Backlisted Review - The Hollow by Jessica Verday

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Hollow (Hollow Trilogy #1)
AUTHOR: Jessica Verday
Debut Novel
PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse
PUBLICATION DATE: 1 September 2010
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

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.
Oh my gosh, how I love this book! It was so, so good. I think I am in book love. What a unique story! And the ending! It was so unexpected. I think this is my new favorite book! It's such a dynamic story. I could not put it down! This book gets 6 stars which is rare. It's an absolute must read. It's been so long since I've been this surprised by a book. I can't really put into words just how much I loved this story. I am going to burst with anticipation by the time August 31st rolls around with the release of The Haunted. I really wasn't entirely sure what to expect from this book. I was kind of worried at first when it was slow to start. While most of the story is somewhat slow paced, it doesn't detract from the story.

The book kept me continually guessing. At first I thought Caspian had something to do with Kristen's death. I was absolutely convinced of it. He just seemed kind of creepy and ominous. I still don't quite get his thing with time, and it's just weird to me that he calls Abbey, Astrid. He kind of seems like he's from the far distant past. I even thought maybe he was a vampire for a short period of time. (No, he's neither of these, which I'm rather grateful for. Don't get me wrong, I love a good vampire novel, but it would have felt silly with the rest of the story.) Then for quite awhile, I just had no clue what to expect. I knew something was off, but I just could not figure out what it was. Then at Christmas time in the story, I really was thrown off. I don't really want to explain more than that because you should really read this book, and I don't want to give anything away.

Verday is able to capture the uncertainty of a relationship between two people so well. I think that's something I've missed in books recently. The last few books I've read take a very romantic view of relationships, but this one seems so much more realistic. Caspian is a bit eccentric, but then again Abbey is too. I will say that I can't quite reconcile the girl on the cover with Abbey. It's just not the same person I create in my head as I'm reading the story. Abbey is somewhat stubborn and opinionated. While having moments of self-doubt, Abbey for the most part seems very resolute about who she is and what she wants from life. This is probably my favorite aspect of her personality. Wishy-washy characters don't do much for me.

I highly recommend this novel to YA readers!

Reviews by Author's Last Name

YA Literature:
Barnholdt, Lauren - Sometimes It Happens
Carter, Aimee - The Goddess Test (Goddess Test #1)
Collins, Suzanne - The Hunger Games (Hunger Games #1)
Collins, Suzanne - Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2)
Collins, Suzanne - Mockingjay (Hunger Games #3)
Condie, Ally - Matched (Matched #1)
Cook, Kristi - Haven (Haven #1)
Dalton, Michelle - Seventeenth Summer
Grace, Amanda - But I Love Him
Green, John - The Fault in Our Stars
Kagawa, Julie - The Iron Queen (Iron Fey #3)
Kessler, Jackie - Hunger (Horsemen of the Apocalypse #1)
Mahoney, Karen - The Iron Witch (Iron Witch #1)
Marion, Isaac - Warm Bodies
Miranda, Megan - Fracture
Perez, Marlene - Dead Is a State of Mind (Dead Is #2)
Rorby, Ginny - Lost in the River of Grass
Rowell, Rainbow - Eleanor & Park
Spencer, Kimberly - Shimmerspell (Faerie Tale Girl #1)
Verday, Jessica - The Hollow (Hollow #1)
Verday, Jessica - The Haunted (Hollow #2)
Vincent, Rachel - My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers #1)

Clark, Marcia - Guilt by Association (Rachel Knight #1)
Clark, Marcia - Guilt by Degrees (Rachel Knight #2)
Evanovich, Janet - Two for the Dough (Stephanie Plum #2)
Fluke, Joanne - Blueberry Muffin Murder (Hannah Swenson #3)
Harris, Charlaine - Shakespeare's Landlord (Lily Bard #1)
Marwood, Alex - The Wicked Girls

