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Shadow Girl

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  402 ratings  ·  105 reviews
The house on Arrow Island is full of mystery.

Yet when Mei arrives, she can’t help feeling relieved. She’s happy to spend the summer in an actual mansion tutoring a rich man’s daughter if it means a break from her normal life—her needy mother, her delinquent brother, their tiny apartment in the city. And Ella Morison seems like an easy charge, sweet and well behaved.

What M
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published December 19th 2017 by HarperTeen
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Aidan I rented this on Libby through my local Library

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Average rating 3.26  · 
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 ·  402 ratings  ·  105 reviews

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Sarah Elizabeth
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

This was a contemporary story about a girl staying in a haunted house.

Mei was a nice girl, and she worked so hard to try and get somewhere in life. She also really cared for her family, and was irritated by the way her brother behaved.

The storyline in this was about Mei being hired as an academic tutor by a rich family, and being asked to move into their summer home with them. There was some strange goings
Oct 01, 2017 rated it liked it


Initial Post Reading Thoughts

While Shadow Girl has an intriguing premise, it sadly fell a little short for me. I was really excited about the fusion of contemporary and mystery/suspense, but unfortunately it didn’t work very well in this case. There was a lot that was left unexplained and not in a good way. I did like the contemporary aspects of the novel though!


What I Liked

The mystery. I really did enjoy the mystery of this story…until I realized that I wasn’t going to be getting any answer
Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

Mei is an academic tutor saving for college. She takes the job helping Ella as she gets to meet her father, Mr. Morison a powerful man in the financial industry and as a bonus she gets to spend the summer out at their vacation home on Arrow Island. But things are not as easy going as they appear. She is annoyed by Henry, her charge's brother, she is taken advantage of by Nessa, her boss and then there are the unexplained noises she hears at nig
rachel ☾
Shadow Girl was a poorly paced borefest. I do not understand why this is being pitched as a paranormal mystery when it was so clearly not. The supposed ghost lore is mentioned only a handful of times, and even then, it is not a focus of the story. It was not remotely spooky. There are a few bumps and wails in the night, but they could - and were - easily explained away. It was mostly driven by the fact that Ella, Mei’s student, claims her room is haunted by a ghost. I need way more suspense and ...more
h o l l i s
Dec 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish, arc, ebook
DNF at 49%

It's been a long time since I DNF'd a book but unfortunately SHADOW GIRL wasn't something I could force myself to push through. Sure, I only had an hour and twenty minutes remaining but I just couldn't do it. For a book that was pitched as a paranormal mystery thriller, there was little plot to that affect.

Instead we got to experience a rehashing of what the role of an academic tutor meant, watch our protagonist flip flop between liking the brother of her charge and then quickly disli
I have mixed feelings about this book.

You know those books that have nothing technically wrong with it? The plot is cohesive and moving. The characters have a distinct voice and drive. The characters are even likable and struggle and change and grow. But there just seems to be some key piece missing. Some spark of life. It just lulls from event to event.

That was unfortunately this book.

It was a relatively simplistic and cliche kind girl is hired to care for a rich kid on their families private i
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you are looking for a suspenseful, paranormal mystery, this isn't the book for you.
If you are looking for an interesting, broken, (Asian!) heroine in a YA novel that is light on the romance and angst, yet emotionally tumultuous, this is probably for you.
My recommendation: go in with no expectations and enjoy!

I didn't particularly like this book at first, but it grew on me. The writing is first-person present and full of short, abrupt sentences. Mei is initially closed off and not especiall
 ⛅ Saniya (sunnysidereviews) ⛅
Lovely premise, but it just felt so unfinished.
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
what???? Okay, so this wasn’t necessarily a BAD book. But what???? It feels so unfinished, and the whole plot of the book is so underdeveloped. I mean, the story is supposed to be a scary haunting, and I just felt so bored? It was more of a contemporary teen girl-meets-boy, that just so happened to have a little haunting action. I’m just so confused with this whole book. The writing was good, and I saw so much potential, but the end was so underwhelming!! I sat here thinking “how is she going to ...more
Hafsa Sabira
May 06, 2018 rated it it was ok

Mei is a lower-middle class Asian-American teenager trying to live up to the high performance expected from her and concentrates solely on earning some extra money for her college and her family. So, when she receives an offer of being an educational tutor to Ella Morison, the ever-so-quite and strange child of muliti-billionaire Morison household, she leaves for Arrow Island for two months without any hesitation.

Soon she meets with Victoria, Ella, Henry and Mr. Morison and subconsciou
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
super uneventful and downright boring, a disappointment

Rich in Color
It’s only January right now, and I’ve found one of my favorite books of the year. For reference, my favorite last year was a belated reading of Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung. Like Lucy and Linh, Liana Liu’s Shadow Girl is another incredible read with a heroine from a low-income Asian immigrant background and strong narrative thread focusing on family. I read Shadow Girl in one sitting, staying up past 2 in the morning — which was not the greatest idea, considering it’s quite the spooky story.

Wendi Lee
*2.5 stars*

The premise for this YA mystery was promising: Mei lives on an island with a rich family for the summer, tutoring young Ella. She's kind of in stasis - newly graduated from high school, and pretending to be happy with classes at the city college in the fall, living with her mother. The Morisons are a nice distraction - a husband the family rarely sees, an insecure wife, handsome and elusive son, and Ella, who proves to be an enigma herself.

