Tuesday, January 26, 2016

ARC Review: The Mystery of Hollow Places

About the Book:

The Mystery of Hollow PlacesTitle: The Mystery of Hollow Places
Author: Rebecca Podos
Pub. Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Pages: 304 
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary, Thriller 
Rating: 3.5/5 stars


All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It's the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist, she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed by a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as troubled waters.

When Imogene is seventeen, her father, now a famous author of medical mysteries, strikes out in the middle of the night and doesn't come back. Neither Imogene's stepmother nor the police know where he could've gone, but Imogene is convinced he's looking for her mother. She decides to put to use the skills she's gleaned from a lifetime of her father's books to track down a woman she's never known, in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she's carried with her for her entire life. 


This is a middle of the road book for me and in some ways, it's difficult to review. I'm torn because there were many elements that I enjoyed about this novel, but there were also a lot of things that bothered me. Overall, the book is very well written and Ms. Podos has a wonderful talent. This book could have been absolutely amazing, but it lacked in some crucial areas. Ultimately, I felt a bit disappointed and under-whlemed with the story because I expected a bit more.

This novel follows Imogen, a 17-year-old girl whose father disappears with no indication of where or how long he will be gone. Obviously, Imogen is desperate to know what happened and believes that he left her a clue...a clue that implies her father has gone after the woman he loved, Imogen's mother, who left when she was just a little girl. Imogen (for the most part) was a great female lead. She was extremely real, and this is very crucial to the story. You could feel her suffering and turmoil while reading. She is relatable in some ways because all of us our confident in certain aspects of our lives, while experiencing insecurities about many other things. However, the one part of her character that I didn't like was how she behaved toward her her stepmom and "best friend" Jessa. I'll just leave it at the fact that both of them, especially Jessa, had to put up with a lot, and she definitely is a true, quality friend. I do understand that Imogen was going through a tough time (Jessa and Imogen's stepmom understood and supported her constantly too), but it doesn't mean a person has to treat others poorly.

The story itself is very interesting, and as I said previously, the novel was very well written. While not your traditional mystery novel, it was still an interesting mystery and I was left wondering how it would all end. This being said, the pacing of the entire novel was extremely slow. There were scenes that seemed to drag and drag. Additionally, there are many scenes were something is explained purely by flashback. For example, a character might ask the importance of a clue Imogen finds, and the next chapter will be entirely made up of a flashback to explain to the reader(not the character that asked the question) what the importance is. Not that I usually have a problem with this, but I felt the author relied on this too heavily throughout the story. There wasn't much dialogue between the characters, and I would have liked to see a bit more interactions/conversations. Finally, while this novel discusses many difficult topics relating to mental health, I felt that for the most part, these topics were just glazed over and never actually elaborated upon. 

Rebecca Podos is definitely a very gifted author that knows how to draw in her readers. As an author, she has a lot of potential and I would be interested in seeing what else she writes. I did enjoy this novel, but there were some things I just couldn't get over, and unfortunately, this made me lower my rating. I was expecting a bit more from the ending after the build-up throughout the story, and perhaps this is where the downfall to this novel lies. I was expecting more. Nevertheless, I do think this is a novel worth reading just for Ms. Podos' lovely writing and the strong character/family relationships.

Thank you to Harper Collins for providing
this book in exchange for my honest review 

Happy reading :)



  1. This sounds really interesting but I am so not here for a middle of the road book right now. Maybe in a couple of months. Nice review!

    1. Thanks! I would definitely say you could wait to read it. It was interesting, but nothing life changing haha.