Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Review: The Shadow Sister by Lily Meade

This was a book I had to read because of that gorgeous cover. And I was lucky enough to trade for an ARC copy of it. Sounded like such an exciting story too. I was expecting some mystery. A good sister relationship story. I got none of that. Yeah. This one ended up being a two star for me. Pretty disappointed, honestly.

I'm unsure how to write down my thoughts about this book. Will try to keep it short. Though I have a bunch of feelings about this. Sigh. At first I thought the writing was pretty good. But the more I read, the more I realized how very bored I was and how I did not care for anything that happened. So, yeah. It was not very good.

This book is told from the point of view of Casey. She is around sixteen years old, with her older sister Sutton about a year older than her. I think. Probably. The book begins a week after Sutton went missing. They are all trying to find her. Though Casey does not really believe anything bad has happened to her, she kind of think she just ran away to hurt them. I could have liked getting to know Casey. She seemed sweet. She had a best friend whom I liked more. She cared for their dog, which I liked. But Casey was such an awful person towards her sister. And I hated that. I hated it so much. We get to see a few small chapters from the point of view of Sutton, set in the past. And Casey was awful to her. But to her, it was Sutton who was the problem. I did not see that at all. The past chapters were awful. I so did not like them.

I actually liked Sutton. The before version of her, at least. What we got to know about her. She also had a boyfriend, whom I liked. He was barely there in this book. No romance at all. A few side stories, like with the coach, which didn't really matter. Or the cheer squad. I did not care for either. Then there were their parents. And oh, how I did not like them. They were not written very well, to be honest. So boring. I didn't like the way they talked to their children either, it just felt weird. But they were there at least. Somewhat.

One plus side to this book: the black family history. Their dad was black, their mom white. His family had a great and sad history and I liked getting to know more about it. It was also a little messy, sadly, so not that easy to read about. This book has a small mention of magic. Felt rushed and not that magical either. Wish it had been written more about, done better. There was the bracelet they were arguing about. The flashback scene about it, it was not good. It just made me hate Casey more and I disliked that so much.

Anyway. Time to talk about the plot of this book. Sutton has been missing for a week. She suddenly turns up, alive. But with no memory. Though she remembers Casey, at least some part of her. She is different. Casey, of course, treated her so badly for ages after she came back, believing she was faking the whole memory loss. It just made me more angry and sad. Sigh. Sutton deserved better. Hmph. Also, I may have spoiled the entire story for myself, though, by peeking at the ending. As that plot twist isn't known. Oops.

I guess this book was more about the sisters than the actual mystery of what happened to Sutton. Or the other missing black girls. We get to know nothing about them. I feel a little cheated by the summary, to be honest, ha. But yeah. It was about the girls slowly connecting again, after years of not being friends. But, well. I did not like it. I still felt angry towards Casey and how she had treated Sutton. Ugh. And I so wish the mystery had been better. Some small Taylor Swift mentions. But using a different/fake name. Weird.

What I must mention is the ending. It was not good. At all. I'm completely disappointed in it. The villain reveal had been obvious for ages. And it happened way too fast and was over even faster at the end. Then the book just ends, in the middle of the woods. With so many questions still not answered. It was not good and I was not happy about it. Sigh. Of course, I did not really care either, but I still wanted to know some things. Honestly, this whole book was just such a disappointment. It made no sense either.

The Shadow Sister has such a beautiful cover. Which I love. But the book ended up being disappointing to me. I sadly did not like it much. A few parts I hated, how the sisters treated each other for years. I did not like how so many answers were just not there, how boring the mystery and thriller part was. The story was exciting at times, I wanted to know what had happened with Sutton. But we never really got to know. It was way too tame, honestly. I'm sure others will like this one, though. Probably. It simply wasn't for me.

Goodreads - Blackwells - Amazon US - Amazon UK

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