Basic story for The Hollow by Jessica Verday:
The story opens with Abbey about to begin her junior year in high school--and facing the memorial service for her best friend Kristen. Although presumed drowned, Kristen's body hasn't been recovered, leaving the perfect scenario for Abbey to be deep in denial about her friend's death.
At the graveside ceremony, and just at the time she most needs someone in her life, Abbey sees a gorgeous, mysterious, slightly-older guy named Caspian.
What happens as Abbey copes with her friend's death, pursues her own dreams of having a scent-making business, and struggles to fit in with the other students at her school? Oh, and throw in plenty of cemetery time and a tie-in to a famous ghost story.
Although I find the cover a tad on the creepy side, I really wanted to like this book for three reasons.
I wanted to like this book because of the About the Author section from Amazon.com:
Jessica Verday wrote the first draft of The Hollow by hand, using thirteen spiral-bound notebooks and fifteen black pens. She likes: things that smell nice, rainy nights, old books, cemeteries, Johnny Cash, zombie movies, L.J. Smith books, abandoned buildings, trains, and snow. She is currently hand-writing her second novel, the continuation of Abbey and Caspian's story, from her home in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. Find out more at jessicaverday.com.
Verday sounds like someone I would really like in real life.
I also wanted to like the book because of the plot involving a teenager coping with the death of her best friend.
The third reason I wanted to like the book is the interweaving of the story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. Each chapter of The Hollow begins with an excerpt of the famous story set in the same town as this book. And, without giving any spoilers, there's a very deep connection between Irving's story and Verday's plot.
As you may have already guessed, I didn't like the book at all. I just didn't identify with Abbey, the story seemed to drag, and I kept getting caught in trivial details that struck me as odd.
Who has their school prom on Halloween? Sometime in March through May, yes; October, no.
And the trick-or-treaters kept going to a house with the porch light off? Huh? So against trick-or-treating rules of etiquette.
I also wanted to talk some sense to Abbey's mom, who seemed about as helpful to her grieving daughter as, say, no mother figure at all. I wanted to hand her a pamphlet on the stages of grief. If anything, Abbey's mother contributed to her problems.
Anyway, this reader certainly won't be anxiously waiting to see the next book in the series. Instead, I just placed an order for a free copy of a certain book by Washington Irving on my Kindle. . . .
My overall personal rating of The Hollow is a C-.