Release Date: 7/13/10 (Hardcover)
Age Group: Young Adult (14+)
Source: Public Library (Local)Overall Feelings: Marvelous, puzzling, incomparable!
(Summary) Yes, I finally got to this book. In fact, I gobbled it down in fast, greedy bites. The entire novel was like this heaping mass of intrigue, mystery, suspense fused with mythology and a riveting history of a perplexing town filled with strange, strangle "townies".
Shadow Hills has so many great things going for it. It's like one giant, frustrating puzzle. Even when you triumphantly add another piece, you still don't have the big picture. That's what it felt like reading this book, which made it all the more interesting. There's the weird, unsolved murder of Phe's sister, Athena; awful, haunting dreams, almost prophetic-like; magic and psychic abilities; a creepy town with creepy residents; well-written, beautiful characters of all shades; and a sizzling romance bound to turn up the heat!
Speaking of..gosh, Hopcus really knows how to whip up a delightful, steaming pot of beautiful romance! Pretty intense for a YA novel without being unclean. Zach's and Phe's blooming relationship was probably the best part of Shadow hills! Their happiness, their..cuteness, is so contagious you can't help but feel glowy and warm and happy. It was just refreshing to see a realistic take on romance...nothing too rushed with a getting-to-know-you process involved. I loved every moment of Zach and Phe. I even liked the little bit of forbidden lightly sprinkled over their relationship initially. They are just such a nice couple, it's really great and addictive to read.
And Zach and Phe aren't the only cool ones. There's a whole slew of great, entertaining characters, beautifully suited to the story. Graham with his wit and humor, completely hilarious and responsible for many outbursts of laughter while reading. Toy, the cute, geeky Asian girl totally crushing on Graham. Cool guy Brody, always lighting it up and keeping his eyes glued to Adriana, whom I love. Adriana is my favorite side character. She's self-centered and can be mean and blunt, yet at the same time she's caring and friendly..snarky too, hilariously so. A-hole Trent is a character you'd want to steer clear of in real life, a cold-hearted, empty snob with no compassion or respect. Corrine, a character you like hating, because even though you can't stand her you know that her disapproval of Phe's and Zach's relationship is justified. Ah, so many characters..various, vibrant shades of them. Many of whom I couldn't get enough of and I didn't want to say goodbye to when I got to the end.
When I reached the ending, I was tired of playing detective. Trying to figure out how Athena relates to the big mysteries of Shadow Hills, the weird accidents and murders, Phe's odd dreams prophetic or otherwise, the bizarre townspeople of Shadow Hills who possess unusual abilities..and much more. But, it was all worth it. Most of my questions were answered by the end, though new ones arose, and the ending more than hit the spot. It even implies that there will be a sequel; I absolutely, 100% hope there will be. I'm glad I caught onto Shadow Hills when I had, otherwise I would've missed out on a fantastic novel!
Thanks for reading!