Book Review of Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

Title: Shadow Hills

Author: Anastasia Hopcus

Release Date: July 13th, 2010

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.

Summary from Goodreads.com

My Review: This is a book I have been really excited about, I saw it at BEA and was pining after it but could not manage to get a copy.  But when I got to ALA and saw it again I was lucky enough to get a copy and I think I even did a little happy dance when I did.  This is another book that I started and finished in one day, even though it is almost 400 pages, but I am on vacation so reading is taking priority right now 🙂

One of the things I like about this book is that the “paranormal” element is not what you think it is.  There are no vamps or werewolves running around which is a little refreshing.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the vamps and werewolves, but sometimes it is nice to read books that don’t have anything to do with either of those species.  This is that book.  I was intrigued with the strange town of Shadow Hills and it’s residence, but there is also something going on with Phe that you are not quite sure of.  This added another layer of mystery that I was eager to get to the bottom of.

Phe has strange dreams that have a tendency to become part of her reality, and that is not always a good thing.  The dreams always seem to happen at the same time during the night, which is odd to her, but she is diligently keeping track of the dreams in her sisters old journal to try and decipher them.  There are so many mysteries shrouding her life and they all begin with the death of her sister.  Now her sisters journal and Shadow Hills seem to be the only clues she has to discovering the truth behind her dreams.

And what good paranormal doesn’t have a little romance?  Enter Zach, a Shadow Hills local, who seems to pop up wherever Phe is.  There is something not quite right about him and Phe is determined to figure out what it is.  In the mean time, there is quite a bit of chemistry going on between the two of them.  They quickly stop avoiding each other and start to explore the spark between them.   I think my favorite line from Phe to Zach was “So don’t.”  You will know what I am talking about when you get to that point of the book and I think you will agree with me.  Either way their attraction is undeniable and it is deliciously fun to watch unfold.

Another element I really enjoyed about this book was all the musical references.  I really like when authors are describing their characters and go into their musical preferences.  Being a lover of music, I always find it interesting to see what other people are listening too.  I think it tells you more about who they are and helps shape their character.  Well, Phe is definitely a music lover, actually there is one point in the book where she says

“By the time I hit middle school, discovering new bands had become a contest between us.”

By “us” she means herself and her sister Athena.  So her musical preferences do not include typical pop music icons, they are bands that may not be as well known, but are sweet, like the Pixies.  Personally that just makes me like her more.  When it comes to music I like finding new bands too and I am more of a punk lover myself so Phe gained big points in my book with her taste in music.  There were quite a few bands in there that I have never heard of so I had to underline them so I can look them up later, which I am excited about.

The book does end nicely and you are left satisfied with the information that you have, but there are still numerous questions swimming through my head.  I am still more than a little suspicious of some of the remaining characters, but I will just have to keep those thoughts to myself for now.  I am hoping there is going to be a sequel because I would love to get caught up in this world again.  Won’t you please write  a sequel Anastasia?!?

Language Love:

Fear was spreading through my chest like thick creeping ivy.

Love it!  I can feel her fear jumping of the page almost like it is crawling on me too.  Great sentence.

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3 responses to “Book Review of Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

  1. Great Review! I LOVE Shadow Hills … I can’t wait for the sequel.

  2. Pingback: 2010 Debut Author Challenge « A Bookworms Haven

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