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In the Shadows

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,168 ratings  ·  289 reviews
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 l
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 29th 2014 by Scholastic Press
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,168 ratings  ·  289 reviews

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Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

May 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
Another disappointment. This isn't necessarily a bad book, but it isn't good either. The writing is incompetent and immature. The whole plot is in complete shadow of the graphic novel. It didn't even stood a chance against the art, which is the reason why I rated this with two stars, not one. It hadn't caught my interest in any way.

This is a book in two parts, half graphic novel and half prose, set in two different time periods and mostly telling separate stories. Cora and Minnie are sisters liv
May 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, comics
This is a book in two parts, half graphic novel and half prose, set in two different time periods and telling (mostly) separate stories. If this had just been a graphic novel, I would have really liked it. The art is beautiful, expressive, and tells a clear and interesting story despite being entirely wordless. The prose part, on the other hand, is dull, feels overly drawn out, and features characters that are no more fleshed out than in the wordless comic. At about the three quarter mark, I sta ...more
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Let's talk about how great this book is, shall we?

First, I should say that I won it as an ARC in a First Reads giveaway, but that has no bearing on the rave review I'm about to give it. In fact, when I win books, I generally have low expectations. This time was no different-- I wasn't expecting much. I was unfamiliar with both the author and the illustrator, and the title and cover didn't do much for me. They're a bit generic for the fantasy genre, but once I cracked the book open, I was complet
3.5 stars

If this had been only a graphic novel, this review would've been a fangirling mess and a shower of stars. The illustrations were breathtaking and the story they narrated was fascinating. Unfortunately, this book came with text, and it's not so much the story but the way it was written which was, I'm sorry to say, very mediocre. The story is engaging, the idea behind the characters is very interesting and the art adds a mystifying atmosphere that I've come to associate with Di Bartolo an
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
The art in this book is absolutely stunning and I would give this book a 5 stars for the art alone, but I was disappointed in the written story. I found it easy to get lost while reading the story. I also had no connection with any of the characters. I didn't feel drawn to any of them, they each were kind of bland. It was an interesting story concept, but I don't think it was executed very well. I think it would have worked better if it was just a graphic novel. ...more
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Simply breathtaking. In chapters that alternate between beautifully written text and vivid pictures, DiBartolo and White tell a fascinating story of misused power, love, and revenge. I could not put this down!
☼Bookish in Virginia☼
I really liked IN THE SHADOWS. It's a well written novel that has a classic "gothic" style. The main characters are well fleshed out and fit perfectly with their creepy and mysterious seaside setting. [Suitable for Middle-graders, YA, and Adults]

There are two backstories. The first belongs to sisters Cora and Minnie. They live with their family in a small New England town at the turn of the last century. After the death of their father, their mother opens their home to boarders, which is how the
Feb 25, 2016 rated it liked it
I've been wanting to read this book for a long time, so when the March #weirdathon came along I finally pushed it up in my TBR pile. I have enjoyed Kiersten White's series Paranormalcy so I knew I really enjoyed her writing. This story is presented in text and an art story. Both telling a different story at the same time. The story is about 5 teens who get into some strange things back in the early 1900s. There are a few love instances in the book but at least for once there is no instalove whic ...more
Annette (booknerderie)
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
This was my first ever graphic novel... and I think I like it. :)

First up, the plot. I really liked the story and the characters. Once I got invested {which took a few chapters}, I was unable to stop reading. This isn't a whimsical book that takes its time to world build; it gets to the point as there really isn't a whole lot of time to story tell. I loved how the pieces finally start to come together and when it's over, you're left smiling and going "Well played, Kiersten. Well played."

Now, th
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

I've only read a couple of graphic novels, they're not usually my thing. And I've struggled with the 1/2 graphic novel 1/2 story thing because I over think it. However, this story? It's magic.

First off, the art pages are so vibrant in the e-arc, I can't wait to see what they look like in a physical copy. The pairing of Jim's artwork and Kiersten's words is damn near perfection.

I loved the characters: Minnie, Cora, Arthur, Thomas and Charles. They are all different and yet the same. Th
This was such a different read. Part novel, part (picture only) graphic novel. It flips periodically, back and forth. It is not a straight forward story. Imagination, the ability to follow multiple times lines and the capability to draw conclusions are all needed to truly appreciate this story.

This book takes place in many different times in the 1900s. From early years to more modern and everything in between. It is dark but wonderfully done. The story is really well written, the art is fantasti
This had to have been one of the most interesting reads I've had so far. It's like half novel / half graphic novel. I don't think I've ever read anything quite like it. It's almost like there were two different stories going on - the drawings and the words - and it really didn't click how they connected until the end.

I adore Kiersten White which is why I picked this one up. All I knew going in was that it was different and she worked with an artist to tell the story - the artist happened to be
K.A. Wiggins
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fascinating storytelling format. Usually I'm not a fan of authors doing graphic novels, as I've always just ended up being sad it wasn't as enjoyable as their previous full novels. However, this format made the most of both image and text-only content. Without getting into spoilers, the book basically alternates a few pages of zero text images - either full spread or "comic" style linear boxes that tell a snippet of a story - with a chapter of a novel about a bunch of teens in the late 1800s. Th ...more
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
You might wonder what this book is about, since the title is super bland and the cover features pretty colors, but little other detail. Then, by design, it's a little hard to figure out what it's about once you start reading. There are plucky children and zombies and mysterious meetings, and it all ties together in the end in a cathartic, rewarding ending.

