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The Hollow #1

The Hollow

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A love like no other...

When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead...and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special.

Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her - one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.

544 pages, Hardcover

First published September 1, 2009

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About the author

Jessica Verday

19 books1,775 followers
Jessica Verday is the New York Times bestselling author of The Hollow Trilogy, published by Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse. She wrote the first draft of THE HOLLOW by hand, using thirteen spiral-bound notebooks and fifteen black pens. The first draft of THE HAUNTED took fifteen spiral-bound notebooks and twenty black pens. THE HIDDEN took too many notebooks and too many pens to count. Find out more at jessicaverday.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,677 reviews
Profile Image for Nataliya.
744 reviews11.9k followers
January 27, 2023
Despite Washington Irving references, about 90% of this book focuses only on the lovestruck gazing at a mysterious friendly boy who likes to hang out at a cemetery - Casper CaspIAN. Not a 'friendly ghost' at all, why'd you ask???

Yup, I just gave away the big plot point of this book. Which everyone, except the protagonist, is able to see from a mile away, with all the anvil-sized hints the author drops.

Now, the idea of this story sounded interesting - our teenage protagonist Abbey knows that her best friend's death is likely very NOT accidental, and she just happens to live in the town made famous by Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The one with the headless horsemen, yes.

However, the interesting premise goes right out of the window the moment Abbey meets a mysterious strange boy and - of course - immediately and automatically falls in love with him. Because that's how things apparently now work in YA novels - insta-love seems almost a genre requirement. Forget about the dead best friend - there is a boy to swoon about.

But my biggest gripe with this book is this - the story reads pretty much like a young girl's diary.
I remember starting one when I was nine (I lasted about a week); it went pretty much like this: "Dear diary, this is what happened today - *cue a long list of mundane things*".
Well, this is what this story reads like. It details EVERY SINGLE MOMENT of Abbey's days - her wardrobe choices, her baking cookies, school, Caspian, school activities, cookies, making perfumes, Caspian, baking cookies, school, Caspian, cookies, perfumes (yes, cookies must be an important plot point given how often they are mentioned)... Okay, I'd keep the perfume part in - it is original and interesting, but the rest is just filler that bogs down the book and bloats the story that should have occupied a compact few hundred pages into three way-too-long books (yes, I've read the entire trilogy - only because I wanted to know how this dragged out story ends. Answer - unsatisfyingly, very much so).

I just wish Jessica Verday had trusted that her readers can picture what is going on in the story without being spoon-fed every minute detail of everything. We do for the most part have working imaginations, y'know?

Kristen (the dead friend) gets promptly forgotten for the most part. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is referred to only on occasion. It's all about the friendly ghost mysterious boy for pages and pages and pages and pages. Because CLEARLY the world stops turning once a cute boy shows up. Who, for no good reason at all except the intended romanticism, starts calling her Astrid instead of Abbey. Witness protection program or what?
"At that moment - in that small, concise, perfectly clear moment of time - I knew. It was that moment I fell in love with him. It actually caused me to stop, and time froze for just a second. But that feeling was so right, and so strong, that I knew I wasn't wrong."
These sound like famous last words (of a potential victim of a crazy dangerous guy) - "I knew I wasn't wrong."

I wish YA heroines would occasionally actually get to know a guy before deciding to irreversibly tie their destiny to him.

Abbey is not a terrible YA heroine. She actually has goals and aspirations for the future, actually related to her talent - perfume making. She is written to be quirky and independent. Unfortunately, the puppy-love and unnecessary detailing overshadow her potential.
Verdict: It's a predictable YA paranormal romance that is overly detailed, drags on way too much, mostly lacks character development, and could have benefited from some heavy editing. Nothing special about it. Granted, I am not a target audience and only read this one in support of Jessica Verday's stand on that whole "Wicked Pretty Things" debacle (Verday was asked to change a story for a teen anthology because her characters were gay, and that was not okay with the editor). Still, I expect an exciting story, target audience or not, and this one failed to deliver.

2 stars only because I liked that whole perfume-making bit.

