Harley lives in the small town of Shadow Pines, where the town lives up to its name; Harley sees detached shadows roaming around the town from time to time. After Harley’s mom disappears and her dad brings home Amy, her new step-mother, Harley begins slipping. Harley is getting in trouble at school and can’t seem to shake her abusive boyfriend, Nash. On her 16th birthday, Harley receives an invitation from the new Curiosity shop in town offering her a free gift. Three other students that Harley goes to school with receive the same invitation, Teaghan, a loner, Gianna, an active, smart student and Brock, Mr. Perfect. Everyone receives a strange Shadow Box, they are told that they must trade someone to the Shadows, rendering them non-existent, or a loved one will be taken in their place. The teens must decide what to do with their new power, will they use it responsibly or will it go to their heads?
This YA urban fantasy had a really interesting concept. What teen wouldn’t want the power to get rid of their worst enemy? The story is told through two of the teen’s point of views, Harley and Teaghan. Each of these girls has their issues, Harley has a step-mom who clearly doesn’t understand teenagers and has plenty of issues with her boyfriend, Teaghan has extreme social anxieties, stutters when she speaks to anyone and has no friends until she and Harley are brought together. I could identify with some of the issues that each of the teens was going through and it was engaging to see how each of them dealt with the decision they had to make with the Shadow Box. I was intrigued by the Shadows themselves and the concept of them needing to be kept fed to keep more and more disappearances from happening. I do wish a little more was explained about some of the other weird things in the town, such as the forced medication, drivers permits only given to those deemed worthy and the fact that no one seems to move out of town. Also, the prologue and epilogue seemed a little disjointed from the bulk of the story and I wonder if it will be explained in the next book.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.