If you’ve been following the blog for any extensive period of time, you know that I love reading. It’s not just a passion; it’s an addiction. Understanding that, will give you a little perspective as to why when I was invited to join NetGalley, I didn’t hesitate, I immediately said, “Yes!” I was tremendously flattered.
NetGalley is a platform designed to help “readers with influence” discover and recommend new books to their audiences. (Readers with influence is their term, not mine, for reviewers on Goodreads, teachers, librarians, and bloggers. I’m one of the Top Two Reviewers on GR in ALL of Puerto Rico. I’m not bragging. If you’re on GR you can see for yourself. Last year, I was #1.) [Okay, maybe I’m bragging a little bit.]
The book I will be sharing today in my Reading Sanctum is from NetGalley. It’s free for anyone to join. All you have to do is create a profile and commit to posting an honest review on NetGalley. Then, you shop around the site, check out the books that are available in whatever genre you want, and then click on the request icon. It’s that simple. I joined last week and I was given 5 out of my six first requests. Ideally, they would prefer that you review the book before it’s release date, so bear that in mind when choosing your books.
What follows is pretty much the review I posted for both NetGalley and Goodreads. It began with thank yous, a disclaimer, and then what I wanted to say about the book.
Many thanks to NetGalley, Rhonda Parrish, and Tyche Books for a chance to review this book. This is my first from NetGalley and I look forward to many more. I was given this book for free in exchange for my fair and honest opinion. I have not felt compelled, in any way, by the author, the publisher, or NetGalley to alter my sincerest thoughts on this book.
Hollow is a YA horror novel which prevails on several fronts. The novel is a well-told tale that provokes avid reading. Despite its very lyrical quality, it moves at a rapid pace with a vocabulary that is organic and poetic. It’s as if the reader is being drawn in by a skilled bard that whispers at a campfire, the way we did when we were young, with flashlights illuminating our faces as we spun yarns that were half made up on the spot.
The narrative is told from the first-person point of view by Morgan, who is a high school student trying to cope with the accidental death of her baby brother named Aric. High school has become an ever more constant trial, where a former boyfriend is spreading rumors about her, a potential new beau suddenly turns on her, and a best friend has resorted to shaming her with the use of the term “slut.” Even her younger sister has turned her back on her, and it seems as if her harsh reality has become harsher.
The one bright spot is her best friend Sevren, but she and he have become distant lately, because she can’t tell him everything. There are some things that have to be held inside. There are some things too shameful to share, things that leave you hollow inside, and you just KNOW that nothing can fill it. Once she tells, once she utters that word, there’s no taking it back, and she knows things will NEVER be the same. Everyone in the school thinks she’s easy, because of what her ex-boyfriend says about her. They all think she’s nuts because she feels guilty about the car accident that killed her little brother.
She’s known Sevren since they were in elementary school, and she would hate for him to look at her differently, but that’s the way life is. Change is a constant, and we all have to eventually grow up. There’s something weird about the derelict hospital across the street. Everyone believes it’s haunted, and when she finds a Polaroid camera in the debris, Morgan’s reality shifts and becomes harsher, as if surviving high school isn’t hard enough. This is a very fine psychological, paranormal horror story. I love the lyrical language. The use of expletives doesn’t appear gratuitous and the horror is not so violent that it feels inappropriate. In fact, I would say that the real-life horrors are much more egregious and compelling. Well worth 4 Grey Geeks.