Jim Di Bartolo is an artist probably known by most for his work in his wife Laini Taylor's novel LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES. He conceived of IN T
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this book - I initially thought it would be in more of a straightforward graphic novel format. Instead there are parallel stories told alternatingly through written chapters and the drawings. This is one of the few times that I'm really sad that I had an ebook version of a novel because I'm sure the illustrations are even better in the hardcover. I spent quite a bit of the book a bit confused about what was happening in the visual part. By the end I realiz ...more
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paranormal
This is not going to get the review it deserves because my laptop is currently off to get repaired getting its freaking everything fixed and I am not typing all this out on my phone.

This is so borderline for me. I feel like this will probably be the kind of book where I rate it 5 stars and then mark it back down to 4 and around and around in my hamster wheel of uncertainty. Anyways.

I read the beginning of this sporadically in a couple of settings and then sat down for the second half and read i
Hmmm...interesting and innovative. I'm going to have to break this review out into "Things I Liked" and "Things I Didn't Like", 'cause it has a lot going for it on both sides.

Things I Liked:

--The two different story lines in two different mediums (words vs. art). Part of the suspense of the story involves trying to figure out how the two stories are intertwined, and once you figure it out you want to go back and look at the whole thing again. Kinda Memento-ish.
--Supernatural/creepy/ominous tone
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In the Shadows is a gorgeous, gothic, paranormal tale that follows five children in a small mysterious sea-side town as they uncover a conspiracy, the breadth of which constantly astounded me. The book tells two parallel stories - one written and one graphic - that are connected in a way you will never guess until the end, when it will blow your mind. The characters are so unique and different from each other, and even though the story was quite short, I was invested in them and genuinely concer ...more
Tiyana Banks
May 13, 2016 rated it liked it
My book IN THE SHADOWS by KIERSTEN WHITE a non fiction book is a three star rating in my opinion,also it was ok but not the greatest because i thought it was going to be a little more different than it was. The main characters in the book is Arthur,Arthur is a very sweet and charming person. another main character is Cora who is in love with Arthur she is a very persuasive person. The main conflict of the story is Arthur is trying to figure out a mystery about why did the witch hang herself. The ...more
Read for the ReadMoarComics readathon, prompt was to read a comic you know nothing about, and this one I had just recently picked up at a library book sale and hadn't heard of before.

It has a very interesting structure of alternating a few pages of artwork, and than a few pages of text. Initially, I wasn't sure how closely the visual and text stories were which at some points I found a bit frustrating, but at other times felt very engaging and drew me right in.

I hesitate from sharing the plot,
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This book was unlike anything I've ever read. The art was so gorgeous and the characters so interesting. The two stories worked so well together. And the ending. It made the book. ...more
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: year-2018
I usually don’t read scary books. And this book kept me from sleep on a few nights leaving me with all the lights on cursing myself for reading this book at night. Now I am a chicken when it comes to anything scary so read at your own risk.

I love Kiersten’s story telling abilities and the illustrations by Jim Di Bartolo were dark and whimsical and creepy.
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Full review posted here with artwork from the novel.

You guys. This book is SO freaking cool! While combining prose with art is not an entirely new concept for young adult with novels like The Invention of Hugo Cabret, The absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Winger, etc, I do think that In the Shadows is unlike anything you've ever seen before, even Lips Touch: Three Times, Jim's gorgeous collaboration with Laini Taylor.

What makes In the Shadows so unique? Well, Jim's art is not just il
Apr 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
I enjoyed the way the pictures and words were mixed in together. After every chapter there were a few pages of manga style pictures.
The Book Ho
Feb 26, 2022 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars.

The art in this book was incredible! I was hooked on this book, and really enjoyed the characters! And it all tied together beautifully!
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Can I just say that I loved the art? But great art doesn't always mean that the book is just as amazing. I found that the drawings didn't communicate very well because I was extremely confused throughout the course of the book. The pictures would often look as if they had skipped a scene and I struggled to find a connection between the two stories up until near the end of the book. It made the reading experience less enjoyable. The connections are disjointed and jostle the flow of the book. In t ...more
This book was hard to review because it really is two stories (one in graphic novel form and the other written) that are hard to comprehend together until the VERY end. Both sides of the story mess with how much time passes, one in between chapters and the other between drawn frames in the graphic part that only add to the reader’s bafflement. Plus, I found it difficult to distinguish between characters in the graphic novel sections, even though I finally realized that one has a distinguishing s ...more
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014, fantasy, horror

The book was okay. What drew my attention was the artwork, which at first was a little bit disorienting as it split up the written chapters. I like the idea of interweaving two different-seeming stories together, only to have them wrap-up at the end.


The only thing I could put together at the beginning was the fact that the character illustrated was one of the characters in the written part of the book. It was the main reason why I kept reading it: to see who it was exactly.

The charac
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
In an inspired collaboration, White, author of urban fantasies and all things paranormal, pairs up with artist Di Bartolo to create a dark, moody, and mysterious hybrid novel. The story consists of alternating narratives, one in prose and one in vividly colored, sometimes horrific, wordless graphic novel panels. It isn’t immediately apparent if or how the two narrative threads are related. That fact alone might keep readers turning pages. White’s story is about two sisters, Cora and Minnie, who ...more
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Kiersten White is the #1 New York Times bestselling, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of many books, including the And I Darken series, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, Star Wars: Padawan, the Sinister Summer series, and HIDE. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, where they obsessively care for their deeply ambivalent tortoise. Visit Kiersten online at ...more

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