I didn’t know much about Shadow Hills when I picked it up at my library, but it was in the Texas YA Authors section and I love to support Texas authors, it seemed to be more mystery than paranormal, which I was in the mood for, and I’m a sucker for simplistic covers.
What. A. Find.
Seriously, it was great! And I really hope I don’t spoil anything for y’all in my enthusiasm.
The set-up: Persephone “Phe” Archer is a new student at Devenish Prep School in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts. She’s been having disturbing dreams ever since her sister died a year ago and this school seems to have something to do with it. The first day she’s there, she feels a connection to the place, like she’s supposed to be there. Somehow, she’s a part of the weirdness surrounding the town, its inhabitants and these dreams.
This book really was more mystery than supernatural. I have four pages of notes dedicated to theories of what the heck is going on at this town, with emphasis on Phe herself and a fellow student (who is GORGEOUS and I want) named Zach. Never fear, you do get answers, but only to some questions. Many more spring up toward the end and I really, really hope Anastasia releases more information concerning the second book soon. (It’s not officially confirmed yet. *eep*) Even if it doesn’t get a follow-up, it’s a great book. Honestly, it’s one of the most original supernatural books I’ve read in a while.
Along with Phe and Zach, the characters in the book were fabulous. I loved Graham and Toy (and the nickname ‘Toy’). Anastasia actually used one of my favorite names ever – Trent! I almost never see this name in a book. So, really, what choice did I have but to love him? Plus, I could see him twirling an invisible mustache with some of his lines to Phe. The introduction of Adrianna was an ‘Oh-no’ moment because I thought she was going to be typecast, but she wasn’t! She actually had a personality and was nice… sort of.
My one ‘eh‘ moment happened at the beginning with the “I dreamed this and it’s real!” aspect, but I’ve recently read a slew of books that dealt with weird dreams that either suddenly came true or revolved around a real person who brings either sunshine or doom to the narrator’s life. But I just shrugged and went with it. The mystery part quickly overshadows it once you get into the story anyway, so it’s not even a big deal.
After finishing it, I wanted to know about the people in this town and more about Phe. We still don’t know how any of this relates to Phe’s sister (unless I just completely missed it). And what’s going to happen to Trent? I honestly think he’s a misunderstood guy who’s really good on the inside. (But that could be my name-love talking.)
So, if you’re tiring of the usual supernatural story (there are no vampires or werewolves here!), or just want a good mystery to figure out, definitely give this a try. And I’m not just saying that because Anastasia is from Texas.