Mei hears some creepy noises, and Ella tells
I'm kind of conflicted about this book because there wasn't necessarily anything bad about it, but it really wasn't what I was expecting.

The book's blurb promises a mystery and a ghost. Both of which you kind of get but... not really. They're kind of in the background to everything else happening in the book, which is Mei dealing with her own issues - such as giving into her boss' demands too easily, trying to appease a young girl who believes in ghosts, her problems with her careless and incon
Nov 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
What was the point of even HAVING the ghost in the story?

Misleading cover.
Misleading title.
Misleading blurb at the back that gives anyone who reads it the idea that it would be an eerie read - that it would be perfect for Halloween.


I was bored out of my wits the entire time I was reading this. Dragging plot. Unimpressive characters. Annoying protagonist.

Oh, and the ghost carried no actual significance in the story. Everything would have turned out exactly the same EVEN WITHOUT HER. She was a po
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked this a lot better than I thought I would. It falls in a weird mix of YA contemporary with ghost story so I think that's why it doesn't get more buzz. I liked the main character and the side characters. It does end a bit abruptly however. It is a fast enjoyable read otherwise. ...more
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a heck of a page-turner – I was totally hooked by the gothic creepiness and the increasingly oppressive atmosphere of the Morisons’ island. I loved how that atmosphere echoed the way Mei felt trapped in her family life, and the way the ghost story paralleled and linked together with Mei’s personal journey. An evocative and memorable read.

Read the full review at Starship Library
Feb 15, 2021 rated it liked it
“Then all at once I'm crushed by sadness. Because I realised none of this is actually me or permanent or real. I don't belong here; I can't belong. It was only the alcohol that made me believe - for a brief moment - that I could.”

What the book is about?
Shadow Girl by Liana Liu is about a teenage girl named Mei. She goes to Arrow island to tutor Morison's family's younger daughter Ella. While Mei is at Arrow Island she realizes a couple of things. One being that She does not fit in here. since th
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jay G
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel:

*I was sent a copy of this by the publisher in exchange for my honest review*

One summer, Mei is hired by a wealthy business man and is required to stay on Arrow Island with the family while she tutors Ella. As the summer progresses, she becomes interested in Ella's older brother, Henry. She also notices that at night, mysterious noises happen and although she doesn't believe in ghosts,
Mar 31, 2018 rated it liked it
I bought this book at the promise of supernatural/horror mystery, but sadly it isn't really that at all in the end. There's genuine creepiness when the story is focused on the supernatural, yet it just fails to capitalize. It could have been a disturbing look into the history of the island and the first family, but it is only grazed upon. Mei's relationship with Ella as her tutor was the one true highlight, and any time it shifted away I just felt it wanting to go back to her working with Ella. ...more
Jill Hughes
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I thought this was going to be a lot more haunted and creepy than it was, but I’m still not disappointed.
Emmy Lou
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
The ending threw me off a little, but I still really enjoyed this book.
Zaynab b
Mar 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
super cute and intriguing
Oct 14, 2021 rated it liked it
2.5/5 - I would have liked it, but there was entirely no point to the "ghost" or "shadow girl" or whatever??????? ...more
Alice Hartman
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have just finished reading the very wonderful book Shadow Girl. and I cannot wait to tell others about what an awesome this book is. I must admit that I have been reading very slowly the past few days as I wanted to hold on to this story for a very long time. This book is a combination of mystery, romance, adventure and one surprise after another. The characters are true to life....with a few exceptions which I will not reveal right now. The author speaks with clarity and with emotions close t ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Spooky ghost books are not my cup of tea, but I loved this. I liked how spoken Chinese was handled - straightforward translation, no tacky fumbling with context clues or exoticized italics. I loved Mei's inner life and her relationship with her mother. So many little details were so real -- from the heavy sense of duty to listening to her mother move around the house and peeling fruit for her.

There were so many moments where I was like oh, that's me. That is too. And that. (The spooky bits were
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
#ownvoices This was all over the place. Plot holes, loose ends... I think she was trying to do too much and it didn't work unfortunately.

2018 AtY "own voices"
Nov 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: decidedly-bad
wow!! that was extremely sucky!!!!
this is not a book. this is a giant massive list . The main character is some negative girl who is the most boring narrator to ever exist. she is so annoying and you dont even see her name ever in the book except the back cover. the only good thing about this book is the cover. it's supposed to be a ghost story, right?? wrong. there is less that 2% of paranormal activity in here. WHat a let down. instead, its this hella downer tutor girl who is super boring, f
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-voices, good-shit
4.5 stars

I loved it, but I thought the ending with Eleanor being freed was anticlimactic. This was a really fast read. I finished it in one sitting. I'm also happy to report all the semicolons were used correctly. Mei is an amazing character and I related to her so much. Even down to being mistaken for Amber. Coincidentally, this week my name was incorrectly written as "Ellen." My name is Alice LMAOOOO. I thought Mei's conflict with the nice, polite girl persona was done so well. It's honestly
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Liana Liu was born and raised in New York City, and lives there still. She received her MFA in fiction writing from the University of Minnesota.

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