Thursday, April 22, 2010

Book review--Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

About the book:

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.  (from Amazon)

My thoughts:

I was very interested in reading this book as soon as I read the synopsis.  And let me tell does not disappoint! Almost immediately the author draws you into the mystery.  The main character, Persephone (Phe), doesn't do any pussy-footing around.  She arrives at her new school and goes straight into amateur Sherlock Holmes mode.  The town has a mysterious history dating back to the 18th century which makes it even more intriguing for a history buff like me.  And there is no lack of great-looking guys either.  The main male lead, Zach, sounds like he could be an Adonis.  The chemistry between him and Phe is very present, but there are no tawdry love scenes (this is a YA novel, after all).  However, some of the romantic scenes are a bit corny.  Maybe I've just forgotten what it's like to be a teenager. 

I will admit to a mild disappointment at the end.  It was a bit anti-climactic.  I guess it was such a great book that I was hoping for a bigger bang at the end.  Overall though, I really enjoyed this book.  It kept my interest, it was fast-paced and even a little creepy in parts.  So...I recommend it!

Read for blog tour with

Read for the following challenges:

Pages Read Challenge
New Authors Challenge
Countdown Challenge 2010
100+ Reading Challenge
Monthly Mixer Mele
ARC Reading Challenge 2010

I received this review copy for a blog tour.  I did not receive any monetary compensation and the book was mailed on to the next reviewer.


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  1. Excellent review. I've been wondering if I should try this one.

  2. I think I've been wanting to read this based solely on the setting. LOL But the whole mystery angle interests me too.

    Great review!

  3. I sooo want to read this one! Great review!

  4. Great review! Sounds interesting, and I really like the cover!

  5. Sounds a little like Joyce Carol Oates gone wrong. Interesting!

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