Standalone. Farrar Straus Giroux (October 2012) Library
Darcy Jones doesn’t remember anything before the day she was abandoned as a child outside a Chicago firehouse. She has never really belonged anywhere—but she couldn’t have guessed that she comes from an alternate world where the Great Chicago Fire didn’t happen and deadly creatures called Shades terrorize the human population.
Memories begin to haunt Darcy when a new boy arrives at her high school, and he makes her feel both desire and desired in a way she hadn’t thought possible. But Conn’s interest in her is confusing. It doesn’t line up with the way he first looked at her.
As if she were his enemy.
When Conn betrays Darcy, she realizes that she can’t rely on anything—not herself, not the laws of nature, and certainly not him. Darcy decides to infiltrate the Shadow Society and uncover the Shades’ latest terrorist plot. What she finds out will change her world forever . . .
The Shadow Society... I don't know where to start with this book. It's completely different than anything I've ever read. I've never had the pleasure of reading anything with dimensions and Shades. I won't tell you what Shades are because it would ruin all the mystery. I could not wrap my head around what was going on with Darcy and why Conn was interested and yet angry that she was walking around with her friends one day at school.
"Silly. I made myself drop the stylus to the table. You're acting crazy, I told myself. Loony, loopy, mad as a hatter. So a boy had stared at me. It didn't happen often, but it wasn't earth-shattering either. It was stupid to feel vulnerable. And if I had met him before and forgotten, no big deal. Still, how can you trust your memory when it has so many holes? How can you interpret the behavior of others when you're a mystery to yourself?"
Darcy is very intrigued by Conn's presence. She can't understand him and the way he sort of fakes his way into being a certain type of teenager - one who doesn't really care about anything. She also notes the way he moves as being very deliberate as well as his fascination towards her.
Darcy has lived in many different foster homes throughout her life after she was left off at the Chicago firehouse with no memory of her past - not even her name. No one really has liked her since she's moved with her new foster parent whose a little bit kooky but let's her stay in her home. She's also never had friends like the ones she had. Lily, Raphael, and Jims are all very protective over Darcy which at times had my thoughts varying from sweet to suspicious (courtesy of my buddy reading this with me). Now Conn comes in and upsets the balance. It's when they become involved in a school project about a poem by J. Alfred (I seriously need to read it) that she starts getting to know Conn more.
"Have you ever read Sherlock Holmes?" I asked Conn.
"Yes... although I'm having some difficulty figuring out what he has to do with the topic at hand."
"He once said that, when solving a mystery, you have to consider all the possibilities and eliminate them one by one. Whatever's left, no matter how strange it seems, must be your answer. What makes more sense? That all eighteen adults vetted and trained by the DCFS to be foster parents were awful people, or that there is something wrong with me? Something deep inside. Something they didn't notice right away, but eventually couldn't live with."
I really liked Darcy. She feels real and unreal if that makes sense. I like her boldness and cared deeply about her well being as I came to know her through her voice in the story. I loved her passion with art and reading about what she drew and the way she drew. I always like when I get to read about a character with a passion because the author always showcases it so well. I loved the quietness of her and the writing. It suited her well.
I thought of J. Alfred walking on the beach with the bottoms of his trousers rolled, and how these lines of the poem weren't the last, but might as well have been:
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
"He's lonely," I said. "And he's given up."
Darcy becomes involved in a love triangle which doesn't sound as bad as you would think although, I would have liked a little more emotions between the love interests. Although, everything about Darcy and the writing felt quiet and contemplative which made the way the romance grew make sense.
Darcy's choices in love and life were commendable even though she was afraid. Her life completely changes when she goes to another dimension which has Shades who are rivals of humans. That whole different dimension was so fascinating. It mirrored our world a lot with the struggles we deal with as a society. I was immersed into this world so fully. I loved the mystery and science fiction elements of this book. Darcy was a splendid character and I enjoyed the new concept of Shades. There were a couple of things that I would have liked done differently or known. I felt like the ending wrapped up a tiny bit fast and there is one aspect of the Shades, their strength, that was never explained. There is also something I hope she tells a certain someone in the future because it would be truly worth reading their reaction. Other than that I really enjoyed The Shadow Society and look forward to reading more by this author.