Friday, 29 June 2012

The Hollow by Jessica Verday

Title: The Hollow
Author: Jessica Verday
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Released: August 21st 2009
Pages: 531 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon

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. It only makes things worse that everyone now treats Abbey like either a freak show or a charity case. Thank goodness for 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 about Caspian that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.

Even though I've never read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, I've heard a lot of good reviews about this series and have wanted to read it for a while. So when my friend lent it to me, I started to read it almost immediately. Whilst I found it hooking and found myself reading late into the night, after I finished it I found myself really disappointed.

So the background story to the plot itself, I loved. I thought the idea of basing a modern novel around the American Legend was brilliant on Verday's part, and I haven't seen anything else like it. But the plot itself? I didn't like that so much. The beginning was really good, and I found myself unable to put it down, wanting Abbey to learn more about her best friend's death so in turn, I would too. But that didn't happen, exactly, which was where it's downfall began. If I had read this when it had first came out and there had only been one installment, then I'd definitely give this book a one-star rating; even books in a series need to have that finality to the end of that particular novel, but this did not. Most of me did keeping reading this because all the way through it, I kept thinking, Okay so I'm sure that pretty soon something interesting will happen. And it did - literally within the last 100 pages, if that. It all kicked off, and if that had happened earlier, then this novel would have been brilliant. But too little, too late.

Even with the characters, I wasn't completely sure I loved them or hated them. At first, I liked Abbey and Caspian, but as the book wore on, I found them gullible, irritating and just unrealistic. Abbey seemed to break into tears every five seconds, and Caspian would definitely win the award for Sending The Most Mixed Signals. But I still couldn't completely make up my mind, because I kept on reading because I wanted to find out what would happen to the pair. And to be honest, it kind of lead to nothing - and I know there are more books to come (which I will read, despite this bad review) but it still didn't give me any closure.

However, despite all my complaints, I did keep on reading because there just is something about this series that kept me going. I don't know whether it's because half of the mysteries are still unsolved, or just because it is nice to read a book every one in a while that doesn't involve thinking (to a certain extent, anyway).

So overall, I think if you like ghost stories and books based around older novels, then you should definitely read this. If you like Sarah Dessen novels but also like your reads a bit more paranormal, then I think this would be up your street for sure.
Rating: 3/5

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