The YEAR OF SHADOWS
Middle Grade Fantasy
Hardcover, 416 Pages
This book was a first for me- it was my first ARC, which stands for Advanced Reading Copy. This means that I got to read Claire’s book before its release to the public! Exciting!!
Let me tell you, I was a little unsure how this book would hit me- I mean, Claire’s first book, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, instantly became one of my favorites and I was curious how this one would stack up against it.
I already knew that Claire had a knack for the weird and creepy- her book and her short stories that she writes for the Cabinet of Curiosities are evidence of that. But this one showcases another of her skills- the ability to tug at heart-strings. Actually, let me be honest, this one didn’t tug at them, it YANKED them and made me cry…more than once. Now, I don’t usually like crying, but I have to admit, she made me realize that some stories are worth crying for. It's not sad though- it has it all, humor, suspense, the works!
Olivia Stellatella is one unhappy little gothling. Her mom left, her dad, the Maestro, puts her and her grandmother on the back burner while he spends every shred of money and energy he has on saving a failing orchestra. If it weren’t for her drawings or the cat that adopts her, she’d have nothing. Until something unusual happens- the ghosts appear.
The music hall, where they live backstage, is haunted. When they show themselves in a strange and terrifying display, Olivia’s life becomes interesting and she has something other than anger to focus on. But when she and a boy named Henry agree to help the ghosts “move on”, things get complicated. After all, when your friends are dead, life is anything but ordinary.
I won't spoil it for you, but rest assured, through a process of accepting her fate, learning to say goodbye, and struggling to forgive, Olivia’s life becomes something worth living.
Genuine. Endearing. Beautiful. Those are the words I would use to describe this story.
Available for sale in hardback and as an eBook on August 27, 2013 from Simon and Schuster.
TAGS: Claire Legrand, Ghosts, Haunted Places, Orchestra, Father/Daughter Relationships, Family
While you are waiting for this book from Claire LeGrand, read her debut novel, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls! I need to give it a separate review, and I will. Until then, take my word for it- it's AWESOME!!