The Shadow of Loss - Josefina Gutierrez

I received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.

Have you ever looked at a book and just knew you were going to love it, like you had a sixth sense kind of feeling about it? After you've read the synopsis and then once you've read the book, it was everything you dreamed of and more? The Shadow of Loss was like that for me.

I can't resist books like this one where the main character has been to hell and back and must start life afresh, working through her pain and loss. Not only does The Shadow of Loss have an interesting plot, but it's also a multicultural story - Evelyn's mother is German and her father is Mexican. She has an older sister who shares the same parents. She talks about the way she's treated differently because her skin is darker than her sister's and how her sister was always seen as "the pretty one." She shares traditions her father passed down to her and her sister.

In The Shadow of Loss, Evelyn feels like she's starting over again in a new town, a new school with new people after she's recently been institutionalized. She wonders how she's going to be able to adjust to life outside of those institutional walls. Evelyn is released to her older sister and moves in with her.

After what's happened to her, she's understandably afraid to let anyone get close to her. I don't want to say much about what exactly she's been through since there isn't much about it in the synopsis - I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone. Suffice it to say, she's been to hell and back, but she's extremely tough, tougher than she gives herself credit for, and has the support to get through this time in her life.

The Shadow of Loss is clever, the dialogue is realistic, and this novel will make you think about the characters and story long after the last page. It's the very best kind of YA coming-of-age story.