Also posted on my blog.
Profile Image for Nancy.
473 reviews10 followers
September 20, 2009
I barely made it through one third of the novel. And that was ENOUGH for me. It wasn't suspenseful, as I expected ghosts and the supernatural variety, but instead, was met with the mysterious Caspian who was more boring than mysterious. I mean, he pops in and out of nowhere, with one or two words, and it's supposed to mean something?! Add to his enigma? It's just annoying to me. Get to the story, already. All this build-up is pretty pointless if it takes forever to get the plot rolling, which, by then, I would have already given up on trying.

It's not just the lack of storyline that irks me. The character is pretty strange, which is usually a good thing, but here, she's strange to the point where she's creepy. She talks to objects that are left in the cemetery, for instance. She has long conversations with them. I just wonder, What's the point of that? I guess it's a technique used to not-so-blatantly explore the protagonist's innermost thoughts, but in the process of doing so, it makes the character seem childish and much too quirky to be real. I do, however, like that her passion is perfume making, which, although once again quirky, is quite refreshing.

The dialogue is awkward, the writing choppy. That's not to say it doesn't get better later on; I just didn't have the chance to read further because the lack of development and slow pace just made me quit. Everyone knows that beginnings are usually just mediocre, but honestly, I didn't have the heart to find out whether the plot was as suspenseful as the book jacket made it out to be. I mean, would you, knowing that you had to read 500 pages and then realize it was a trilogy? I don't think so.
Profile Image for Suzanne.
158 reviews27 followers
May 16, 2012
I loved this book! The story is amazing and the writing is wonderful. I also have some favourite quotes from this book that I need to find again.

The story is centred around Abby living in a small town called Sleepy Hollow where her best friend Kristen has been missing for many months. I really liked how the writer focused the story around the town and its legend (The Sleepy Hollow) aswell as the people within the town.

The story builds up with Abby dealing with Kristen no longer being around and then she meets a boy, Caspian, who she starts to fall in love with. Caspian is a confusing character who made Abby and myself frustrated. I knew there was something up with this guy and then we finally find out towards the end and my heart went out to both of them. It's quite sad.

The Hollow kind of follows the same storyline as the book Fallen with the whole 'we never know what's really going on with this guy until the very end' plot. However, this book is much better executed than Fallen as I never got bored and I liked all the characters.

The writing in this book, in my opinion, is one of the best I've ever read for a Young Adult book. There are certain quotes which I love especially when describing Abby's pain over the loss of Kristen and her mixed feelings about Caspian.

Anyway, as you can see, I really enjoyed this book and considering this was a last minute buy in the book shop I'm quite pleased with myself for picking such a good book! I can't wait to read the sequel, in fact, I already bought it and I've started reading it! :D
Profile Image for Judith (Judith'sChoiceReads).
242 reviews201 followers
July 21, 2012

Goodreads Summary

A love like no other...

When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead...and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special.

Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her - one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.

My Thoughts

Where to begin? 'The Hollow' had me at its great cover and back story, I mean mysterious good-looking strangers and weird deaths are the stuff of greatness, right? Nope, I'm afraid I was wrong on that one. I really tried my best to get into this read because I hate not finishing a book! It makes me feel like I've given up and I'm an optimist so there's always that hope that somewhere along the pages it WILL get better. Wrong. The romance was not believable for me as I felt the 'connection' between Abbey and Caspian was weird with a capital 'W' and creepy with a disco ball Sparkly-Cullen.

I mean good-looking guys are all good and well, but seriously? One who randomly appears right where I am in the BASEMENT of my supposed 'dead' friend's house, one he claims he didn't know, and also at the CEMETERY for said friend's funeral?? It's perfect that he asks her to meet him there the next day, it solidifies his creepster status, but also portrays Abbey as the girl who eagerly rushes off to meet him there.

She doesn't even know the stud well enough and hurriedly FOLLOWS?!! No. No way. It was unrealistic and too sudden, so much so that Abbey looked desperate. There, I said it. The writing at the beginning was good enough, even a little quirky and had me chuckling a bit, but as It went on I just couldn't do it.

