The relationships between the characters shine in this book. Every character feels fully realized, even the character who dies in the beginning. The strained love between mother and daughter will ring true to readers. The "are we friends or should we be something more?" tension between Lily and her long-time best friend Wyatt is perfectly rendered. And the first-crush butterflies between Lily and Ty will give first-crush butterflies to readers as well.
The setting is also perfect. Ms. Archer paints a picture of the small Colorado town and its surrounding mountains with deft strokes. The reader always feels grounded visually in every scene.
Finally, the romantic tension in the book will draw readers who enjoy love stories. This book is being marketed as a chilling, mind-bending mystery, but the chills and the mystery are hit and miss. The romance, however, is ever-present and is guaranteed to win fans.
What Left Me Wanting More:
The atmospheric tension in the story dissipates quickly as the story becomes less about Lily, Iris, and the secrets being kept and more about Lily's romantic feelings for Ty and Wyatt. The reader guesses the final reveal before the halfway point of the story, and that makes the mystery feel as if it's dragging too slowly. I found myself getting impatient with Lily for not figuring out what I already knew. Also, the hints of danger (the reason why Lily has been hidden in a tiny mountain town, the reason Iris is afraid) never come to fruition. There is no true danger to anyone in this book, and that steals the power from the mystery.
SHADOW GIRL delivers a light mystery and plenty of romantic tension and is sure to draw readers who enjoy love stories.