{ARC} Book Review: The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

February 17, 2018 Review 0 ★★★★

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{ARC} Book Review: The Hollow Girl by Hillary MonahanThe Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan
Series: Standalone
Published by Delacorte Press on 2017 October 10
Genres: Horror
Pages: 272
Format: E-book {ARC}
Source: Netgalley
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four-stars

Five boys attacked her.
Now they must repay her with their blood and flesh.

Bethan is the apprentice to a green healer named Drina in a clan of Welsh Romanies. Her life is happy and ordered and modest, as required by Roma custom, except for one thing: Silas, the son of the chieftain, has been secretly harassing her.

One night, Silas and his friends brutally assault Bethan and a half-Roma friend, Martyn. As empty and hopeless as she feels from the attack, she asks Drina to bring Martyn back from death’s door. “There is always a price for this kind of magic,” Drina warns. The way to save him is gruesome. Bethan must collect grisly pieces to fuel the spell: an ear, some hair, an eye, a nose, and fingers.

She gives the boys who assaulted her a chance to come forward and apologize. And when they don’t, she knows exactly where to collect her ingredients to save Martyn.

Forgive the lateness of this review and I hope that it does not give the impression that it’s because I hate the book. As a matter of fact, the Hollow Girl is the best book that I’ve read in 2017. If you know me, I don’t normally read horror stories because it’s not just my genre and you know, nightmares. But after reading the synopsis, I knew that I had to pick it up and told myself that “Let’s try this for once.” And so I did.

Oh boy, no regrets so far because after page 1, there was no turning back.  The story consumed me, the characters captivated me and the twists shook me. Hillary Monahan really took her time in fleshing out the characters and in weaving the story that it wasn’t cumbersome or convoluted but not simple either.

The story centers on a Romani Gypsy, Bethan, who’s being groomed by her grandmother to succeed the latter as the tribe’s green healer. Her life is pretty much alright except for one thing: the tribal leader’s son, Silas, is trying his damnedest to harass Bethan.  And then, one night, what Drina (Bethan’s  grandmother) and Bethan dreaded happened. Bethan got raped and her friend died protecting her.

The incident was the turning point for Bethan. Though she and her grandmother were peace loving individuals, they did not hesitate in deciding that Silas and the boys who played accomplices must pay.  So the tale of darkness and revenge began. And it was damn satisfying seeing Bethan and her grandma made corpses out of the boys.  Cue evil laugh.

Kidding aside, there was more to this book than the killings. Rape is such a delicate subject, even more so the aftermath. The victim traumatized and stigmatized while the suspects go seemingly underpunished.  With the Hollow Girl, my heart really cried for Bethan and her grandmother but I literally rejoiced as they sought retribution from Silas and his friends.  Happiness that turned into awe and sadness again when the twist was revealed.

This book, essentially, has all the things that I love in a story despite it being horror.  There’s heart, darkness, revenge, and nuanced characters that will surely make your reading experience a memorable one.  Cheers to you, Hillary Monahan.

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