Friday, October 15, 2010

Mini-reviews: Shadow Hills & Hunger

Publisher: EgmontUSA
Release Date: July 13th, 2010
Source: Around The World Tours
His love captivated her... his secrets might kill her.

Since her sister’s mysterious death, Persephone “Phe” Archer has been plagued by a series of disturbing dreams. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Phe enrolls at Devenish Prep in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts—the subject of her sister’s final diary entry.

After stepping on campus, Phe immediately realizes that there’s something different about this place—an unexplained epidemic that decimated the town in the 1700s, an ancient and creepy cemetery, and gorgeous boy Zach—and somehow she’s connected to it all.

But the more questions she asks and the deeper she digs, the more entangled Phe becomes in the haunting past of Shadow Hills. Finding what links her to this town…might cost her her life
I found Phe's assertive attitude refreshing from the usual protagonists who waffle between thinking about what they want to do and then finding a reason not to. She had no problem in throwing herself into the action and sometimes her act-first-think-later mentality got her in trouble...but no matter what, she always kept her cool. I thought Zach, her gorgeous boy (I love that she calls him that!), was a little too perfect but he was such a sweetie that I didn't really mind that much. Phe and Zach's chemistry was palpable and they were just so cute together! But what really impressed me about Shadow Hills was Hopcus' attention to detail: the setting, the intricate way the plot unfolded....all the little details that debut authors might fumble at in the beginning, she nailed with ease. The execution throughout the novel was tight but towards the end the story unraveled a little, leaving me with an open-ended finale. This left me a little confused because it felt like there was room for the story to continue. I'm hoping for a sequel so we get to see more of Phe and a few subplots that Hopcus introduced... but overall, Shadow Hills was an enjoyable debut. Rating: 4 stars

Publisher: Harcourt Graphia
Release Date:  October 18th 2010
Source: Borrowed from a great friend :)

"Thou art the Black Rider. Go thee out unto the world.”

Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home: her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power — and the courage to battle her own inner demons?
I was expecting more from this novel but the author did create a good story and deliver her message in a very clever way. What disappointed me slightly was how I wasn't able to connect with the story as I thought I would--I liked Lisa but all of the other characters, her parents, her boyfriend, her friends...they didn't have enough of a backstory so they were were very much minor characters in the grand scheme of things. Lisa's journey as Famine was where Kessler really proved her writing ability-Lisa was able to see how hunger devastated people in other places and the emotion in those passages really drove the story along. Hunger didn't impress me like I thought it would but I liked it enough to read the next book in the trilogy. Rating: 3.5 stars


  1. I'm reading Shadow Hills now and I really like it! I absolutely LOVE that Hopcus did something unique and original when it would have been effortless to make Zach and crew vampires, werewolves, witches, zombies, angels, etc...

    I'm really intrigued by Kessler's series too. I've seen a lot of people blogging about those books so I'm definitely interested in reading them,

  2. Ooo, I love this mini-review format. Great way to do it. And these sound awesome. Thanks for the review!

  3. I could not get in to Hunger.

    I can not wait to try Shadow Hills.

    LOVE your minis :)

    Happy Friday!

  4. Nice reviews! I agree with both- I loved Shadow Hills and I'm really looking forward to Rage!

  5. Nice reviews, havent read Shadow Hills yet, but I read Hunger and I liked it, I cant wait to read Rage ^^

  6. I just finished Hunger and I feel the same way you do. Great reviews :)

  7. Both of these sound interesting! Great reviews! :)