Monday, September 13, 2021

House of Hollow - Krystal Sutherland

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats.

Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. But when her eldest sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Iris learns just how weird her life can get: horned men start shadowing her, a corpse falls out of her sister’s ceiling, and ugly, impossible memories start to twist their way to the forefront of her mind.

As Iris retraces Grey’s last known footsteps and follows the increasingly bizarre trail of breadcrumbs she left behind, it becomes apparent that the only way to save her sister is to decipher the mystery of what happened to them as children.

The closer Iris gets to the truth, the closer she comes to understanding that the answer is dark and dangerous – and that Grey has been keeping a terrible secret from her for years. (Summary and pic from goodreads.com)

My Review: Many times I’ll pick up a book with the description promising me that I’ll be creeped out and scared, and many times I’m disappointed. It’s like they choke at the finish line. However, I am happy to report that this book does not choke at the finish line! NoSiree! You will be uber creeped out right until the end. That’s what you want, right? You pick up a scary book and you expect it to be scary.

First off, this cover is beautiful. It’s eye catching and really interesting. There are lots of cool covers out there, though, but this one is especially cool because it actually pertains to what happens in the book, which I find to be rarer than I’d like. A cool, creepy cover that actually shows something that happens? Sign me up now.

The story in this book is really creepy. After reading it I did a little digging into what it was based on, which was also creepy. I like that it was based on some creatures in real folklore. I do believe that many authors can create scary creatures that didn’t exist before, but there is also something special about writing your own take on a kind of creature that already exists in folklore and making it all your own. It makes it that much more relevant, I believe. If its something you’ve heard of, maybe something you’ve been threatened with by grandma/uncle/friend/scary cartoons/etc. (random examples, I know), its always sort of been at the back of your mind and a story like this brings it immediately to the forefront and takes all of that fear and previous scariness that you’ve assigned it and makes it that much more nuanced and layered. That is exactly what happens with this story, and I loved that about it.

This book is lush and vivid. The descriptions are strong and intoxicating. It embraces the beauty/social media world and has characters that are mysterious and tempting. This book also has quite a bit of violence and older YA themes in it. Although the main character is a young teen, I assure you that there is plenty to scare and creep out older teens. If your teen is into creepy things while enjoying their dose of very teen-ish themes (like beauty, huge social media followings, edgy bands, cool boyfriends, etc.) this is totally their book. I enjoyed it a lot and I am not a teen. 😊

If you like to dabble your toes in a good, creepy YA fairytale-type story, or even enjoy those lush alternative worlds that seem so dark and tempting, this is for you. If you are a YA reader looking for something scary and descriptive, this is also your book.

My Rating: 4 Stars

For the sensitive reader: There is some language and mild discussions of sex, and quite a bit of fairytale-esque violence.

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