Friday, October 8, 2010

Review: Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

Book: Shadow Hills (Anastasia Hopcus)
Stand-Alone or Series: Series
Pages: 388
Genre: Young Adult
Description (From Goodreads):
His love captivated her... his secrets might kill her.

Since her sister’s mysterious death, Persephone “Phe” Archer has been plagued by a series of disturbing dreams. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Phe enrolls at Devenish Prep in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts—the subject of her sister’s final diary entry.

After stepping on campus, Phe immediately realizes that there’s something different about this place—an unexplained epidemic that decimated the town in the 1700s, an ancient and creepy cemetery, and gorgeous boy Zach—and somehow she’s connected to it all.

But the more questions she asks and the deeper she digs, the more entangled Phe becomes in the haunting past of Shadow Hills. Finding what links her to this town…might cost her her life.
Shadow Hills was an entirely enjoyable and exciting read. Hopcus developed a truly unique story that had me guessing until the end. This delightful book is a paranormal romance with no vampires, werewolves or shifters - "What!?" you ask, - it's shocking, I know. I guess you will just have to read it and find what exactly is going down in the crazy town of Shadow Hills.

It is so refreshing to read a YA Book that brings something new to the table. While some of the minor plot details were predictable at times, the overall story kept me on the edge of my seat. Because Hopcus created a cast of characters that possess new paranormal, shall we say traits; it is hard to make assumptions about the plot. It's a suspense story that is actually suspenseful - what a concept!
The characters, at least the main ones, are all beautifully written. Phe, our protagonist has an independent streak and often acts hastily. She puts herself in a number of compromising and frightening situations to try and obtain some answers to her questions about the mysterious town. When she first arrives, she forms a connection with a local boy, Zach. However, Zach's sister, Corrine is immediately apposed to their budding relationship, although her reasons are not clear to Phe. This is one of the reasons why Phe begins to dig deeper into the towns secrets. 

There is quite a few secondary characters in this story - including Phe's core group of friends at school and a handful of villains. I enjoyed all the secondary characters, but they aren't exactly unique. In fact, they are rather stereotypical for the boarding school book. You have a computer geek, a princess, a heartthrob and a stoner. However - I still took a liking to them. My favorites of the group were Adriana (the princess) and Brody (the stoner). Adriana is Phe's best friend at school and she is rather self centered. However she is tons of fun and provides a lot of entertainment. Brody is Zach's best friend and a townie. He lives on campus however, with his Guardian, Mr. Carr; a teacher at the school.

Like I said before, the story was wonderfully suspenseful. The pacing was perfect; nothing felt rushed, yet things still kept moving along. The plot was different enough that it kept me on my toes and actually provided a some surprises. I am looking forward to the next book, but I can't seem to find any word on when it is coming out. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it is soon!


quirky fate press said...

Great review! I have been debating whether or not to buy this book since it came out now I will def be getting it.

Julie said...

I agree with you! It was so refreshing to read something without the standard paranormal beings. I really enjoyed Shadow Hills too. I'm looking forward to the second one as well.

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