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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Shadow Hills

Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

Source: ARC from Egmont

Grade: 2.8 stars out of 5
Phe is having dreams, dreams exactly like the ones her sister once had. I say once because she died. And now Phe is armed with her sister’s diary to uncover the meaning of these dreams that led her to Shadow Hills. This is a town where there are more than just witches with truths that will shock you—literally.
The beginning of Shadow Hills is like Beautiful Creatures with a reoccurring dream and a hot guy when whamoo! same hot guy at 12 o’clock! But that’s mainly it for similarities except for family members that don’t see eye-to-eye. Anyway here’s the scope: I found Shadow Hills hard to read, cliché, and was left with an ending that had me rolling my eyes. (Yeah, I said it.) Collectively the novel did nothing for me. Separated I felt it could have gone somewhere.

The relationship with Zach (aka hot guy) and Phe started out too fast and too strong for me. It was instant love-connection that didn’t develop much over the passages. What you see is what you get. There are swoon-worthy passages, but it wasn’t deserved because there was no hill to climb, no obstacle to overcome, no honest-to-goodness deep emotional talking. It’s like watching a couple with their PDA instead of knowing the true story.

I appreciated the scientific explanation of the townies’ “powers” instead of going the fantasy route. I really appreciated the work, the research, and the unique approach. Did I fully comprehend the information? Not really. Did it all go through one ear and out the other? Yup. Part of me wants to clap and applaud while the other part wants to zzzzzzz.

I also failed to see the point of Phe’s heritage/family tree. Throughout the novel Phe was just a normal teenage girl with a weird mark on her hip that knows ancient chants from deep within her. Her family line did not play a role large enough in my opinion; and if it did, it was subtle enough that I did not notice.

If Shadow Hills were the perfect camera shot you would have gotten two interesting characters with unique backgrounds in a relationship that was sweet and caring and *happy sigh*. If you were to have the entire film you would notice the receptiveness, the lack of development in the novel, and a burnt end as the novel was cut short. (I still have plenty of questions left other.)

Cover D
I don’t get it. Is there a symbolism to the cover that just flew over my head?

Shadow Hills is out in bookstores: Amazon / IndieBound / Book Depository

6 comments:

  1. Thank god I'm not the only one who didn't like this book. There were *SO* many plot holes. The characters were all underdeveloped... for example, you go like 100 pgs sometimes without hearing about one of the characters. It just wasn't a good or realistic book. The premise was great, but that's about it. I also don't understand the cover at all, and it's really disappointing since they could've done so much more.

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  2. I didn't love this one either. I didn't hate it, but I found Zach to not be that attractive and some of what he said to be very cliched. And the scientific explanation went over my head as well.

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  3. Love this review because you said everything I was thinking while reading it. My review is along the same lines as yours. I don't understand the cover either.

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  4. Yikes. Now I'm nervous to read my copy D:

    Sorry you couldn't get into it, though.

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  5. I disagree about the book, but I totally agree about the cover. It's cheap and irrelevant.

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  6. I was so excited to read this book. Once I started, I was already disappointed. I'm not even half way through with it, but it is hard to read, because it is so fake-y to me. It isn't a believable plot only because of the poor writing.
    And YES! What is the cover supposed to mean?!

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