Tuesday, April 26, 2011

YA Thriller: Shadow Hills

Shadow Hills
by Anastasia Hopcus
Egmont, 2010
400 pages
Available in paperback May 11, 2011

Persephone finds it impossible to live in L.A. following the drowning death of her sister Athena. When she comes across her sister's last diary entry, Phe is sure of one thing: she has to go to Devinish Prep School in Shadow Hills, Massachuttes. Her sister was compelled by it and now Phe must discover why.

Devenish Prep is typical New England at its repressive and uptight best: red brick buildings with stern facades complete with stone turrets, tree-lined walkways, ivy covered dorms, dowdy student uniforms, and stiffling studies.

The town holds secrets: weird people with strange abilities, students who can speed read and know all the answers without ever having to study, people who can bend metal.

Phe dreams of a creepy cemetary and later discovers the place behind the church. A dreamy boy named Zach keeps showing up everywhere Phe goes. Is he following her?

Secrets are kept in Shadow Hills. Families are tight and tighter-lipped. Phe discovers some history in the museum and finds a secret room in the library where the history of the town is buried. An epidemic killed nearly all the town in the 1700s, but those who survived passed on an incredible genetic map. Their descendants continue to live in Shadow Hills, and they will silence Phe at all costs!

Exciting, suspenseful, and strange, Shadow Hills is a great read for those who enjoyed the book Ruined. Goth lovers and mystery lovers will also probably like this one.

Recommended grades 9-up. Underage partying, marijuana, mention of sex.

FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in Austin, Texas, at the Texas Library Association Conference. I was thrilled to meet and greet the author and her fellow author and signing buddy Christina Mandelski (both Texans!). I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

Click here for the exciting book trailer!

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