Google+ Reading Teen: IN THE SHADOWS {RMB Review}

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


"Review My Books" Review by Ri @ HiveretCafe

    IN THE SHADOWSby Kiersten White & Jim Di Bartolo
    Age Range: 12 and up
    Grade Level: 7 and up
    Hardcover: 384 pages
    Publisher: Scholastic Press (April 29, 2014)
    Amazon | Goodreads
From the remarkable imagination of acclaimed artist Jim Di Bartolo and the exquisite pen of bestselling author Kiersten White comes a spellbinding story of love, mystery, and dark conspiracy, told in an alternating narrative of words and pictures.

Cora and Minnie are sisters living in a small, stifling town where strange and mysterious things occur. Their mother runs the local boarding house. Their father is gone. The woman up the hill may or may not be a witch.

Thomas and Charles are brothers who’ve been exiled to the boarding house so Thomas can tame his ways and Charles can fight an illness that is killing him with increasing speed. Their family history is one of sorrow and guilt. They think they can escape from it . . . but they can’t.

Arthur is also new to the boarding house. His fate is tied to that of Cora, Minnie, Thomas, and Charles. He knows what darkness circles them, but can’t say why, and doesn’t even know if they can be saved.

Sinister forces are working in the shadows, manipulating fates and crafting conspiracies. The closer Cora, Minnie, Arthur, Thomas, and Charles get to the truth, the closer they get to harm. But the threat is much bigger than they can see. It is strangling the world.

Until one of the boys decides he wants to save it.

Told in an astonishing mix of art and words, IN THE SHADOWS collides past against future, love against evil, and hope against fear. The result is both a mystery and a masterpiece.
Hey, I'm Ri and you can find me over at HiveretCafe, a book blog I named after my two loves, winter and coffee. Thank you so much, Andye, for sending me the ARC of this book! 

IN THE SHADOWS by KIERSTEN WHITE and JIM DI BARTOLO is deceptively heavy for it's small size.  I picked up the hardcover version in the bookstore once and I was really surprised by its weightiness! Even the ARC is just as heavy.  They use the same high quality paper on the insides.

This book kept me sucked in the entire time with all the questions! The book begins with an art section, and all the art in this book is simply illustrations with no words to explain them. And all I could say after reading the first art section was, "WHAT?" 

I love the way that the story is told, because the words are going in one timeline while the art is going in another. The art sections off each chapter and as I read further, more questions arise rather than answers. Answers don't start popping up until two thirds of the way in. 

I couldn't stand the curiousity anymore and so as I was in the middle of the book, I read all the art sections and really that just raised more questions within me and sucked me into the story to try and search for answers.

I think my favourite characters out of the five are Charles and Minnie. Charles is dying from a terminal illness and though all these strange things are happening around them, he's incredibly calm about it and is more worried about his brother's happiness rather than his own health. Minnie is bubbly and sweet, and as they say, "Shallow waters run deep." She cares heavily for the ones she loves, almost to a fault. Arthur is the mysterious one who blends into the shadows. He knows something about the strange happenings, but is reluctant to say anything. Cora is the older sister between Minnie and her. She is serious and proper and worries constantly, especially after their father passed away. Thomas is a musician and is very protective of his dying brother. He is in denial about the terminality of Charles's illness and will do as much as he can to make him comfortable. 

The art is incredible though. The way Di Bartolo draws and paints evokes the vibe that you are meant to feel. There are images that are just plain creepy, while there are some that are happy and pretty. There are so many pages of illustrations in this book and they all look painted. It must have taken him a long time to do all the art for this book.

Quotes, quotes, of course there`s quotes! However, all the good ones aren`t spoiler free, so you`ll just have to read the book for yourself. So instead, here's a peek at the first section of the art that made me go "WHAT?!?!"

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