All Angst and No Action

The Hollow by Jessica Verday

I liked the fact that The Hollow doesn’t have vampires or angels. Instead, it is linked to the ghostly apparitions of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the book itself being set in the same town.

Then I started reading, and was immediately irritated by Abigail aka Abbey, who emphasises words in italics all the time and endlessly tells us about the minutiae of what’s happening in her life. She does have a right to be upset with the world – the book starts off at her best friend’s funeral and everyone is treading on eggshells around her.  Kristen is supposed to have drowned, but at the start of the story, a body hasn’t been found.

Abbey’s aim in life is to skip college, become a businesswoman and open her own store, selling her own perfumes inspired by Irving’s story – all this helps to pad out the story to 500 or so widely typed pages. However when she meets Caspian – a ‘real hottie’, things do start to get interesting.  In the best teen gothic tradition, there is much longing and just one fleeting kiss. Together they sort of start to investigate why Kristen was by the river that fateful night, but don’t really get anywhere. Apart from a climax scene set in the cemetery, that’s it really. Nothing much happens at all, less even than in Twilight.

Underneath all the waffle, there was a good teen gothic story trying to get out.  If this book was pared down big-time and combined with its inevitable sequel to make one good novel, it would be an enjoyable read for any adult Twilight fan. With the Sleepy Hollow tale as its backbone, it does have something different to build on. Strangely enough, I did keep reading to the end – desperately wishing for some action.  I’m going to pass it on to my twelve year old niece – she’ll probably love it!  (6/10)

Source: Review copy

Jessica Verday, The Hollow (Simon & Schuster, 2009) paperback, 528 pages.

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