Thursday, May 1, 2014

IN THE SHADOWS by Kiersten White & Jim Di Bartolo


Author: Kiersten White
Illustrator: Jim Di Bartolo
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Number of Pages: 384
Source of Book: ARC from Wolfson Literary agent - Thank you, Michelle!

        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 local boarding house. Their father is gone. The woman up the hill may or may not be a witch. 
        Thomas and Charles are brothers who’ve been exiled to the boarding house so Thomas can tame his ways and Charles can fight an illness that is killing him with increasing speed. Their family history is one of sorrow and guilt. They think they can escape from it . . . but they can’t.

This book is so imaginative and's unlike anything I've read before in the way it's created and plays with timeline and intertwines story with image, and for that reason alone, it's a must-read in my opinion. 

Stunning, enthralling, engaging, a little frustratingly confusing, but so smart in how it all comes together in the end. One of the most unique books I've read with alternating text and illustration sections. It's like a logic puzzle you keep trying to figure out how the two stories interconnect and have a bunch of theories only to find out you were quasi right but really not all along. This one is twisty, but after I finished, I wanted to reread it all over again.

And, really, you can't talk about this book without talking about the absolutely stunningly beautiful illustrations - really, I consider them to be true art on their own. The way they tie into the story, and the detail and beauty they show, far surpasses what I have read in the past. It's one you need to see to fully grasp the impact of, but for now, I'll share my first impression collage.

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