Shadows You Left + Song Choice for the Book

Posted August 19, 2019 by shooting in Book Review / 22 Comments

Shadows You Left by Jude Sierra and Taylor Brooke

Review by Lauren

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add to Goodreads):


The white picket fence.
The happily-ever-after.
That life was never meant for him.
For years he’s been bouncing from city to city—from one cage fight to another.
That’s his outlet. That’s pain Erik can control.
But in Seattle, everything changed.
River’s an artist.
He’s a pretty boy.
He does yoga.
Someone so soft shouldn’t be intrigued by Erik’s rough edges.


His life was quiet. He had a simple routine.
Designing tattoos, avoiding drama. Well, mostly.
Then Erik comes along—scarred and dangerous, shrouded in mystery.
A mystery River can’t resist trying to solve.
Maybe a secret as dark as his own.
Neither of them expected a relationship so complicated, so intense.
Neither of them expected…each other.
Erik and River are both trying to escape a shadowed past.
But the thing about shadows is: the faster you run, the faster they chase you.

Review: Shadows You Left is a bit difficult to review. I did like the book, but I wouldn’t necessarily say I wanted Erik and River to be together – not all the time at least. River has a lot of “issues” for lack of a better word; things he needs to work out and find healthier ways to cope with. He’s slowly getting there, but Erik can’t be the one that fixes him. I wouldn’t say this is a “love makes it all better” story, because it’s not, but it’s not always the healthiest of relationships either.

I will fight
I will fight for you
I always do until my heart
Is black and blue
And I will stay
I will stay with you
We’ll make it to the other side
Like lovers do

“Don’t Give Up On Me” – Andy Grammer 

I definitely felt for Erik and River, and I wanted them to both heal enough to be with each other. Shadows You Left is a romance, but that’s not all it is. It’s not a romance where you idealize the relationship – but you still hope for a happily-ever-after.

Music Choice

I heard the song “Don’t Give Up On Me” by Andy Grammer while reading this book and the lyrics really reminded me of Erik, River, and their relationship. I included a video – with the lyrics – below. 

22 responses to “Shadows You Left + Song Choice for the Book

  1. Finding songs that match a book’s feel is one of my favorite cross-art things to do. I feel like it really gives insight into the book, when you find the right song, in a way that a written review really can never do!

  2. I felt that way about “Therapy” by Kathryn Perez. That lead female character was just TOO MUCH and needed in patient help long term and I saw so many reviewers saying “what a love story” and I’m over here like WHAT?! I think that was first in a series and yeah, I can’t read the rest and you know I like a good series.

  3. I love your objective review. I love a good opposites attract romance but you’re so right about love not fixing everything. That can make for a very unhealthy relationship and romance. I love the review + song idea!

    Audrey recently posted: When the Stress Adds Up
  4. Jen

    That is tough about the fixing issue. No one can be responsible for fixing another person. It sets up unrealistic expectations in a relationship I think.

    I do like that song though 🙂

  5. I get what you are saying, I am not always a fan of the romance making it all better, even if that wasn’t the entire case with this romance, it sounds like it was a big factor. I appreciate your honesty.

  6. What a fun post! Music can evoke such strong emotions, and the lyrics in this song sound powerful. I love how you paired it with a story. It sounds like you enjoyed the story, even though perhaps the couple didn’t have the healthiest relationship.

  7. Your review makes me think about how I feel about the After series. I loved it, and I wanted Hardin and Tessa together. But it was not a healthy relationship at all. In the end, far down their roads, they finally are able to be together and have it be healthy, but both of them know that they can’t rely on the other to save them. Great review!

    Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) recently posted: Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) - Down the TBR Hole #35
  8. This review makes it sound so interesting! Liking the book, but not necessarily the relationship. I think any feelings one way or the other on a relationship means he book was at least well written!

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