The Hollow by Jessica Verday (September 1st 2009—Simon Pulse)
Grade: 3 stars out of 5
Summary: “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 has never felt so desperately alone. 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.”
Review: THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS
I must admit I’ve been dying to read this book since last year when word leaked out. In some areas The Hollow impressed me but in others, it fell short.
First off judging from the summary you can presume that the story will heavily revolve on the death of Kristen or some feature of her correct? Sadly it was about 10% Kristen and 75% Caspian swooning, 5% Sleepy Hollow legend, and 10% daily life activity.
Just chapters after the funeral with Kristen, Abbey somewhat falls in love with Caspian. I was a bit shocked and miffed at this development. Even more so when Kristen is practically dismissed for the next couple of chapters while Abbey continues to swoon over Caspian. Verday though manages to deal with Abbey’s grief in the middle of novel of Kristen while inserting several flashbacks of their friendships throughout some chapters. We then get a peak of Kristen’s secret diary and a mystery “D” whom Kristen falls in love with. We dealt with that for about a chapter then nothing more until seemingly the last few chapters (only about a line or two). It’s all very much frustrating.
I enjoyed the little tidbits of how Abby creates perfumes, the fact that the author talked about the Legend of Sleepy Hollow for readers who may have never heard of it, and the many twists. The old couples? Yup. Caspian? Yup. Abbey running away when nothing makes sense? Definitely yes! Seriously I’m tired of people poking their noses into things that you shouldn’t. You know those scary movies where you’re screaming at the screen “No! You stupid idiot, run! Don’t open that door!” From that moment on I gained respect for Abbey (too bad it was like the last chapter when it happened).
And finally Caspian. I liked him in the very beginning with his weird, funky do (very pale yellow with a jet black streak) but then he plummeted on my “like” scale when he confessed to Abbey that he never loved her. Wow. You suck. Can’t believe you led her on for…24 chapters just to shoot her down. He started out promising; kind, sweet, a bit secretive for my taste, and edgy. The twist in the end I should have expected….
The secrets and mysteries of The Hollow are never fully answered. It just builds and builds, up until the point where I’m frighten that Verday may not be able to answer them all...or at least to the expectation that the readers may want.
Overall: A many missing holes.
A lot of people seem to really like this cover but I’m not so sure of it myself. I’m 90% creeped out by the model. Are her eyes supposed to be that wide? And the eye makeup adds to the creep factor for me. It makes her look so much older than 17 or so. I do, however, love the font. It’s like it’s also going with the tide of the water (I’m guessing that the model is partially in the water). Also I think that perhaps that the cover is real life is not as striking nor as pretty as the online version.