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Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Hollow by Jessica Verday

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.

I have developed a theory lately about big books, meaning books that are 400+ pages. It is my belief that any book in that realm is automatically good or bad. There is really no gray area. When you write a book that big you have to capture your reader, otherwise, what’s their motivation to keep reading? The Hollow, being around 500 pages, falls into this category. So keep in mind that in order for me to be reviewing this book, therefore having finished it entirely, there has to have been something that kept me reading.

When I’m reading a hefty book, I expect the characters to be somewhat well explored. In my experience, every book that breaks the 300 page barrier has tied me to the character in one way or another. Even if I’m not a huge fan of said characters, after that much time it’s impossible not to feel as if you know them and become involved with their story. With The Hollow, however, I didn’t get that connection. There was no spark with the characters. Even now, I’m not 100% sure why. The entire time I was reading I felt more like an onlooker than a part of the story, as if there was a peice of glass seperating me from everything else. I wouldn’t say this was a completely horrible thing – it didn’t make me want to stop reading – but it did keep me from becoming incredibly invested in the story and was a bit of a drawback.

Finally, the book was far different than what I expected. It wasn’t the adventurous, thrilling love story I’d thought it would be, but rather the trials and tribulations of Abbey's rather dull life. I kept waiting, hoping it would get better. "The intrigue has to come some time," I thought, "it has to pick up eventually." But, sadly it didn't. And when it finally seemed as if something interesting might happen, I wished it hadn't. After enduring so much, the ending was a complete and total bust. I would've liked if Verday had just left The Hollow as I'd dubbed it, "Abbey's journal." It may not have been incredibly interesting, but it wouldn't have been nearly as disappointing as where it left off.

I was looking forward to seeing where Verday would take Caspian and Abbey after The Hollow, but now I'm not quite sure I want to know. After where she left off, I'm not sure where she'd take it, or even if it would be worth it.

2 Stars

4 comments:

  1. Great review!
    Sorry you didnt enjoy it though. The opinions seem really mixed on this one. I have tried to read it, but had a really hard time with it so I put it aside for a while.

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  2. Ouch. I keep reading reviews where they say the same thing...that there's no spark with the characters. That stinks :/

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  3. Nice review. This book was such a huge disappointment. I had been looking forward to reading it for some time and Ugh what a mess.

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  4. Great review! I read Kristi's review on this and found that they have the similar feeling. I don't think it's a book I'll pick up anytime soon unless it has a better reviewed sequel.

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