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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Book Review: Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

Title: Shadow Hills
Author: Anastasia Hopcus
Publication Date: July 13, 2010
Genre: Young Adult
Tags: paranormal teens, romance, fantasy, ancient power, mystery
Age: 12+
Pages: approx 387
Series: ?
Book Acquisition: ARC from Other Shelf Tours

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

(from Publisher's website)
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.

My Review:
So, I get the book in the mail from Other Shelf Tours, unwrap it and put it on the table. Before leaving the room I pick it up and flip to the first page - intending to read a sentence or two. About 15 minutes later I realize I'm still standing in the middle of my kitchen reading! From literally the first sentence I was hooked!

About half way through I became a little disappointed. A little too much sticky sweet romance for my taste. Zach and Phe have only known each other for about a week maybe and the thoughts running thought Phe's head run along the lines of - what if I can't stay in Shadow Hills and I never see Zach again rather then - what if I can't stay in Shadow Hills and I never figure out why my dead sister wanted to be here so badly.Their romance and relationship felt fake to me. It happened way to quickly and even though Phe is such a strong young woman, there was too much damsel in distress, knight in shinning armor thing going on.With that said, both Phe and Zach really are very sweet people so it was hard to dislike them.

I really liked the mystery aspect to the story - although I would have liked to see more of it (and less romance). The idea of paranormal abilities arising from a genetic source was very intriguing.

The supporting characters were cute, spunky, and fun. I really enjoyed reading about the times Phe spend with them. I just don't know what it is about Zach that I don't quite love. I think part of it was the fact that I felt he was acting way more mature and sensitive then any young teenage boys I ever knew. Maybe I just didn't know the right kinds of guys :)

All in all, I very much enjoyed Shadow Hills. Not sure if there will be a sequel but I would welcome one. I would recommend this book to fans of paranormal teen fiction who also enjoy love stories.

Linkage Love:
Egmont USA
Author's Website


  1. LOL dont you love how that happens, you intend for just a few minutes, and nearly hours later you glance around and wonder where the time went, at least with some books - Shadow Hills was like that for me too...wonderful review!

  2. Love the review and can't wait to read this one.
    I have that happen several times when I'm reading especially on weekends when I have lots of free time ;)

    Jessica’s Vision

  3. Ahhh sounds like something I would like :)

  4. I thought the same thing - that she seems more concerned about not seeing Zach again than about her sister's death, but I figured she was so connected to him because of the dreams. And I just assumed he was more mature because for the genetic stuff.

    We talked about this at BBC, but I really do think it's amazing the way different people will see the same book. Shadow Hills was okay for you, but it's now one of my very favorite books.


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