Saturday, July 31, 2010

Review of Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

Shadow Hills 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.

Let me start this review by saying, “Oh, SNAP!” When I first started Shadow Hills, the writing felt a bit cliched to me, and I wasn’t fanatical about Phe. Yet by the end of the novel, Anastasia Hopcus had managed to change my mind.

The premise of this novel is probably my favorite aspect of it, just because it’s so original. I would get into it more, but I don’t want to spoil anything for you. The plot itself was very well planned, and while I was able to partially figure out what was happening, the ending still left me surprised, thoughtful and itching for more. I have heard rumors that there will be a sequel to this book, so I’m not complaining. And since I mentioned the writing earlier, I’ll add that it while it didn’t seems as cliched by the end of the novel, it also didn’t feel particularly memorable. Hopcus does, however, know how to use small details to create a particularly creepy atmosphere.

As for Phe, I didn’t love her at first. I thought she was a bit too impulsive at times. However, she was self-aware, smart and loyal enough to her loved ones (a character trait which I also loved in Zach) that it didn’t really bother me by the end of the novel. One character that I can’t wait to learn more about is Corrine. I have a feeling that if there is a sequel to this book, she’ll be around even more and we’ll have much to learn. And then there was Trent, who is the type of person I worry about encountering in real life.

Shadow Hills is an enjoyable but suspenseful and frightening read. This novel isn’t necessarily one of my favorites I’ve read this year, but I think it’s a fabulous set up and an entertaining book. I think the series will only get better from here and I can’t wait to see where Hopcus takes the story next!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through Star Book Tours.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent review! I love the premise of this book.



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