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.
So far the Best Book Of 2010!! I loved it, it was fantastic. I coudn't stop reading it. I agree with Lauren from Laurens Crammed Bookshelf "it's still a book that I can't help but suggest you run out and buy once it's released because it's definitely going to be ONE GIGANTIC HIT this summer;"
I'll definitely be buying a final copy of this, once it's released :) I certainly, can't pinpoint the exact reason why I loved it. Maybe because it was enthralling, you never wanted to put it down. The writing flows nicely, and is quick to the point. The characters are very realistic, and I had a easy time understanding each of them. Even though this was a 1st person POV, I felt that I could understand each characters motive. Also the male (romance) lead was not perfect, and I loved that. He was a typical guy, who I can see being in my school right now. He was a normal person, he got in trouble if he stayed out to late. He wasn't invincible. I love perfect guys, but it's nice to see a change in YA a bit. Regular guys are being to overshadowed, and it nice to see them brought back down, to the playing field.
Anastasia Hopcus is most certainly going to start a new trend in the YA genre. The supernatural ability that the characters have (including the male lead), is unlike anything I have ever seen or heard of. It's something fresh and new (and it's not vampires or werewolves). The storyline will keep the readers interested, and the ending will leave you wanting more. The emotion was very well portrayed, and I could really feel Phe's (female protagonist) lost. But I thought the characters who most stood out, emotion-wise, was Trent and Corrine. Trent acted all cool, but had a real mean streak/badboyish side to him, and when you read the end you can kind of see why he is like that. Or I did. Corrine on the other hand, wants to protect her family and she is so determined.
My suggestion for this book is italics. I think this because it got confusing telling whether Phe was having a dream/vision or she was awake and narrating.
Stuff that I thought could of been more developed:
-When something important would happen, it would be rushed and because of that I would forget about it. So I felt that some stuff/clues were hard to remember.
-There was little description of the school,and so I had a hard time imagining it.
-Character interactions were a bit rushed, especially in the romance department. I felt that Zach & Phe's relationship was a bit rushed. Same with Graham & Toy. I actually really didn't see the signs of Graham & Toy liking each other,so when it was first mentioned I was very shocked.
-The last thing that I thought could of been developed was between the first chapter & 2nd/3rd. Phe's personality changes from being the shy girl at first, to the tough person who is willing to stick up for herself.
Overall Shadow Hills was a rocking novel, that is a MUST read. An excellent debut!! I'm praying that there is a sequel, because I think I'll die without one.