Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

"Olivia Stellatella is having a rough year.

Her mother left, her neglectful father -- the maestro of a failing orchestra -- has moved her and her grandmother into his dark, broken-down concert hall to save money, and her only friend is Igor, an ornery stray cat.

Just when she thinks life couldn’t get any weirder, she meets four ghosts who haunt the hall. They need Olivia’s help -- if the hall is torn down, they’ll be stuck as ghosts forever, never able to move on.

Olivia has to do the impossible for her shadowy new friends: Save the concert hall. But helping the dead has powerful consequences for the living . . . and soon it’s not just the concert hall that needs saving."

The Year of Shadows is an interesting title for a ghostly, paranormal, supernatural, and middle grade/young adult book. But it is somehow fitting, for a book of shadows and darkness, ghost and shades. (The synopsis is accurate.) Overall, I think the Year of the Shadows is great! It's a good book for children around the age of eleven and up. (I read books like these when I was in third grade, so don't worry, parents.) The cover looks great, doesn't it? (For those of you wondering what's up with the cat, I can't tell, but the cat's name is Igor and plays an important role in Year of the Shadows.)

The Year of the Shadows starts off on a good foot. We meet Olivia who hates her father, her mother, and almost everyone (and everything) except her nana. With Olivia narrating, Year of the Shadows is exciting, bearable, and ghostly (and a tad shady) entertaining. Olivia just move into the concert hall, because of "The Economy." From just this, it is obvious that Olivia lives around the time of the 80s or even the early 90s or the time involving a economy recession. 

The plot is totally surprising! I'm shocked by the twist close to the end of the book. I'm not going to tell you because that will just ruin the surprise. (And how I love spoiling surprises!) The author's writing style is addicting, and interesting. I never had the thought of abandoning this book, like many books I've read before. (Example: Legacy, The Death Cure) 

The ending. The ending. Beautiful. That's a good word for it, to sum it up. It is a...oh wait, that's spoiling the book. I shouldn't do that. Oh well, there's only one word for it, for now: Beautiful.


Olivia, at first, looks like a lunatic from what I'm reading. She talks to cats (Igor) and...Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. Olivia is a lonely girl, who isn't afraid of doing anything that is outrageous and mad. She's friendless, in the beginning, and pushes everyone away to protect her heart from being broken, ever again. Her mother left before the book started, and her father's in a deep amount of debt and in his deep pile of feelings. Olivia pretends to only care about her nana, but it's just a mask, an act.

The boy in Year of Shadows is sweet and adorable. He's frequently pushed by Olivia, figuratively. 

Rating: Four out of Five

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