Monday, July 19, 2010

Shadow Hills: A 2010 Debut Author Challenge Review

Title: Shadow Hills
Author: Anastasia Hopcus
Pages: 400
 Publisher: EgmontUSA
Publication Date: July 13, 2010
My Edition: ARC Paperback
Reading Level: Young Adult
Challenge Read for: 2010 Debut Author Challenge
Received from: Anastasia Hopcus for review

Summary from Amazon: 
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.

In Shadow Hills, Anastasia Hopcus writes an amazingly, unique story about a young girl Persephone "Phe" who is strangely connected to the town of Shadow Hills. The story has many great elements of romance, mystery, action, and town history which I highly enjoyed reading. The writing, characters, and back story were all very well-developed and unlike anything other YA book. At first, I didn't really get into the story, but when I actually sat down and started reading, I just couldn't stop. Once Phe learns the town's secret, the plot action quickens, and I didn't put the book down til I finished. The ending was one of the best and very satisfying and unexpected.

The beginning starts off with being introduced to Persephone Archer who moves to Shadow Hills to go the Devenish Preparatory School after her sister receives a brochure for the boarding school. Phe's sister just died and her family is very messed up about it, so Phe decides to move away to the town where her and her sister have been having dreams about. While at the school and town, everything starts to reveal itself about the mysterious dreams, the weird townies, and her part in the town's history. The characters were lovable and some very irritable, and I just loved Phe and her friends especially Zach. The relationship between Phe and Zach was complicated, but I loved them together.

I really enjoyed reading Shadow Hills and highly recommend picking up at the library or bookstore right away! Anastasia Hopcus is a debut author this year, and her first book is definitely a success. I can't wait to read her future YA books because they have to be just as fabulous as Shadow Hills. Thanks so much to Anastasia for sending me a review copy several months ago.


1 comment:

  1. I've just ordered this book today. Hopefully, it gets here soon. It sounds fantastic! Even after reading so many positive reviews on it, I'm still not sure what it's about, but I can't wait to find out. Great review. :D


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