Shadows by Paula Weston

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Shadows by Paula Weston

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Category: Teens
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Loralei Haylock
Reviewed by Loralei Haylock
Summary: A book that promises thrilling plots, chemistry between the sassy lead characters and action and delivers. Fantastic story, fascinating relationship between the main characters - a book to keep you up into the small hours of the morning. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: January 2013
Publisher: Indigo
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1780621586

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It's been a year since Gaby's twin brother, Jude, died in a horrific car accident. The sun, sea and sand of Pan Beach have done a lot to heal her body, but her mind is still raw with grief. Grief that manifests itself as terrifying nightmares of hunting and killing demons with a mysterious boy. So when Gaby meets Rafa, the boy of her dreams, literally, it raises a lot of questions about who she thought she and her brother were. Because Rafa claims to be Jude's best friend, and has the pictures on his phone to prove it. So why can't Gaby remember who he is?

And when more of Rafa's friends and enemies make appearances, each claiming their own history with Gaby and her brother, Gaby starts to realise that the truth may be more fantastical that she would have thought possible to believe.

Every time I pick a paranormal book for teens these days, it's with a healthy dose of low expectations. Particularly when it comes to angels. I've been almost universally disappointed by books featuring angels that I've read so far.

Shadows breaks that pattern.

I always think it's a mark of a good book when you don't want to put it down so much that you say to yourself, 'just one more chapter,' but end up reading for another two hours, neglecting housework, family, the need for food and sleep. Weston's debut novel was like that. Everything promised in a letter from the commissioning editor - thrilling plots, chemistry between the sassy lead characters, action etc - was thoroughly delivered.

Gaby as a heroine is tough and spirited, though flawed, even damaged by the loss of her brother. Rafa and his mysterious past with her makes for some interesting dynamics - he often points out that Gaby is like two people, the person he thought she was and the person she thinks she is, which is something of a barrier to their blossoming desire for one another. Much more interesting than the usual 'I'm not pretty enough for the hot boy' barrier that's so prevalent in teen fiction.

The plot rockets along, the reader discovering things as Gaby does. There's a real, and believable, sense of 'who's the bad guy?' as the two sides with claims on Gaby each have their flaws and merits. Our hearts may be with Rafa and his cocky charm, but our heads are given enough cause to wonder, question. Doubt. I love that.

All in all, this was a superb read. Thoroughly enjoyable, and highly recommended.

My thanks to the publishers for sending a copy. We also have a review of Haze and Shimmer, both by Paula Weston.

There's a plethora of angel books out there, for fans of the winged creatures. Fallen by Lauren Kate also comes highly recommended by Bookbag.

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