01 August 2010

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.

  • This book started off wonderfully.  My wonder faded quickly, however, when the romance started.  I was shocked and taken aback at how much and how quickly Abbey was affected by Caspian.  Without any foundation whatsoever, she was falling in love with him.  She knew nothing about him.  And this fact frustrated me.  I didn't have any expectations for this book but it still came under par.
  • The romance was a bit sketchy.  As I said, the romance.  I mean...I can understand being flattered if a guy compliments you.  But going through your wardrobe for half an hour and complaining that your hair wasn't smooth and sexy...all for a guy you BARELY knew?  I remember going, "Whoa.  What the heck?"  The romance throughout the entire book lacked the underlying foundation that makes a romance really good.  Abbey was completely obsessed with this guy.  And knew zilch, nada, NOTHING about him.
  • Abbey wasn't exactly the ideal heroine.  I liked Abbey at first.  And that's not to say that I dislike her now, more or less that I lost respect for her.  She was skittish and always flitting around, nervous about how she appeared to people.  Also, everything affected her.  She didn't roll with the punches very well and she got soggy-eyed very quickly.  I don't think I've ever read a book where the main character has cried SO MUCH.  Maybe this is just me.  I'm so used to speaking my mind and being so blatantly...well, crazy.  It annoyed me seeing Abbey cower all the time.  She was so dramatic.
  • The writing was good and bad.  What drew me to this book was the writing.  It was written with the slight characteristics of a journal, without any flourishes or brassy phrases.  So this was both good and bad.  It depends on how you like your writing.  (Jeez, it sounds like I'm asking, "How do you like your burger?"  What is wrong with me?)
  • The plot was....meh.  This is one of those "great idea, poorly executed" stories.  A lot of what was written seemed so irrelevant.  Like Abbey's job at her uncle's.  I read somewhere: if you can take away a subplot and the plot remains intact, chuck it.  Abbey's job at her uncle's held no lasting significance to the plot whatsoever.  I can see why somebody would think this story boring--because it was in a lot of places.  Many scenes could have been ditched and Jessica Verday put time into describing motions that we can already assume that character did.  
  • Also, where was the conclusion to Kristen's story?  Her secrets?  The summary is a poor indicator to this story.  It implies that it's all about discovering the circumstances of her best friend's death, but Abbey doesn't dwell on Kristen too long.  She's too caught up in Caspian.  I mean, "what the heck!?"  When people say, "Don't judge a book by its cover," they should also include, "Don't judge a book by its summary either."  What is the world coming to when you can't even get an accurate picture of a book from its summary?
  • I loved the cemetery.  I loved the uniqueness of how Abbey interacted with the gravestones.  Just why couldn't she bring that type of openness into her everyday conversations?
  • I fell in love with the idea.  But nothing else.  There was nothing else to fall in love with.  Caspian's character was pretty bland, not a lot of material to show us there.  Nikolas and Katy's characters were very generic.  The plot just took...forever to come through.  This book should have been so much shorter.
  • As always, read it for yourself.  It's along the lines of "another man's junk is another man's treasure" type of things, though the term "junk" is entirely too strong.  I loved Jessica Verday's creativity for Abbey's perfume-making hobby and the interactions in the cemetery.  Perhaps you will enjoy the romance more than I did.  Or maybe you'll fall in love with the writing.  So check it out, see for yourself. :)
  • Sauce-o-meter:  There was very little swearing.  A very clean read.  I was impressed by the lack of swearing.  Way to go, Jessica Verday! :)
  • The Cover:  I was intrigued by the cover, I'll admit.  Seeing pictures like that makes me wonder.  I mean, the model is half-submerged in water.  BUT!  If you get the hardcover edition, look at how much the model looks like the author.  It really freaked me out at first.  I think they did it on purpose. XD
Book Info:
  • pages - hardcover, 513
  • published - September 2009
  • publisher - Simon Pulse
  • genre - urban fantasy
  • sequel - "The Haunted" coming August 31st
  • extra - The Hollow wallpaper (made by yours truly)
  • Summer Reading 2010 - #22
  • rating - 3/5