Book Review: Shadowshaper by Daniel José Olde

Friday, December 25, 2015

Genre: YA | Fantasy
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
My rating: 
Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra's near-comatose abuelo begins to say "No importa" over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep.... Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on. Sierra soon discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order's secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one. With the help of her friends and the hot graffiti artist Robbie, Sierra must dodge Wick's supernatural creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family's past, present, and future.

What do you mean I haven't updated this blog in a month? Well, you see, I was in the biggest reading slump ever. I just couldn't read any book I had, and the books I wanted to read I would only be getting on Christmas. So I ended up just reading Pynch fanfiction. Then I joined the novelist club on tumblr, and we picked up this book for this month. It still took me over a week to read it, but on the bright side, it's Christmas eve, that means I'm getting new books!

Actual Rating: 1,5

I'm still not sure about my rating, because to be completely honest, there was really nothing I enjoyed about this book. (Except maybe the diverse characters. Plus points for that!)

Sure, it was pretty original and the idea of artists who bind souls to their art is quiet interesting, but it was poorly executed.
While the premise is original, the story line was quite cliché.

You know the story of the girl who is confronted with an unusual happening and the solution is the cute new guy? This is one of those stories.
Our MC sees some unusual stuff about the art in her city and her grandfather starts telling her some weird things. To find out what is going on she has to confront the new quiet guy, who she finds strangely endearing. Of course he is attractive and has a lot of stuff in common with the MC, and he's the only one who is able to help or, or in our case explains the supernatural world to her.
Naturally, it takes him some time to open up so he can stay mysterious. It goes on with the MC trying to understand this world on her own, with some hints from the cute guy and some of her family members.

In the end, I think the plot was way too complicated and the whole situation could have been solved easily if people would actually start talking. But since everyone stayed vague with their explanations the story was dragged out and it bored me to hell.

Some of the dialogues, especially between the MC and the cute guy, were super awkward and cringy. I guess they were supposed to be cute but I couldn't stop rolling my eyes.

The writing isn't really spectacular and the plot-twist just didn't do it for me. Therefore, 1,5 stars.

Happy Christmas Eve to everyone! Maggi is stuck with her family, but at least she's getting new books. And since she's on a break now, she can read as many books as she wants.
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