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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

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.

Beneath this vibrant cover lies a thrilling adventure with astonishing secrets waiting behind every turn, all set in a mysterious boarding school at the heart of a small town.

I was pleasantly surprised by the premise of the novel. The entire time I was reading Shadow Hills I could tell that Hopcus had spent a great deal of time nailing down facts and fabricating the brilliant central idea. The secrets that surround Zach were so well written and fascinating that they quickly became my favorite part of the book, even overshadowing Phe’s own secrets. It was such an intricate, unique idea that it was hard not to be drawn in by it. I couldn’t wait to find out the next bit of information, to uncover another facet of the story.

In spite of all of this though, I will admit I was disappointed with the ending. It was not a bad ending per say. In fact, it was a rather good place to leave off. However, after all of the intricate plots and secrets that filled the core of the novel, I felt a bit let down. It was all a tad anticlimactic after the fantastic, fast-paced center of the novel.

If there is a second book, which I really hope there is, I understand why Hopcus left the story so open at the end. Even so, I would’ve preferred to have seen a bit more of the loose ends come together. The whole novel seemed to allude to some grand culmination of all that Phe had discovered – both about the town and about herself. I was very much looking forward to seeing how all the pieces would fit together, which would no doubt be in an action-filled, suspenseful climax. Only it never really happened. The story seemed to trickle out right when it should’ve been shooting up.

Overall, I was quite pleased with Shadow Hills. The book is filled with far more mystery and suspense than I ever would’ve imagined. Rich in dark secrets that will have you at the edge of your seat, this is an enjoyable paranormal read. Just don’t get your hopes up too much for the ending.

3.75 Stars!

Source: 1 ARC Tours


  1. Thanks for the great review and for being honest about which parts of the book you did not like! I want to check out this book, myself.

  2. Great review. I haven't read much about this book, so this helped me learn a bit more. It sounds interesting and I do love books with mystery in it!


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