Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Hollow by Jessica Verday Review

Pages: 528
RRP: $16.99
Genre: Teenage, Fantasy
Release Date: October 2009
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Received from Publisher

When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead…and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special. 

Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her—one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity. 

The cover of this book depicts a beautiful pendant hanging on a simple black thread in front of a dreary background. My expectations from the art alone were that I might find something intriguing, enchanting and unexpected inside this novel. I got exactly what I was expecting and a little more...

This novel, 'The Hollow' is aptly named after it's setting and the legend within: 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow' AKA The Headless Horseman story. For those who are unfamiliar with the legend, don't fret. The Main Protagonist fills us in on the story within the first few hundred pages of the book. The novel also incorporates the legend into the story-line and the events that take place in the book.

The Characters in this book were very well written and believable. I really felt for them and whilst I sometimes questioned their judgement I didn't feel that they were totally naive. The Main character Abbey isn't a typical plain and boring petty girl either. She has a reason to be sad and moody. Her best friend died and now she has to figure out things on her own. Abbey also makes perfume, which I thought was very unique. All the descriptions of the vials and the scents made me want to make perfume too.

I really enjoyed the way that the author left the novel open ended. The novel could have been interpreted two ways( A girl who is depressed after losing her friend and who starts to hallucinate Or a girl who starts to see ghosts after her friends death). I really like this quality in a book and I especially enjoyed how the character wasn't willing to accept that all the ghost stuff was true. I think I have read way too many novels where the protagonist believes whatever they are told.

I really enjoyed the whole creepy atmosphere of the book and the way that it played out over a long time. It seemed more realistic that way. However this sometimes became a bit of a drag as the character went on to say "I did this, I did that". I think the idea of it happening over a long time was good, but the execution wasn't right.

I also thought it was a bit random how the character occasionally had these fits of sudden intelligence. It wasn't that she wasn't smart it was just that the level of intelligence shown in her thoughts and speech wasn't always consistent. It wasn't entirely believable and it seemed a little bit like she was trying to be a know it all when someone questioned her.

Overall I think this book is worth 4/5 stars. It was a great read and I can't wait for the next installment. People who enjoy things with a surreal edge or who like to read things set in creepy small towns would definitely enjoy this book. It's definitely one for people who enjoyed 'Imaginary girls' by Nova Ren Suma.


1. The Hollow
2. The Haunted
3. The Hidden

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Maria said...

I LOVED the Hollows definitely a favorite - don't uasually like ghost stories but really enojyed this book. I also really loved how the book was connected to the Legend of Sleepy Hollows even inspired me to buy a copy of the book! Your right Abby's love for making perfume really was interesting and added another layer to her character, can't wait to read the last book the Hidden!!!! Sorry for ranting...

Anonymous said...

Hi Natalie,
Thanks for bringing this series to my attention. Sometimes going back and rejigging old stories seems a little gimicky or lazy (see Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) but The Hollow seems to have taken a different, more creative approach.

Natalievintagegirl said...

Definitely, It makes me smile to see that you read my blog :D I had almost forgotten that the series existed until recently. It had been on my TBR for ages and then I saw that the third book was about to be released soon. So many things to read, so little time. I have not read 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies', but it sounds a little bloodthirsty...