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Series: Peachville High Demons #1
Rating: 2 of 5 stars
Harper Madison isn’t like other girls. She has extraordinary powers, but her inability to control them has gotten her kicked from so many foster homes she’s lost count. Shadowford Home is her last chance, and she hopes Peachville High will be the fresh start she needs. But when evidence ties her to the gruesome murder of a Demons cheerleader, Harper discovers this small town has a big secret.
If there is one line that sums up this book, it would be this.
While in some ways, I had been happier than ever, I also knew that deep in my mind, there was a locked room of secrets I seemed to be keeping from myself. Like I had hidden information and memories away somehow.
I kinda don’t get Harper. She’s been moved from foster home to foster home all around Atlanta ever since the disaster that drove her from her first adopted family when she was 8, and the troubled girls’ home of Shadowford located in po-dunk Peachville, Georgia stands as her last chance before she gets thrown in juvie until she’s 18. That’s a brilliant basis for a complex character, right? At first I thought Harper would live up to the call for great heroism (heroine-ism?) And, to be fair, at first, she does.
She’s humiliated and shunned by the teen royalty of the town, the three most popular cheerleaders and their male cohorts, but she doesn’t care for it. She takes it on the chin and moves on, fitting into her life at Shadowford and trying to behave herself so she doesn’t get locked up. She even finds a little romance in the midst of a mystery surrounding one of the cheerleaders.
Then, as in the line above, she crazy shit happens, she loses her memory of it all, and it’s like she’s a completely different person. I’d have thought with the kind of attitude Harper boasted when she was rejected by the cheerleaders, she would’ve been repulsed by their sudden change of heart to have her on the team after her amnesic episode. I know I would’ve been, were I her. After that, she just hangs out with them and plays it buddy-buddy like she doesn’t realize there’s something fishy about the whole ordeal of them “changing their minds.”
There’s a little mystery-snooping here and there, but this is practically a contemporary/realistic fiction account of a girl who’s new to town, not accepted by the “in” crowd, loses her memory of the death of a girl and then all of a sudden does fit in the with the school Queen Bees. Until the very end, that is, when it cuts off right before any questions are answered at all.
Plus, that was the quickest, most vapid climax ever. Coulda been so much better!
I don’t know. I liked it well enough, but things just didn’t go the way I thought they would. I’m pretty sure it’s just me. It was well-written and well-edited, but it kinda squandered all its potential on a cliffhanger. Meh!
One more thing that tortured me: I went into this thinking Peachville High Demons was read as The town’s High Demons, not The high school Demons. THAT was a huge letdown. There aren’t even any demons in the book. :[ Except for a shadow that appeared for two seconds and a statue. :[ I need to get my hands on that Tosca Lee book or something; I want my demon fix!