The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand

The Year of Shadows

Olivia wants a new life—and it might take ghosts to get it. A heartfelt, gently Gothic novel from Claire Legrand.Olivia Stellatella is having a rough year.Her mother’s left, her neglectful father—the maestro of a failing orchestra—has moved her and her grandmother into the city’s dark, broken-down concert hall to save money, and her only friend is Igor, an ornery stray cat.Just when she thinks life couldn’t get any weirder, she meets ...

Details The Year of Shadows

TitleThe Year of Shadows
Release DateAug 27th, 2013
PublisherSimon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Paranormal, Ghosts, Horror, Fiction

Reviews The Year of Shadows

  • Lola
    What would the world of Death look like?1) a long, winding, icy river full of drifting souls2) stars forever and ever, in all directions3) heaven (clouds, angels, golden gates)4) hell (fire, brimstone, demons)5) nothing Admittedly, middle grade is not my to-go genre. But, when in the mood, I can myself having such a great time with those reads. I remember when I was reading The Storybook of Legends and The School for Good and Evil (which are both...
  • Claire Legrand
    All right, so I'm rating my own book again, and as I do so, Olivia is standing behind me, looking over my shoulder, peeking out over her sketchpad."You're really gonna do that?" she asks. "Rate your own book?"(At this point, Victoria, elsewhere in my brain, puffs up indignantly, but I shut her up before she can start ranting.)"Well, I'm proud of this book," I explain to Olivia. "I think it's okay to say so."Olivia shifts back and forth. She's ver...
  • Steph Sinclair
    Middle Grade fiction and I don't usually get along, which is funny considering their covers are the cutest things EVER. I am one of those people easily swayed by pretty covers and I just can't help clicking that "To Read" button on Goodreads. What can I say? I have ZERO self-control. You should also know that I do not do Horror. Like, at all because I am a total scaredy cat who's afraid of her own shadow. I sleep with a teddy bear and everything....
  • Melanie
    See more reviews at YA Midnight ReadsThis is another book that I read on my hiatus way back in July, but once again, a novel that really stuck to the back of my mind. The Year of Shadows is a MG novel, and a particularly beautiful one. It explored some pretty dark themes--literally and non-literally, and had the best characters.I honestly loved all the characters in the end. The book starts with Oliva, and she's had a really tough year--her mot...
  • Miriam
    See the cover? OK, it is dark in color, but aside from that the illustration style seems pretty cute and juvenile. This led me to expect a light and fluffier novel than this actually is. That's not a complaint -- I would probably have read it sooner had I not feared it would be too twee for me, as many recent middle grade books have been. In fact this story is pretty serious and rather dark. Legrand accurately portrays the anger and confusion of ...
  • Giselle
    A delightful, yet dark MG novel; The Year of Shadows is dusted with ghosts, entertaining personalities, and an unexpected amount of grave topics which are handled with complete expertise, all through the delicate eyes of a child who is harboring a mountain of pain. This book is about a young girl, Olivia, who has had to move into this battered concert hall where her father works due to the stupid Economy. Fostering anger towards both her father f...
  • Ivory_E1
    In my opinion on this Book, The Years of Shadows is a slow action book about this girl Olivia and how her life has changed when he mom has "left" her and all the things that happen to her as she tries to continue a normal life. I think this is a really slow action book because the rising action of the story starts out really slow and it kinda bores me, so I just skipped to the middle towards the end of the book to read the climax and the falling ...
  • Travis
    This was spooky, wonderful, and thought provoking all in one. Claire Legrand is so spectacular when it come to writing eerie yet whimsical stories that have deep meanings at the very core. At the very beginning of this book she tells the readers she wrote this book on a very personal note and that is no lie. You can feel the raw emotion Legrand put into these words and this story. The story and the characters were so much fun. A story about makin...
  • K.
    Middle grade books always get to me. Why? Because childhood and innocence are sacred to me and when injustices are done to either of these two precious things, it's difficult to accept.Claire Legrand's The Year of Shadows is not a walk in the park. It is not an action adventure that you can read on and off for a few giggles. This is a story of loss. Many losses. Olivia and her Nonnie and her maestro father have moved into the music hall because m...
  • Kat (Lost in Neverland)
    Update 7-30-13: Thank you, First Reads GR Giveaways and Simon and Schuster for my ARC of the book! Olivia hates the music hall.It's cold, dark, crumbling, and brings up memories that she'd rather forget. And now she's living there.After Olivia's mother left, her father (whom she refers to as simply 'the Maestro') makes an impulsive decision and sells their house, in the hopes they can save his dying orchestra. Olivia is forced to live in a dank, ...
  • Carina Olsen
    I have finally, finally read this book for a second time. It's been more than four years since I first read it. And so I had forgotten just how much I loved this book. And oh, my love for it is strong. I adore Claire like crazy, and her books are always the best. I simply loved this book the most this second time reading it. I'm so glad that I finally took the time to read it again. I adore Olivia and Henry and the ghosts the very most. Eee. But ...
  • Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
    3.5 stars, rounded up for Igor being the awesomestFirst up, the disclaimer: yes, I know Claire Legrand and she's awesome, but that did not influence my opinion of the book in any way. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Though I've had Claire's debut novel, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls for over a year now, I've not managed to work it into my schedule, so I'm glad I've finally gotten to try her writing. Also, I'm pleased to say that I like her writing. ...
