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The Shadow Girl

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4.45  ·  Rating Details  ·  400 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
Inspired by true events, astory of courage, survival, and a young girl who defies horrible odds to take control ofher destiny.

The unnamed narrator escapes the dangerous imploding world of her parents and wider family in order to survive. Not wishing to be chewed up and spat out by the red light district she hides out in her local church, spends her weekends in the sand dun
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Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Random House Australia (first published June 1st 2011)
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Veronica Roberts It depends where you are. The Children's Bookshop in Beecroft (Sydney) also act as his agent so they definitely have copies.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 972)
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Caroline
Jan 12, 2016 Caroline rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
THIS book has left me feeling kind of meh. I don't know quite how to describe it, and I'm still not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I'll try my best. This book is about homelessness. It's a 'true' story (in quotation marks because I'm pretty sure some creative flair has been added). It's about hope and overcoming all the shit which is thrown at you. It should be inspirational but I just didn't feel it.

I feel like I should've finished this book and stopped to reflect on my life an
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Rachel
The Shadow Girl is one hell of a book. It's a book that will make you re-examine the way you look at the world and just how screwed up it can be. It is so beautifully tragic, but yet at the same time, it is also like a little light of hope. The world may be dark in some places, but there is good out there in the world, even in places where you don't think you would find it. It is, of course, exceptionally heart-breaking to realise that this is actually inspired by a real story. That there is ac ...more
Natasha Fernando
Jan 22, 2014 Natasha Fernando rated it it was amazing
At times when reading this book I had to remind myself that this was based on a true story. At the moment someone was out there trying to get through each day hoping that tomorrow would be better. They have no one that loves them and they have no one to love.

The way this book is written is really unique, the whole story is told by a nameless girl who is recounting what occurred during the past years for her get to this point. She is telling this to an author that she met during her schooling so
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Emma
Jan 23, 2012 Emma rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
The Shadow Girl is a novel by Australian writer, John Larkin, that follows the story of a fourteen year old girl forced into homelessness due to her domestic situation at home. The story is beautifully narrated and the occasional changes in narrator help complete the story and complete the background of the main character.

This is a moving book, tracing out the tale that is similar to so many others out there. This story also explores simple human compassion which may come from complete strange
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Katrina Ly
May 05, 2012 Katrina Ly rated it really liked it
this book was great. usually when someone writes like this, i automatically tune out and as a result i usually have to force myself to finish reading that book, but this is one of those rare books that are written in that kind of way that only the truly dedicated readers read, that the teachers would love to assign to students, but it was still very captivating and obviously very poignant.

i can't really say that i absolutely love this book as i have other books, because this book is different, i
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Melissa
Apr 22, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing
The Shadow Girl is a remarkable book. It is thought provoking and challenging and based on a true story about homelessness. It is not a light read but it is well worth it. John Larkin writes beautifully. Chapters vary between first person and cafe scenes in which the author interviews the Shadow Girl about her story. This technique is powerful as it is a constant reminder that this story is true and makes the story more powerful.

It is a book that really made me think, especially about the peopl
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Ella
May 13, 2013 Ella rated it it was amazing
This book showed the scary reality of the world, and yet it also showed the beauty within people. It follows the story line of a girl forced from her home and learning the harshness of living on the streets. Along side the story shows the interview with her and the author and i found that i looked forward to those sections as much as I did to the actual story. In the interview it shows her true personality shine through a sharp, sassy and witty girl. I recommend this book to everyone for its dar ...more
Pam Saunders
Mar 24, 2012 Pam Saunders rated it really liked it
Recommended by a bookseller, again proving a good one is worth knowing. Loved the story and I was willing to skip a couple of not quite believable moments/events because the story had me so engaged. Hope there are schools and teachers out there like the ones Larkin creates. Unfortunately I do think there are some not pleasant characters just like those he created, but fortunately there are those just like his good characters too. Will be recommending this highly to the teens at school.
Melinda
Mar 05, 2014 Melinda rated it really liked it
Well I think this is actually quite a great book that kind of inspires me. I mean it's not the most inspirational book out there but I do love this book, the shadow girl, and how she chose to live her life. And I'm happy because she got her Ms Honey in the end but in a different version. She inspires me, but the most inspiring thing in this book is how at the bus shelter the guy cleaned up all the glass for her. And how he told her about the blinking author. That part really made me want to go u ...more
Opal
Jan 05, 2015 Opal rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
The wait for this book was worth it. The style it is written in caught me out, but I enjoyed it.

Shadow Girl has a beautiful balance between showing the reality of the world, the darkness within humans, but mostly, the kindness of humans, and how this affects someone who needs it. And that, I think is why I stewed over this book for so long, turning it over in my mind long after I had finished it.

I did however, think that at points, some of the characters were very undeveloped, or the narrator
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_lavi_
May 08, 2014 _lavi_ rated it it was amazing
Okay so being a teenage hormonal girl ,I usually just avoid these kind of books .I mean I mostly just read romance and fantasy and I really didn't want to buy this book but then there wasn't any other affordable book in the store so I settled for this .
This book is so captivating ,it dosent matter what kind of a reader you are ,you will love it.I love the main character and not once in the book will you feel any flaw.
Usually when reading books based on true events ,you might get a headache or ju
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Emily Rawlings
Mar 31, 2015 Emily Rawlings rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lore
This is one of those strange books that changes you. I didn't expect much from it, hell ididn't think I'd end up finishing it, if I;m being honest.

