Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Review of The Hollow by Jessica Verday

Book 1 in The Hollow Trilogy
By Jessica Verday

Star Rating: 

Genre: Young Adult
Number of Pages: 528

Time Spent Reading: Two Days

Synopsis:(From Amazon)
When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is 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.

"A death could change so many things for so many people.  It was heartbreaking." -The Hollow by Jessica Verday

This book is one of the most realistic and gripping stories about grieving a sudden death.  Despite what Abbey says and does, it is obvious that her head is full of her best friend all the time.  Like many dealing with death, Abbey can't seem to come to terms with the fact that Kristen is actually gone, and she isn't coming back.  She tries to continue on like everything is normal, but in many ways she feels guilty for continuing life while her friend is gone.  Having a book show how much death can tear a person apart is amazing, and I think that this book needed to be written.  While this book isn't a guide for what to do when grieving, it shows that slowly things change, and you have to try to move on, even though it seems impossible.

Unfortunately, there are multiple times that the promise of the book is disrupted by either badly turned phrases, unimportant details, and a level of immaturity one doesn't expect from a sixteen year old.  Abbey, despite being completely capable of mixing and creating her own perfumes, does not do her own laundry, instead relying on her working mother to do it.  Sometimes one wonders how incapable a sixteen year old can be, given this excerpt from chapter 15, "All I came across were leftovers and lunch meat.  Why couldn't I find anything to eat?  We never had any food in the house."  The way Abbey acts around her mother, expecting to have her mood catered to with every turn, also seems pretty unrealistic.  Even though Abbey has gone through the loss of her best friend, that doesn't mean that she shouldn't be able to do anything on her own.

I did really enjoy this story, as it does a very good job of showing that dealing with death is really hard, and not everyone takes it the right way.  Another book that does really well with death, with a hint of supernatural (like this one), is Annette Curtis Klause's The Silver Kiss, which I would especially recommend to anyone who is experiencing a loved one pass away from illness.

Author Information: (From Amazon)
Jessica Verday is the New York Times best-selling author of The Hollow trilogy, The Beautiful and the Damned, and Of Monsters & Madness. She believes a shoe isn't a shoe unless it has a three-inch heel, and nothing beats a great pair of boots. When not daydreaming about moving into a library of her own, she can be found working on her next story, stalking antique stores, or buying vintage furniture.

You can learn more about Jessica at http://www.jessicaverday.com

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Thank you! 

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