Review: Arabelle’s Shadows

February 20, 2013 Review 8 ★★★½

Publisher: Independent

Source: Author Provided
Pages: 268 (Paperback)
Genre: Contemporary
Series: Standalone

Release Date: November 25th 2012
Everything in Arabelle’s life is coming together. She has confidence, great friends, she’s even dating Naak, a wealthy Thai socialite. But there are too many models in Bangkok. Arabelle’s broke, she can’t find an agent in New York, and Naak isn’t as wonderful as he first appears. Slowly the Shadows creep back into Arabelle’s mind, bringing with them thoughts of hopelessness and despair. The vile Shadows know something Arabelle’s refusing to remember and, if she’s not careful, they’ll use it to destroy her. Based on a true story, Arabelle’s Shadows takes us on a journey through the struggles of growing up, not quite making it as an international model, and attempting to overcome a crushing depression.
ARABELLE’S SHADOWS is similar to Ellen Hopkins’ novels: emotionally gripping and heartbreakingly realistic. It’s like therapy, in a book. It is based on a true story, the author’s own experiences. But at the core, ARABELLE’S SHADOWS is about a lost girl who just gets caught up in life because there isn’t anyone to guide her in the right direction.
As a model, Arabelle is already facing pressure on body image, drugs, and romantic trysts-what a real teenager faces except tenfold. People who she thought were her friends end up having ulterior motives, and no one is really there to help set her straight. With all the pressure and no one to lean on, Arabelle succumbs to the Shadows.

The Shadows are familiar, disturbing close. They know everything about you, everything you’ve ever done, and they like to remind you when you’re low, making you fall deeper into them. Everyone has their own Shadows, each one taking a unique form. I think that is what makes this so great, it is relatable. All of us knows the feeling of your own personal Shadow leaning over your shoulder, just ready for you to doubt yourself and your happiness.

Written like a diary, the writing takes some getting used to. After all, it goes against what we have been taught: show, don’t tell. A diary is the epitome of telling. The diary was a strong point in major parts of the novel, but sometimes it was a weakness.I thought this would focus on more modeling, and I am glad to see that was not the case. It’s more of a background, to show you how the atmosphere makes it so easy to develop Shadows. I also had doubts because it was based on a true story, but I was wrong. The reality is what makes the novel even stronger.

With a few faults, ARABELLE’S SHADOWS is a great read for those fighting their own Shadows, and fans of heavy contemporary/realistic fiction.

Rating Report
Overall: 3.5

8 Responses to “Review: Arabelle’s Shadows”

  1. Bellas Bookshelf

    This sounds like a good book. One I would like. I got into a series awhile ago about a girl named Violet who got into modeling. It was more light than this novel, but it was good.
    I haven’t heard of this one. Thanks for sharing this one with us :)

  2. Adriana (BooksOnHerMind)

    I’ve never heard of this book before but I love the shadows in it. It’s so symbolic of how a girl whether or not she is a model feels whenever we are feeling down. I’m glad that it’s more about that and not modeling. Modeling is a little interesting but I prefer the dark and disturbing side of where our emotions can take us. I don’t know about it’s comparison to Ellen Hopkin’s books because I’ve read one once and although I liked it, it made me angry. The injustice of it all argh! I hate feeling that way. It does sound pretty awesome anyways (:

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