Review: The Hollow by Jessica Verday

The HollowWhen 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 had my eyes on The Hollow since I first saw it on the W.H. Smith bookshelf for the first time like two years ago, so when I got it I was so excited and expecting fantastic things. Fantastic things that I'm sad to say that I didn't get.

The Hollow had the potential to be an absolutely fantastic story; a mystery, a romance and a paranormal all in one is not so original, but throw in the Sleepy Hollow twist and I really was expecting the most amazing of amazing stories. Unfortunately, I didn't really get that. I found that this book went through moments of being exciting and thrilling, to moments of being mediocre at best. I also feel that I really knew what was coming before it happened... I'd guessed the big twist at the end about two chapters in, so I didn't have that to look forward to.

I think that the main two issues were that Verday makes the mistake of telling us what's going on rather than showing is, which makes for some pretty boring reading, also, throw in the fact that a lot of the story is just Abbey telling us what she had to eat and how much she misses Kristen every two paragraphs, I got very bored, very quickly. The second issue was Caspian, I couldn't bring myself to like him. No, let me correct myself on that. I liked him, I just thought he was creepy and Abbey was an idiot... reasons why? He turns up a her best friends cellar and she doesn't even think that that's creepy? She meets him... in an abandoned graveyard? If that was me, I'd have alarm bells ringing, but no, Abbey meets up with him and after seeing him like, twice, she's in love with him. The Hollow suffers from what I like to know as Twilight Syndrome. Creepy boy, foolish girl.

I did really enjoy the original element of the book, it was haunting and unique and just dark enough to attract those paranormal lovers, I liked the addition of the Sleepy Hollow story by Washington Irving and the ghost element that it brings to it. I really enjoyed the parts of the story concentrating on Kristen's death and I will pick up the sequel just to see how that plays out.

I also have to admit that aside from the monotonous telling and not showing issue, Jessica Verday really can write, she has talent in description. She gives enough description to present this dark setting that the reader can visualise but doesn't throw too many adjectives on making the book full of purple prose.

I think I picked up The Hollow expecting a murder mystery, with a bit of suspense and paranormal and a nice romance in the background and instead I got a paranormal romance with the mystery as a very faint background story. 

Overall, I don't really thing The Hollow was my thing. I wouldn't recommend it to people looking for a thrilling, exciting read but I really do think that Twilight fans will enjoy the romance. I won't tell anyone not to read it, because I did enjoy elements of it and while I didn't love it, I can't say I hated it either. Will I get the sequel? Yes, solely to see how the mystery plays out.

Overall rating: C
Stand alone/series: First in a series 
UK Release: October 1st 2009
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's
Book obtained via: Swap


  1. I've had my eye on this one for a while but was put off by all the mixed reviews. After your review I think I might just leave it a while. Thanks for the review! :)

  2. oh no! I really really wanted to read this one too! :(


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