The Hollow by Jessica Verday (review copy) - I would have a hard time summarising this book myself for several reasons, so the following is from Amazon UK:
Growing up in the town of Sleepy Hollow, the mystery and intrigue over Washington Irving's classic legend are all part of daily life for sixteen-year-old Abbey. But when her best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Abbey's world is suddenly turned upside down. While everyone is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead, Abbey refuses to believe that she is really gone. And when Abbey meets the gorgeous, but mysterious, Caspian at Kristen's memorial she starts to feel like she has something to hold on to for the first time since Kristen's disappearance. But when Abbey finds a diary hidden in Kristen's bedroom, she begins to 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 disappearance or even her death? Hurt and angry at Kristen's betrayal, Abbey turns to Caspian for support...and uncovers a frightening truth about him that threatens both their emerging love and her sanity...
I didn’t like this book. It starts off with Abbey at the memorial service of her best friend, Kristen, and it’s quite intriguing. Abbey doesn’t believe she’s dead, but she has no clue what happened. Questions spring to mind automatically for the reader, but you’ll have to wait a while for even a smidgen of an answer. Then Caspian enters, and Abbey falls for him. The only problem is, he’s hot, then he’s cold, and Abbey never really knows what’s going on with them.
That’s pretty much the story; what happened to Kristen and what’s happening between the two of them? Things start picking up around the last 40 – 30 pages. Perhaps there will be some meaning in the next book in the series, but most of what happens in this book – walks through the cemetery, Abbey making perfume, going to school and coming home – it doesn’t really play any real part, and drags. I suppose you could say that it helps to build characterisation, and you could be right, but it just wasn’t interesting, in my opinion. I always read on author sites that scenes should make the story progress. For the most part, in my opinion, they didn’t in The Hollow.
The characters; I really liked Ben. Who is Ben? A secondary character you don’t see very much of, but the only one who seemed real to me. Abbey and Caspian just don’t behave like normal teenagers. A lot of my friends are teenagers, and I watch American teenage movies; teenagers don’t behave the way Abbey and Caspian do. Abbey reads far too much into what Caspian says, and reacts more like a younger teenager, say 12 – 13, rather than a 16-year-old. Caspian is around 20, and nor does he say things someone his age would say, nor what guys would say generally – or at least not in the way Caspian says them. Neither character was all that believable, and I didn’t feel anything for them. I didn’t relate to them, and I didn’t care about them.
On a positive note, the description in this novel was amazing. You can really see in your mind’s eye all the places Abbey goes to, and they sound so beautiful! Especially the cemetery! The setting of Sleepy Hollow for this novel is just awesome to imagine.
For anyone expecting an action packed urban fantasy, be prepared to be disappointed. There is no action, and the only fantasy elements make an appearance in the last 40 – 30 pages. There aren’t really any concrete answers to the questions brought up throughout the book. Overall, I was pretty disappointed with The Hollow, especially as I was really looking forward to it.
The Hollow wasn’t for me, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be for you either. Read a few other reviews before you make a choice. But I think I can safely say I won’t be picking up the sequel when it comes out.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster for sending me a review copy.
Published: October 2009
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Buy on Amazon UK
Buy on Amazon US
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