Thursday, March 14, 2013

Shadowlands by Kate Brian

This is the first novel in the Shadowlands series by Kate Brian.

When walking through the woods after school one day, Rory was attacked by her math teacher, Steven Nell. It turns out that Nell is a serial killer and has killed 14 other teenage girls all over the U.S. And Rory is going to be his number 15.

But then Rory fought back - something that most of Nell's victims doesn't do and she is the first one to escape. Now she and her family, her dad and her older sister Darcy, are sent in the witness protection system to keep safe from Nell.

That means no contact with anyone, including the boy that Rory is crushing on, Christopher. But that is also very complicated since Chris had dated Darcy for 2 years before dumping her for Rory.

So Rory and her family are off and end up in Juniper Landing, a tourist place next to the beach. And where there are tons of visitors - a great place to show up without having to have a reason to be there.

Except Rory gets uneasy feelings about the town, and the townspeople. She keeps hearing the song that Nell would hum under his breath. She saw his tan coat in a crowd. Rory does not think that they are safe, but no one will listen to her, so she decides she must be imagining things since she is still terrified Nell will find her and her family.

And the townspeople? Everyone is very interested in Rory, which is unusual because Darcy is the one everyone wants to be friends with. But the two good looking guys, Joaquin and Tristan, seem to always be staring at Rory. And Joaquin keeps flirting with her, as much as Darcy hates him doing that.

But Juniper Landing is not the town that it seems to be upon first impression. People disappear and no one seems to notice it - except Rory. She cares where everyone is going, and she wants answers to the mystery of Juniper Landing.

Those answers are answered, but Rory doesn't like the answer that she is given. In fact, everything starts to fall apart when Rory's nightmare comes to life and Nell has found them. Can Rory fight back again and win against Nell, or will he finally get his number 15? Read Shadowlands by Kate Brian to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
The first thing - this novel is probably the one YA novel that creeped me out so much that I was jumping at the little sounds in my house late at night. The writer did a great job writing this - especially the chapters that were through Nell's point of view.

I really liked this book. It is something different for the YA genre and I enjoyed reading a fresh story line that isn't over written today. Running from a serial killer. Hiding in witness protection. Trying to act normal in an impossible situation.

Rory is a great character. She is loyal, especially when it comes to her family, and she is a fighter, which Nell didn't see that as her math teacher and made her an "easy" target for him to pursue.

There is one very important scene in this novel that I could not get out of my head. I felt like it really happened and I kept getting reminded of it throughout the rest of the novel, so the ending wasn't surprising to me. I was actually expecting it. I don't know if the author meant to do that - to have the reader guess what was going to happen - or if I was just that into the novel and was overthinking because the novel spooked me that much.

Even though I guessed the ending and what was actually happening, I still really liked this novel.

I cannot wait until the second novel comes out and I can find out what happens now that the secret is out for Rory. I think it could go in a great direction, but it will definitely be different than this first novel. Almost like they weren't related at all, but I'm okay with that. I just want to find out what happens soon!

I've read reviews where people either love it or hate it. There really is no in between. And some also said that they were confused on what happened in the book, which I can see how that could happen too. I would recommend it to other readers, though, especially my friends because then we could talk about it to make sure we understand the story line :)

So, yes, I would recommend it to readers and I am sitting on the edge of my seat for the sequel to come out!

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