|Title: The Hollow |
Author: Jessica Verday
Genre: Supernatural, romance, high school
Summary: On Goodreads
Reviewing: Characterisation, relationship, plot
In a nutshell, the Hollow is all about how Abbey copes with the death of her best friend. Along the way, she meets an enigmatic and decidedly hot stranger called Caspian, and finds herself falling for him. But as she tries to unravel the mystery regarding Kristen's death, she uncovers many secrets, the biggest one of all being to do with Caspian himself...
Ahh, words cannot express how much I loved, loved, loved this book! I found myself completely caught up in Abbey's angst and emotions, and couldn't help but yearn for her to be whole again. The description that Verday used, something about a vice gripping her heart, hit the nail on the head in terms of that kind of feeling. As a character, Abbey was beautifully visualised and brought to life - Verday's characterisation definitely surpasses that of the previous books I have reviewed. And Caspian...what can I say? He is hotness epitomised! There are very few main male characters that I really do fall for as often there is something lacking to them, but here, I found Caspian to be so well realised through Verday's writing and Abbey's point of view that I couldn't help but fall for him too. He is such a sweet character, so protective of Abbey, and also, so full of angst too. Nothing like a tortured soul to yearn over, hehe.
I found the developments to their bittersweet relationship to be completely believable for the time frame and world of the novel. Even though Abbey found him attractive immediately, Kristen's death was always at the forefront of her mind, which it should be (I refer you to Crossroads by Mary Ting *eyeroll*), so the build up to the relationship was slow and secondary to other factors in the first half of the novel. I loved the small things that they did for each other, like the exchange of gifts at the cemetery, the cookies and perfume that she makes for him, and the cute times they spend together in the library. Anyway, I can't stress enough just how great it is that the relationship doesn't completely take over the plot!
In terms of plot, the story is slow and gentle. There aren't a lot of mind-blowingly action-packed scenes as this isn't that kind of novel. This is more of a story that explores the way the main character deals with grief. It's very internal. Having said that, Verday takes us through half a year starting from Abbey's return to school, and we see how she deals with having to act normal, and how she deals with situations when she becomes a target of bullying. The best parts of the plot revolve around her walks through town, when she goes to the river and the cemetery, for here we get to see the real Abbey shine through.
Finally, the Hollow draws very heavily from the legend of Sleepy Hollow, so make sure you know that story - although it does get explained here too. I kinda wish I'd read the story first now though.
So, I loved this. Verday apparently wrote all of this on thirteen notebooks before typing it up, so kudos to her! If you like angsty angst, and don't mind a more relaxing read, then this is the right book for you! But don't get me wrong, there is still enough word-candy here to get you drooling if you're also looking for the guy hotness factor... ;)