But i made that treck through the story and found myself captivated.

the story is quite horrific in places, but oddly beautiful too. The writing is pretty blunt, but there's also many interesting ideas bought up.

It's not a novel to read in one sitting. It's the kind you need to sit on, to digest for a while and wonder about all the whys and hows of
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Jenny
Aug 13, 2012 Jenny rated it really liked it
Although I was drawn into this story narrated by a 14 year old homeless girl, i found some parts very confronting. John Larkin's characters are believable. It seemed as though the many newspaper reports of domestic violence, underworld drug dealing and homelessness come to life in this novel which was 'inspired by a true story'.

It is written in an interesting style as the young homeless girl tells her story to a journalist?, writer?
Most of the book is narrated by the unnamed teenager but occas
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Lulie
Dec 01, 2012 Lulie rated it it was ok
Read my reviews at looking for seattle

I don't know what to feel about this book. Disappointed, I guess. I haven't been too into the romance stuff lately and here is this book that could touch on some real issues but I just wasn't impressed.

I have this thing about addressing the reader in fiction. I think it really takes away from the authenticity of the story, like, "hey! hey you! I have something to say!" With the interviews between the author and the (nameless) protagonist being a central poin
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Cara
Mar 24, 2014 Cara rated it it was amazing
Shadow Girl is a standout novel by author John Larkin. It is a compelling and thought-provoking tale of survival that offers an intriguing examination of human nature. The Shadow Girl herself is a surprising character, smart and sassy with a grand imagination and a penchant for witty one-liners, whilst her Uncle is a truly terrifying adversary. Larkin has created an innovative novel that pushes the boundaries of young adult fiction with its combination of sharp and resonant writing and a plot th ...more
Stacey Chan
Nov 02, 2014 Stacey Chan rated it it was amazing
Wow.... I swear this is one of my favourite books I've ever read in my life!! "Inspiring but devastating" is definitely the words to describe this story, and I still can't believe it was based on a true one! Keep up the great stories Larkin- this is one of your best.
Flight_of_the_falcons
Nov 22, 2014 Flight_of_the_falcons rated it it was amazing
Love, love, loved this book! My favourite (tying with the Unwind series!!!) it was beautifully written and it got my cousin, who doesnt read, to read half of it in 3 days and my best friend, who doesnt read fast, to read the whole thing in 2 days
Alyce
Feb 10, 2015 Alyce rated it liked it
Read that in a day. Felt good, haven't being read books that much recently.
This was a cool read. The subject matter is a bit dark, but the author knows when to use a bit of black humour to lighten the mood.
Lokie
Sep 01, 2015 Lokie rated it it was amazing
Moving and tragic, with glimmers of Larkin's signature humour throughout. A beautifully thought-provoking book. I'm so glad it caught my eye in the bookstore!
Emily
Sep 18, 2013 Emily rated it it was amazing
i love this book.
i really like it when i was reading it, all the plot twists how the whole book was pieced together just fit together really well. the main character is really someone to admire all the characters were unique.
after reading and just thinking about it it intrigues you even more and the pounding questions of what if always pops in my head. looking back at the twists and turns and the comical comments made in hindsight i know one day i will want to read it again.
the story line is
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Bridie R-G
Nov 15, 2014 Bridie R-G rated it it was amazing
The Shadow girl is a truly inspirational piece. Especially considering it is based on true events. One of the best books I've read.
Maree Kimberley
Oct 27, 2011 Maree Kimberley rated it really liked it
Although it took me a few pages to get into this book, I really enjoyed it. The voice of the strong female protagonist is authentic, the story is fast-paced and although some of the action was a little far-fetched and stretched the logic, I was invested enough in the character and her story to go along for the ride.
The story, while not preachy, does raise important questions about the child protection system and support for homeless kids to stay in school, or even just live a semi-normal life.
An
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Roussie
I could not get into this novel. Others rated it very highly so I’ll try again at a later date.
Sarah Montgomerie
Aug 01, 2015 Sarah Montgomerie rated it it was amazing
Shelves:
Loved it! Couldn't put it down. Particularly loved the style in which it was written.
L.L. Hunter
Feb 10, 2015 L.L. Hunter rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a whirlwind of a book. I am speechless. And utterly ruined. My characters and my words are dull compared to Larkin's masterpiece. It has to be one of the best books I have ever read. All I have to say is: you must read this now! Everyone must read The Shadow Girl! I look forward to The Pulse.
Ashleigh
Jul 20, 2015 Ashleigh rated it it was amazing
Incredible book! It brings up a lot of questions about how our society is set up and how we treat those involved in domestic/sexual violence and the homeless. Well worth the read, it's based on a brief encounter the author had at a school workshop/author visit.
Afra
Jun 30, 2014 Afra rated it it was amazing
Hands down, my favourite book. It was honestly the best.
Ava Lacey
Aug 16, 2015 Ava Lacey rated it it was amazing
CRYING TEARS OF EMOTION
Kirstyn
Jun 20, 2015 Kirstyn rated it liked it
Shelves: already-have
slow and long but has a good story line but the execution could be a bit more involving even if it is based on a real story.
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Sydney-based author and screenwriter, John Larkin, was born in England but grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney. He has, at various stages of his writing career, supported his habit by working as a supermarket trolley boy, shelf-stacker, factory hand, forklift driver, professional soccer player and computer programmer. He now writes full-time. John has a BA in English Literature and a MA in Cr ...more
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“We start each day with a blank sheet of paper in front of us, and what we write on it is up to us.” 24 likes
“You've got that look about you, like you've seen more than you should have.” 10 likes
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