Release date: July 13th, 2010
Summary (from AH'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.
Review: Shadow Hills is mysterious, addictive, and sure to surprise readers.
Shadow Hills takes a gutsy main character and places her in a new setting that has some very mysterious happenings. Phe is a wonderful protagonist, I could easily relate to her, and I liked how she had her own stand-out personality (like her taste in music, which was very different). The supporting characters were dynamic as well, each with their own personalities. Adriana (a fellow newbie to the school) was completely hilarious with her rich girl persona.
Zach was the most intriguing of them all, and I loved how Hopcus never really gave everything away at once. The mystery surrounding him and the other people of Shadow Hills was definitely nothing I've ever read before in a novel.
The story moves slowly, but gives you enough incentive to keep going whether it's out of curiosity or surprise. I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who likes a bit of supernatural in their story's, because this one is definitely unique and intriguing. The end will leave you very curious for the next installment.
Highlights: The ideas behind the story (which I'll let you read to find out) were very interesting, original, and creative. The description flowed nicely (if only a bit too descriptive at a couple points), and it really made it easier to visualize the story and the setting. I'm definitely anxious for Hopcus' next story!
Lowlights: There were a few points where the obvious was spelled out in more words than necessary, and it did get a bit frustrating.