  • Linda
    Olivia Stellatella is having a rough year. That's an understatement if there ever was one. The Year of Shadows is the story of Olivia and her father, the maestro of a failing orchestra and the year after her mother leaves the family. Oh--and the ghosts! When The Maestro sells the family home and moves his elderly mother and Olivia into the backstage area of the music hall it turns out the place is haunted by ghosts. They're tied to the old crumbl...
  • Zaynab
    lol i cant believe i read this when i was 12 and still remember it
  • Vanessa Wojciechowski
    Oh my gosh. This book is phenomenal. It was an amazing emotional roller coaster and a heartfelt story. There were twists and breathtaking moments left and right that left me speechless. Now I get to convince everyone to read it!
  • usagi ☆ミ
    This is a book that older MG/young YA desperately needs right now - a book that helps explain what Legrand calls "The Economy", and how it's affecting kids. "The Year of Shadows" is a book that is not only just a ghost story, but is also a very real story about kids in that late tween/early teen age range that is learning to deal in a new world that's let them down, a new reality that has reset everything they've learned thus far about their live...
  • Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
    3.5I'm not very familiar with Marilyn Monroe; I haven't seen many movie of hers nor listened to her songs. Yet, I love the way she talks. And so I'd like you to hallucinate this review in her voice and accent.The Year of Shadows has a lot to give to those who ask for it.Unfortunately, I'm not one of those. The book works on a banal concept, but the execution is diverse and that's where the strength lies.Olivia Stellatella's is the kid who's havin...
  • Melanie Perez
    Olivia moved in a music hall and is trying to help her ghost friends save the music hall. Will she be able to help and save the music hall? I hope you read this book and like it.
  • Ivonne Rovira
    In The Year of Shadows, Claire Legrand has produced a worthy follow-up to her excellent The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls. The book traces embittered loner Olivia Stellatella’s seventh grade school year, a year in which she discovers ghosts and the meaning of family.As the book opens in September, Olivia, her orchestra conductor father and Italian-immigrant grandmother have been reduced to living at the back of Maestro Otto Stellatella’s ...
  • taylor
    DNF @ 25%. just wasn't interested, which is sad because i fucking love the authors' other books.
  • Jasmine
    Well, when I read this book, I never knew how much "feels" I would have. Lets just say, there was A LOT of feels. Full review to come...
  • Betsy
    One Sentence Review: A fun little romp with enough ghosts to keep you satisfied for a week, though ultimately the heroine's just a smidge too unlikable and the plotting just a tad too long for it to be much in the way of memorable.
  • Shae McDaniel
    Originally reviewed at I'm sorry, I need a moment. I'm still working through all my crazy, flaily feelings over this book. If any of you have read The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls and were worried that Ms. Legrand might not be able to live up to her smash debut, worry no more! Though Shadows isn't on the same level of freaky horror as Cavendish it excels in the same gothic, touching, heartfelt ...
  • Sand-Witch
    Amazing. This book is like seriously one of the best ghost stories I’ve ever read. The ghosts were so real and friendly and it was so sad to see them go. The story wrapped up nicely inn the end and but it was actually still so sad.
  • Serine Majid
    Really well written and so MOOOOOOOOOOOOVING!!!! For a sec... hold on I'm not gonna say anything cause you might never want to trust my mouth (or finger ;P)!
  • Charlotte
    Originally posted at Gypsy ReviewsI received an eARC from the publisher, thanks!The Year of Shadows was such a satisfying and enjoyable read, it was endearing and had some very strong messages about family, letting go, forgiveness and friendship. It is an exemplary example why I love Middle Grade books and will always continue reading them, no matter that I’m way beyond the years for reading middle grade.Olivia lives in the concert hall now bec...
  • Franny
    Full review with teacher-y stuff added!Twelve-year-old Olivia Stellatella (love that protagonist name, by the way!) is a troubled, angry main character, and readers can quickly see why. At the beginning of The Year of Shadows, Olivia is moving into a storage room in a dilapidated old concert hall with her grandmother and father. The reason for Olivia’s near homelessness is her father, whom she will only refer to as “the Maestro”. He is the ...
  • Erin
    This book was a lot deeper than I was expecting it to be. And I was practically sobbing by the end. After having read this author's first book, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, I thought this would be more of the same, a little bit of spooky but with some wit to kind of lighten the mood at times. There was very little mood lightening here, but don't let that turn you away from this book. I feel like the word "beautiful" would kind of descri...
  • Kristen
    One of my most anticipated summer reads, The Year of Shadows sounded like the perfect mix with an orchestra hall filled with ghosts and a troubled, yet brave girl who would help them. Olivia is not the happiest little girl and finds that her life is about to become more miserable. Her father is an orchestra director and loves the orchestra more than her mother, who left and her, who is now forced to live at the hall with her grandmother and fathe...
  • Christina
    This book is about a girl named Olivia. Her mother, whom she loved beyond anyone else, abandoned Olivia almost a year ago. Her father is an obsessed maestro - his music and orchestra is his life. This is the main reason Olivia's mother left them, and Olivia has hated her father for it. The breaking point comes when Olivia's father sells all of their things (including their house) for his orchestra, leaving them practically homeless. Now, Olivia, ...