Shadow Hills

Shadow Hills - Anastasia Hopcus Persephone's sister Athena dies in a drowning accident. She finds out that her sister was supposed to go to a boarding school on the east coast but never made it, obviously. Before Athena died she'd been having some weird dreams about this very same boarding school in a town called Shadow Hills. Persephone decides she wants to solve the mystery and goes to the east coast in her sister's place. Oh, did I mention they are from California?She gets there and sees that it's the exact school from her sister's dreams and now also her dreams. She also has visions about a cemetery near the school. She meets a cast of lovable and some very despicable characters in a quaint but spooky atmosphere. I love boarding school settings. Not sure why, I just do. And in the setting, and most definitely in the characters is where this book shines. Whether you love 'em or hate 'em Anastasia Hopcus certainly knows how to make readers feel strongly about her characters. I love the protagonist and her merry band of friends Adriana, Toy, Graham and Brody. Zach is super hot(well in my mind he is), and Corinne and Trent are skeevy and horrible people. The characters are a little cliche, but they have some great qualities that make them stand out which makes it different.The plot is a bit of a slow-starter, but once it gets going it's a lot of fun and honestly I don't mind detail and everyday situations in the books that I read. In fact I quite like them. You get to know the characters better. And they feel more like real people and you are really following their lives. It makes things more realistic.I did enjoy the fact that this isn't your typical paranormal book. It's different and pretty original. The setting really isn't but the plot development very much is. The abilities that some of the characters have are quite unusual.There were a few parts of this book that were a little difficult for me to read. I lost my grandfather to dementia in 2006. We were very close, and it still feels like it happened yesterday. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but if you are very sensitive to that subject just prepare for it before reading.I really enjoyed it, thought it was a fantastic debut novel for Anastasia, and I really hope book two comes out soon. I will for sure read it. It's not a masterpiece by any means, but it's beautifully written and it held my ever floundering interest. That's a winner in my book.And I forgot to add, she totally threw me for a loop with the twist. And I'm not easy to fool. I loved it!