book review

The Hollow Inside by Brooke Lauren Davis

Thank you to Netgalley for a review copy in exchange for my honest review.

Publication Date: May 25, 2021

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Pages: 375

Genre: YA Mystery

Trigger Warnings: statutory rape

Rating: 3/5

The Hollow Inside is a dual timeline YA mystery following Phoenix in the present day storyline and Phoenix’s Mom, Nina, back when she was a teenager. Nina is from the town of Jasper Hollow and she has been aching for revenge since she was 17 and was forced to leave town. Nina has been prepping Phoenix to help her achieve the revenge she so desperately wants and Phoenix is ready to do it. Ultimately, this is a story about a small town filled with complicated relationships and plenty of secrets.

Phoenix is helping her mom get revenge on the man she blames for ruining her life. To do this Phoenix basically infiltrates his family and tries to find out all his secrets. As Phoenix grows closer to the members of the family she also starts to become entangled in their lives and things start to become increasingly more complicated.

Davis does an interesting thing where we get to know Nina as Phoenix’s mom and it is very easy to not like her. Then we get to know teenage Nina and it was so interesting to see how she was Before and what she has become After. I really appreciated the complexity that it brought to the story and I found myself enjoying past Nina’s storyline the best.

I’m a huge fan of YA mysteries but this one fell a little flat for me. Phoenix’s storyline was ok but I found parts of it unbelievable and I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending. The buildup of everything was great and some of the reveals I didn’t see coming but overall I didn’t love the story as a whole.

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