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01 October 2010

Book Review: Shadow Hills

Shadow HillsShadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

Publication Date: 13 July 2010

I received an ARC of this book from Star Book Tours.

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.

My Review
Anastasia Hopcus has written an intriguing novel full of mystery and romance with a dash of science thrown in. Her debut novel, Shadow Hills, is a great departure from the werewolves, vampires and angels that have been so prevalent in the recent releases occupying the YA section of bookstores and libraries. Hopcus' unique concept of a genetic mutation, a town shrouded in mystery, and a young girl searching for answers about her deceased sister, all combine to make an engaging and hard to put down debut novel.

What I liked most about Shadow Hills was how Hopcus incorporated music into the story. Music is a big influence in my personal life and Hopcus' use of it made me feel more connected to the book. The individual musical tastes of her characters help me to have more insight into their personality. I must admit, I did have to look up a few of the artists/bands mentioned because I wasn't familiar with them, but I also found some new tunes to add to my personal library. Having the musical connection made it easier to lose myself in the world of Shadow Hills and to personally connect with the characters.

The one aspect of the book I found a little unrealistic was how fast the relationship between Zach and Phe grew. I personally felt it was a little to fast. It seemed as if she barely knew Zach and all of a sudden they're all hot and heavy. I would have liked to see more development of a friendship before it went straight to romance. Also, Phe seemed to take Zach's condition pretty easily. I think I would have been a little more cautious and not jumped into a relationship with someone who had a genetic mutation that caused all sorts of unusual "gifts."

Overall, I liked Shadow Hills. The incorporation of a unique paranormal romance makes it a standout in YA fiction. This debut novel is refreshing and engages readers into the mystery of the town of Shadow Hills and it's residents. I am looking forward to the next book in the series and am interested in seeing how Hopcus continues Phe and Zach's story.

My Rating is 3.5 stars

Description and picture courtesy of Goodreads.

Check out my teaser of Shadow Hills here.

Shadow Hill Book Trailer


Nina said...

It sounds okay, I like that it's paranormal, but too bad about the romance! Great review.

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