Shadow Girl by Liana Liu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I received this free eARC novel from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.
Mei has been working one way or another for the past few years and has everything planned out. First she started as a camp counselor and learned how to deal with hyper, wild children. Then she would talk to those kids parents about how she was doing tutoring throughout the summer and throughout school, getting those same kids that she has already learned about their behaviors. She would take on no more than 5 kids for each semester, and she would do tutoring in the summer too, for those who were struggling a lot.
So basically Mei was playing the system and making lots of money from it. Which was nice since it was just her mom and her so they needed all of the money they could get.
And there was no way that Mei was going to pass up a tutoring gig that paid over twice as much as her last tutoring kids last year. Plus it was just one girl and Mei was going to be living with them. On an island. Getting lots of great food and being able to go to the pool or the beach when she wasn't tutoring.
But Mei knew that she was only an academic tutor and wasn't to get any special treatment - even though she was getting some extra perks. And not everything was going as smoothly for the Morrison's as they wanted people to believe. Ella is a smart girl but she seems to get the answers wrong on purpose. Her mother, Vanessa, is always trying to spend money and throw parties, but her husband Jeffrey is never around. He's always back in the city working and 'tries' to come to the island every weekend to visit. And Ella's older brother Henry is annoying Mei crazy.
And then there is the matter of Eleanor...the 8 year old girl who died on the island with the original owners. But Mei doesn't believe in ghosts, even if Ella is convinced Eleanor is there all of the time.
Mei just needs to make it through the summer without anything too weird happening so she can get back on track. But the longer Mei is gone, the more she is changing, and the more she may be wondering if the island is really haunted or not...
This was a very interesting, and intriguing novel! I wasn't sure where it was going, and honestly I'm not quite sure what the overall message behind the book is actually about... I mean, there were a lot of factors going throughout the novel, but then it had an abrupt ending and a hint of mystery at the end that never really resolved anything.
I loved seeing Mei get to experience new things and live her own life for once. She was stuck at home with her mom paying the bills and worrying about things from day to day, but she was able to just relax and do things that she wanted to do just for fun. Being around Ella and Henry helped too because they were able to convince her to hangout with them and just be a kid for once.
The whole supernatural aspect of this book was a bit odd for me... I get what the author did at the end to make the reader think, but it just wasn't really there for me to be honest. Though if this was made into a movie and had the suspenseful music, I may be changing my tune.
The Morrison's are an interesting family and they all have their issues and quirks. I honestly wouldn't want to live their lives of money and riches because it makes them spoiled and elite. And I think Mei got that feeling too, being on the other spectrum of the scale for money and fame.
Overall, I did enjoy this book. It definitely has left me thinking about the whole book and what really happened, so it did it's just right where I'm still thinking about it. I'd actually be interested to read another book with these characters to see what happens after this ending. See if they reconnect again or not.
I think a lot of readers will enjoy this book and I will definitely be recommending it when it releases in December 2017!
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