Burrowes, Grace - The Captive (Captive Hearts #1)
Burrowes, Grace - The Traitor (Captive Hearts #2)
Burrowes, Grace - The Laird (Captive Hearts #3)
Campbell, Anna - Midnight's Wild Passion
Frank, Jacquelyn - Jacob (Nightwalkers #1)
Frank, Jacquelyn - Gideon (Nightwalkers #2)
Mallory, Margaret - The Guardian (Return of the Highlanders #1)

Urban Fantasy:
Henry, Christina - Black Heart (Black Wings #6) 
Price, Kalayna - Grave Witch (Alex Craft #1)

Literary Fiction:
Houston, Pam - Contents May Have Shifted
Moyes, Jojo - Me Before You
Sparks, Nicholas - The Best of Me 

Science Fiction:
Scalzi, John - Lock In  

Lawson, Jenny - Let's Pretend This Never Happened  

About Me & Review Policy

About Me:

I'm Cassandra! I'm a 26 year old Missouri State University graduate with a BA in History with a minor in Library Science. I've been a book fiend since I was a little girl and my parents took me to the summer reading programs at the library. In high school, I was lucky enough to be one of 7 chosen students to help in the library as a student aid for one class hour out of each day. It was then that I realized I really wanted to be a librarian or work in publishing. Life has kind of pushed that goal off a bit, but I'm prepping for the GRE now, and I hope to get into a library program soon. I'm a recent transplant from Missouri to the beaches of Florida, so you may see some beachy reading pictures occasionally on my blog and instagram!


Some books I review are given to me by the publisher or author. These will be designated as such before the review. All reviews are honest regardless of whether I bought, borrowed, or received the book.

Feel free to leave comments on any entry. I love to get feedback on reviews or discussions. I reserve the right to remove comments that are derogatory/disrespectful in nature.

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I am not a professional book reviewer. As such, remember that these are my personal opinions on the novels I read. You may disagree with my feelings on books, and I would love to hear why.


Below is a list of genres which I am most interested in reviewing:

  • Young Adult (contemporary or paranormal)
  • New Adult (contemporary)
  • Mystery (cozy or amateur; some forensic)
  • Horror/Thriller (medical, paranormal, hauntings)
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  • Childrens
  • Middle Grade
Publishing formats I accept include: ARCs, paperback, hardback and ebook (preferably enabled for the Amazon Kindle)

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Priority will be given to books that I specifically request to review, followed by publication date, and finally by order received. Books that are as of yet unpublished receive priority over books that are already published at the time that I receive the copy.

Reviews will generally be posted during the month of publication if it has not yet been released. My best effort will be given to have it posted two weeks before the release date. If it has already been published, then I will try my hardest to have it reviewed within 2 months of receiving it. If a specific date for a review is requested, I will take this into consideration seriously and do everything in my power to have it done in time.

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I read book series in order. If I receive a book within a series in which I haven't read the previous novels, it may take me longer to review.

I will consider books from self-published authors for review.

All reviews are given my honest opinion regardless of whether or not I pay for a book. I appreciate review copies, but I will NOT claim to like a book just because I was given it free of cost.

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Review Format:
  • A picture of the novel cover will be presented first followed by the Title, Author, Publisher, Publication Date, Genre, and a short description of My Copy (how I got the book and what publishing format the book is in). The Title will be linked to the corresponding Goodreads page.
  • A synopsis which is usually obtained through Goodreads / from the back or front flap of the book follows after the introductory information.
  • Next is my review which will vary in size and style. Characters often make or break a novel for me, so a strong emphasis is often placed on this aspect of a novel. Plot, pacing, and relationships are also discussed.
  • Sometimes Other Thoughts (usually opinions about the cover) and/or Favorite Quotes will follow my review. Not all reviews will have one or both of these.
  • I finish my review by posting a star rating. The star rating is out of 5 stars with 5 being the best a book can receive. At this time, I will not give half stars.

Review Policy Last Updated: 9/16/2014