July 13, 2010

Shadow Hills - Anastasia Hopcus

Shadow Hills

Young Adult
Pages: 400
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Release Date: July 13, 2010

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. 

Lately, I've been slowly falling 'out of love' with Supernatural/Paranormal books within YA titles, because they seem to be more blindingly cheesy romance than about otherworldly mysteries. More than that, it appears to be the male lead who once was frightening yet interesting, now falls into the extremely rude category, inexplicably leaving the female lead swooning over him all the same. This formula can become quite boring specially if the female protagonist is stupidly innocent. So I've found myself avoiding paranormal romance as much as possible.

Even though I read Shadow Hills a while ago, the one thing I found more interesting is that, even though romance is present, it does not become an issue nor does it interfere with the supernatural telling. Phe's character reacts as any normal teenager would under extraordinary and dangerous circumstances and Zach is mysterious and yummy in his own way. Their romance and the supernatural plot are separated and intertwined in a fully creative way.

Anastasia's writing is also original. She mixes wonderful prose with modern writing, splashing in some well-known brands and expressions that made me giggle. The cover is gorgeous and mysterious just like the story. Not exactly fast paced but very enthralling, Shadow Hills promises readers a fresh new formula for Urban Fantasy.

Overall, a charming and haunting debut novel that will leave all supernatural fans -and the rest of us- pleased and starved for more. I hear there might be a second book in process. I cant wait!


  1. I agree with you about paranormal romance. I'm really sick of reading about broody, rude males and the girls who swoon over them. Glad to hear that Shadow Hills was a good read, I can't wait to check it out!

  2. Aw, such a great review. Really. I am so glad you enjoyed it and that she can separate the plots well. I can't wait to read SH! :) Thank you!

  3. I'm with you 100%. The funny thing is, this is the first review I've seen that hasn't focused on the romantic element of this book...I guess bloggers are just as guilty in their reviews : )

  4. I've heard lots of good things about this, and my copy is shipping soon. Yay! Great review!

  5. WONDERFUL review, Sab! While I do like a rude bad boy, there has to be more to him than that. This book has an excellent mix of everything!


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