yintheshadowsY in the Shadows is the second book in the XYZ Trilogy by Karen Rivers.

The story followed Yale, a socially awkward girl with distant, child-like parents, and no real friends. After an embarrassing incident at a gymnastics meet, she finds out she can will herself to disappear — not exactly invisible, but more like translucent. As before, we follow the three main characters: Yale, Tony, and Michael (girl). Michael is the prettiest girl in school, but she wishes she were more than just one of The Girls. Tony is one messed up kid, and feels that he is only popular by association with his friend Israel. Of course we’ve got a love triangle happening too, Michael likes Tony (partly because she feels she “should”), Yale likes Tony, and Tony comes to realize he actually likes Yale, despite her social status.

I enjoyed this one more than X in Flight [review here] because it felt like it had more of a purpose. The writing was much better, especially in terms of changing POVs. The story felt like it had a beginning, middle-ish, and end. There wasn’t as much swearing as the last one, which was nice because before it made me feel uncomfortable and it didn’t feel true to the characters. Yes, teens swear… but not all teens swear excessively.

This book felt more like it hit the age-range it was intended for. Although there is talk of kissing, menstration, sex, and dealings with rape, I feel that this is an appropriate book for 14+ readers. The only thing that bothered me was (SPOILER ALERT!!!) that with the rape scene, while it wasn’t explicit, the aftermath was not handled. At all, I mean. The character decided not to press charges NOR tell her parents, which I thought wasn’t the correct action to advocate.

Full disclosure: I received this book from Raincoast Books here in Canada. Raincoast is the Canadian distributor for a boatload of publishers and used to operate their own Editorial division.