Sunday, July 25, 2010

Review: Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

Shadow Hills[5stars.jpg]
Shadow Hills

Written by Anastasia Hopcus
Published by Egmont USA
Available Now!!!! (Released July 13, 2010)
*arc provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*

I have been waiting FOREVER to read Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus!  This is her debut novel, and the first book in a new paranormal YA series.  The wait was definitely worth it!  This book ROCKED!!

Summary from Goodreads:

"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 Thoughts
This was such a refreshing read!  Anastasia Hopcus delivers an original paranormal storyline, with strong characters, and suspense at every turn!  The mixture of science, biology, and supernatural elements added to the originality of this book and made it unlike any other book I've read.  No detail was left unattended by Hopcus and the amount of research she must have done was evident. 
Hopcus introduced us to a wide array of interesting characters.  While reading, I could picture all of them in my mind.  The main character, Phe, was strong-willed and didn't take crap from anyone.  She was on a mission for answers surrounding her sister's (Athena) death and her own disturbing dreams.  She was relentless in this quest, which also became a journey of self-discovery for her.  She learns that the secrets held by the locals of Shadow Hills are more closely tied to her than she could have imagined.  I have to say that there were points in the book that I wanted to take Phe and yell at her "WHAT ARE YOU THINKING'!!!!  Some of the decisions she made were just so completely reckless and unsafe- but that is Phe!  There was definitely no shortage of hotties in this book either!  There was the mysterious, gorgeous, slightly dangerous love interest (Zach), there was the uber hot, yet super dangerous bad boy (Trent), and the cute and reliable best friend (Graham).  Phe's connection with Zach was intense and electric (literally!)  They had the odds stacked against them and multiple forces trying to tear them apart.  Even through all of this, they could not stay away from each other.  I really look forward to seeing the progression of their relationship in future installments of this series!

The pacing was perfect!  There really was no dull moment in the book (or dull character) and I hated having to put it down (who needs dinner? right?!).  I found the ending to be climatic and the unanswered questions that remain set the stage nicely for the next book.  This is one of my favorite books of 2010 and I cannot wait to read the next one!!!  Anastasia Hopcus is a wonderful new addition to the ya scene and she can count me in as one of her biggest fans!!! 

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