Monday, August 30, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Shadow Hills

I have a special treat for you today. This is my first official ARC book tour through YAaddict. I don't know if you follow that blog, but you should. One day, while I was there paying a casual visit, I noticed a tab that read 'ARC Tours'. I clicked on it and here we are. This tour is where we as bloggers are provided one uncorrected copy of the book, sign up to review it, and each blogger gets their turn to review it. I received it from the reviewer before me. I, in turn, passed it on to the next reviewer/blogger in line.




Title: Shadow Hills
Author: Anastasia Hopcus
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Release Date: July 13, 2010
Pages: 400 


Description: 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.


Favorite Passage: "That's the way my dad is--constantly at his office. I don't understand why he works so hard for this money that he doesn't even seem to enjoy..." Suddenly I felt very exposed.


"Exactly. Life isn't a series of steps you take to get somewhere. It's everything that happens in between." 
BRING ALONG + a little extra

My Splats: This story took me to a place I hadn't expected...and that's a good thing.

If you're questioning why I simply didn't give it four full splats instead of that weak half at the end, that's because, for me, somewhere between the middle of the pages I found myself hungry for more romance. But that could be because it's what I'd expected to find and usually find in most YA paranormal literature of this sort. 

This one was different. So I'd like to add a little + sign. 

Phe, the main lead, is strong yet down to earth. She has a tendency to take risks and break a few rules. And although she does find 'Mr. Right' to crush on, she's not fanatical about it. Zach is a boy who practically follows every rule. He's into Phe, too, but their into something else as well. 

The story is more mystery than anything: Phe trying to discover why her sister wanted to come to this private school, why Phe keeps having weird dreams, and why some of the kids at school are different, strange. We find ourselves following Phe as she uncovers secrets hidden within the school's history, mainly in the graveyard outback--the one Phe dreams about. She's finds herself woven in and out of their history and tries to make sense of it all.

Anastasia Hopcus does a wonderful job of developing a different kind of paranormal. It felt real, plausible, and the history she backs the story up with works. I'm a history buff, so that I really liked. Her writing is definitely vibrant, resembling the energy and life forces she exposes within the story. 

I have to say that she left me wanting a sequel, but also wanting to see Phe and Zach's relationship flourish more. Who knows? We'll see.




12 comments:

  1. Great review! I loved this book! You nailed all the great points that made it so unique. Well done!

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  2. it's funny waht you say about the romance--I find that to be true of me as well *sigh* but this book sounds right up my alley!

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  3. I like to have romance in the YA novels I read (though it doesn't have to be the main story). I'll definitely read this book, but thanks for the warning. I have a feeling I'll feel the same way you did. :D

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  4. Sounds interesting. Thanks for the review, Sheri!

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  5. Great review. I already have this on my list. Now I know I want to read it.

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  6. Great review Sheri!!! Now I have to get this book! Yay!

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  7. interesting... and oh, lord! that title! :D But I completely expect mine to change. (possibly sooner than I thought~ ;o)

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  8. Oooh, I'd love to read this! Great review. :)

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  9. I'm with you on expecting some romance in YA. I think you gave it a great review. I'm going to check it out.

    I'm also going to check out YA Addict. The passing on books to review idea is clever.

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  10. Well done. :) I'm intrigued.

    Happy Monday!
    Love,
    Lola

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  11. OMG I'm so sorry I missed posting your blogfest!!! *hangs head in shame*

    I Got U now, tough... I'll add you to my next post as well as the list! ; )

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  12. I loved this book! Phe is one of my fave MCs, and I hope there's a sequel coming!

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