Book Review - Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

Monday August 23, 2010

Shadow Hills 
by Anastasia Hopcus
July 2010
Goodreads Summary: 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.

Review: Okay, okay, I know....boy and girl so not right for each other, creepy boarding school, the geeky friend, the funny friend, the stuck up rich friend, whatever...all played out right? You'd think so, but not always! I've seriously considered the whole boarding school setting and I'm not means  less parental involvement and of course the whole old, creepy school factor and well, that totally works. I mean admit it,  for a paranormal  romance, mystery whatever...could you ask for a better setting? My rambling point is, don't always discount a  book because it sounds similar to something you've read before (I don't really have to list all the paranormal books where the story is set at a boarding school do I?) point is that even with a similar setting, Shadow Hills has its own very unique story line.  Phe (pronounced "fee") has come to Devinish prep with a find out what Shadow HIlls has to do with her now dead sister, Athena. When she finally arrives at her destination she is not dissappointed. From creepy old graveyards, to creepy old ladies who she has never seen before, but seem to know her, Shadow Hills is a place with a LOT of secrets. 

As far as romance goes, when Phe meets Zach they literally have an electric reaction to one another...and as much as she tries to focus on her goal, Zach is never far from her thoughts (or her dreams for that matter) despite his "cranky" sister Corrinne who does whatever she can to keep them apart.

There is a lot to like about this. There is a definite creepiness factor. Seriously, there is a part in the book where Phe is in a dark hallway and someone is there, and something happens and while I was reading it I got freaked out just imagining it....yes, I was alone, and it was dark...but still!

This book will be a big hit among the middle grade and up crowd. I can already see that I will have some holds on this book in my library. The perfect boy, plenty of mystery and a town with a creepy past (not to mention its "mutant" population!) I was guessing right up to the very end with this one....and I think I see a sequel in the future?

If you know a teen who loves a good paranormal romance/mystery this book would be a great choice! Just FYI there is no sex or anything but there are a few cuss words and a few instances of teenage drinking.


Anastasia Hopcus said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed Shadow Hills! I liked what you said about the boarding school aspect and not discounting it. (P.S. If you want bookmarks or a poster for your library, just contact me.)