, but I never forgot it. That memory – that long-ago experience – inspired Lily’s story all these years later. I started wondering what it would be like for a girl if she sensed a presence with her all of the time. Another girl whose whispers tickled her ear and wove through her mind. An essence that felt like a part of her, but a separate part, if that makes sense! And then I started asking myself not only what that presence might be, but who it might be. I began wondering about the “shadow girl’s” story – how she came to be and how she might be connected to my main character, Lily.

TB: 2.) What character resembles you the most and why? Was there any "you" in any of the characters?

JA: There’s usually a little bit of me in all of my characters, even if it’s only a very small sliver. When I consider The Shadow Girl’s cast of characters, I think I most closely resemble Lily. Like her, I’ve been somewhat of a loner all of my life. At times, I’ve felt like I don’t fit in with the people around me. I love the mountains and the forest, as Lily does, and share her love of hiking. But aside from those things, I’m not as outdoorsy as Lily. I can’t ice skate or play hockey or any other sport. I don’t have an athletic bone in my body! Although I’ve become more adventurous as an adult, when I was Lily’s age I was somewhat wary of adventure. I preferred to experience it in the pages of a book or at the movies.

TB: 3.) Tell us about that cover! How was the process to getting the cover art like? Did you love the cover?

I wish I could take credit for the cover, but it was a complete surprise. When my editor emailed the earliest version, the artwork literally took my breath away. I think it is a perfect fit for the story – it’s beautiful, eerie, and a bit unsettling. While writing the book, I imagined Lily looking almost exactly like the girl pictured. Her long red hair – everything. I feel very fortunate that the artist “got” my story and captured the essence of it in every way.

4.  TB: 4.) A guilty pleasure. One Wish. Favorite Movie

JA: Guilty pleasure: Braum’s chocolate vanilla swirl frozen yogurt in a waffle cone. (Large, please!)
One wish: Three more wishes.
Favorite movie: Only one? I have several that I love equally. Chocolat, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button are two of them.

TB: 5.) Tweet Review! In 140 Words or less, tell us about The Shadow Girl!

JA: Secrets. A whispering presence urging Lily to solve them. A boy who knows more than he'll say. The Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer #yamystery

TB: 6.) If a person was living under a rock and just woke up looking for a great read, what would you suggest and why?

JA: The book that first came to mind was To Kill A Mockingbird because the reader would learn about both the best and the worst in human nature.

TB: 7.) What was the writing process like? Any tips for aspiring writers?

JA: My writing process is typically a slow one. I call it the ‘three steps forward, one step back’ method. I write new material – a scene, a chapter – then the next day I read what I wrote the previous day and revise it before moving on to write more new material. The next day I re-read yesterday’s new material and revise it before writing more new. And so on …until I reach the end of the book. The result is that I end up with a more polished first draft than I would if I wrote through to the end without doing any light revising along the way. However, once I do reach the end, I still go back to the beginning and revise a few more times. The number of times depends on the book.

My advice for writers is to find the process that works best for you and make it your own. There is no right or wrong way to write a book. What works for one writer may not work well for another. Also, write as much as you can and read as much as you can. That’s the best way to learn and hone your craft.

TB: 8.) What can you tell us about any other books you’re writing?        

JA: I’ve just started working on a new book that I’m really excited about. The working title is Before I Wake. It’s
another psychological mystery, and it involves graffiti or “street art,” and dreams – what’s real and what’s not. That’s all I’m going to say about it for now!

TB: 9.) What is your current YA read? How are you liking it?

JA: I’m reading Chime by Franny Billingsley. It was a National Book Award finalist last year. I’m not far enough into the story yet to decide if I like it or not, but the writing is wonderful, and Billingsley’s  2001 novel The Folk Keeper was one of my favorite reads all those years ago. I remember it being dark and creepy, unique and poetic – the kind of story and writing that draws me in and holds me there until I’ve turned the last page.

The Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer
Date Released:April 9, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 336 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: Blog Tour @ Itching for Books
Rating: Liked
Series: Standalone
Goodreads Synopsis:  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.

From Goodreads

The Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer is one of those book you have pretty high expectation because the the ARC's synopsis was blurbed as "for fans of Gayle Forman and Lauren Oliver"  and since are those as popular authors, I was so excited for this. I ended up liking it but not loving it, but when the pieces in this mysterious and quirky story began falling in place, it was addicting and I loved it. I definitely love to see more of Jennifer Archer's books too and hopefully this isn't her last! 

The Shadow Girl is one of those twisted, realistic, YA books that has that sudden plot twist you never saw coming and it has you racing for more. The main character  Lily was someone relatable and real. I could see where she was coming from and maybe a little more development could have been done but I loved her and when she started seeing everything make sense it was interesting seeing how she plays it all out, especially as a standalone. The other characters like Ty, Wyatt, and Iris were great. Jennifer also manages to weave both Lily and Iris's perspective was fluid and finding out what happens is crazy! 

The Shadow Girl is one of those books that depends on the characters to discover the plot and secrets. One thing that could have made the book even better was more development in the characters since it's a character driven book. Iris could have been more in the story, but we do discover so much about her, Lily, and their whole family, it had me gasping for the pages! And to my surprise, it's a standalone that leaves such an ending! Great job!

Overall, if you love a good YA contemporary with a little more pick up The Shadow Girl! It has suspense, action, and an ending that will leave you breathless! 

Find The Shadow Girl On:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads


  1. I'm glad this book lived up to its expectations! It sounds pretty interesting and I do love Lauren Oliver and Gayle Forman. Thanks for the review and interview.

  2. I have this arc and I am so excited to read it after seeing the great review from this tour. I am mad at myself for missing out on this tour.
    I know you cant answer this but is she real or a ghost or something sinister? Does everyone have a shadow girl or guy with them?
    See, now I want to drop everything and read this book! lolz
    Bella's Shelf

  3. Great interview. Good review. Thanks for participating :)


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