Friday, July 23, 2010

Review: Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

Shadow Hills
Author: Anastasia Hopcus
Publication: EgmontUSA (July 13, 2010)

Description: After her sister Athena's tragic death, it's obvious that grief-stricken Persephone "Phe" Archer no longer belongs in Los Angeles. Hoping to make sense of her sister's sudden demise and the cryptic dreams following it, Phe abandons her bubbly LA life to attend an uptight East Coast preparatory school in Shadow Hills, MA -- a school which her sister mysteriously mentioned in her last diary entry before she died. 

Once there, Phe quickly realizes that something is deeply amiss in her new town. Not only does Shadow Hills' history boast an unexplained epidemic that decimated hundreds of its citizens in the 1700s, but its modern townies also seem eerily psychic, with the bizarre ability to bend metal. Even Zach -- the gorgeous stranger Phe meets and immediately begins to lust after -- seems as if he is hiding something serious. Phe is determined to get to the bottom of it. The longer she stays there, the more she suspects that her sister's untimely death and her own destiny are intricately linked to those who reside in Shadow Hills.

My Thoughts: This was an exciting book. Phe goes to Shadow Hills to try to find out why her sister was drawn to it. After her sister died, Phe found her dream journal and found out she had been having disturbing dreams. Now Phe is having the dreams. When she first gets to town she meets a boy who has been featured in some of her dreams. There is immediate attraction between Phe and Zach but she feels strange physical sensations when she is near him. She feels shocks when they touch and he seems to act like a magnet. He is determined to keep secrets from her.

Zach also has an older sister who seems to take an instant dislike to Phe and tells her to stay away from Zach. That just makes him more attractive to Phe. She learns that he is from one of the founding families of the town. She meets other students who become her friends. There are some nice light moments as she interacts with her new friends that helps provide some relief from the building tension in the story. 

Through all of this she is still having prophetic dreams and also, by judicious eavesdropping, she is learning that all is not well in Shadow Hills. She investigates to try to figure out why her sister would have been drawn to the town. She makes Nancy Drew look hesitant but does just manage to avoid some TSTL moves in her investigation. She seems to spend a lot of time breaking into places in her investigations. 

As the evil comes to a head she has to learn how to use some strange new powers to save herself and Zach. 

I recommend this book to lovers of boarding school stories and mildly scary paranormals. 

Favorite Quote:
"Maybe for you, Miss Everyone-In-A-Five-Mile-Radius-Falls-In-Love-With-Me-Instantly," Adriana groused.

"Oh, come on." I shook my head. "That is so not true."

"Yeah," Brody agreed quickly. "I have absolutely zero interest in Phe. She's like vanilla yogurt or tapioca pudding. She's unflavored oatmeal."

"Why, thank you, Brody." I smiled sweetly.

Challenges: RYOB Reading Challenge, 2010 YA Debut Author Reading Challenge, 2010 YA Reading Challenge, Paranormal Reading Challenge


  1. Nice review. I am glad you enjoyed this book too. It kind of reminded me a little of Beautiful Creatures.

  2. Great review and I'm glad you liked it! I absolutely love Shadow Hills! It has an interesting blend of mythology and history.

  3. Great review! I read this one a while ago and loved it a lot.


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