I get that she lost her best friend and Verday did an excellent job of portraying her loss, but really can't the protagonist be a little more interesting? I picked up 'The Haunting' and wanted to read that, but from my experience with 'The Hollow' I don't think I'll bother. Plus, the image of Caspian's hair was impossible to summon! A single black streak across white hair?! I think I got a headache from just trying to grasp that image...oops, there the *snap*,*crackle*,*pop* of my brain frying goes again! Maybe it's just me but this wasn't one to talk about. Sorry Verday!
Profile Image for Anastasia シ.
460 reviews114 followers
November 22, 2019
This book was good, however in the end the reader is told that Caspian is a ghost....
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for book_nymph_bex.
270 reviews19 followers
January 15, 2010
I'd known about this book for months before it ever came out. I'm even on Verday's mailing list. The premise sounded cool and the cover looks awesome. But it is true what they say, you can't judge a book by it's cover. The story was boring and rather dumb. so let me save you from five hundred pages of tedious description and boring day to day activities...


There are three main parts to the story's plot.

1) Abby's best friend Kristen disappears. A few months later her body if found in the river. It's supposedly a big mystery why she was even at river at night and how she fell in. So Abby's going to find out! About half way through the book she finds a secret journal Kristen kept that talks about a secret boyfriend, D., that she never told Abby about. Abby feels very betrayed. And that's about all on the mystery aspect of the plot. We find nothing else out about Kristen or why she' was at the river or who D is. Abby doesn't even try to find out. And seriously, who would just put the first initial of a person's name in their journal? anyone? unless the whole entry was short hand, i don't think so.

2) Abby meets a boy named Caspian at Abby's funeral. He's kind of creepy in my opinion since he's just kind of there and doesn't answer her questions. And he has skunk hair. But to Abby, he is Hotte (her word, not mine). Which is pretty much the only thing I could figure she sees in him. Anyway, they meet up a lot here and there, mostly at the graveyard or river. Abby spends a lot of the time wondering what is going on with him, as was I because nothing was going on. Their romance really fell flat for me. Then at the very end, we find out that Caspian is dead. He died two years before in a car accident.

3) I'm sure that the story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is supposed to be an important part of the story, but besides visiting Irving's grave a whole lot and Abby loving the story so very much, there really wasn't much going on. Abby meets an old couple in the graveyard and she really likes them but then at the end she finds out that they are the Headless Horseman and Katrina. Irving kindly changed the end of his written story to protect them. But really, that's all we find out. Nothing else. Like the Headless Horseman was already dead by the time he fell in love with Katrina, so how is that working for them? They're both old now. And both dead (i think).

So all of these three plots are really sparse in the FIVE HUNDRED PAGE book. The bulk of the book is about nothing. What Abby ate, how she does her hair, trying to figure out what to wear to meet Caspian, walking by the river, visiting the graveyard, who she talked to at school. over and over and over and over and over again. All of which had nothing to do with the almost non-existent plot. And she makes perfume and gets a job. All of which have nothing to do with the plot. And made the book so extremely BORING.
And then there is Ben. i am very confused about why he has so many pages in the book. Is this supposed to set up a love triangle for the next book? Because I felt like all 500 pages was a set up for the next book since NOTHING HAPPENED!

I want Abby to get a backbone and be the heroine in her own story. To define her relationship with Caspian after a month, not after seven months and only after she finds out he's dead. I want her to care that her friend had a secret boyfriend that she fought with a lot and who made her promise not to tell anyone about their relationship. Who is he and what did he have to do with Kristen's death? Take an active roll in finding out, gosh darn it! I wanted her to talk to the old couple in the graveyard and find out what is going on, not run away to her aunt's.

I wanted her to take a stand on something, ANYTHING, instead of drift through days having meaningless arguments with her mother about the prom and having nightmares that had no purpose in furthering the plot.

So I didn't like this book. Which I am so sad about because I really wanted to like it. I read all FIVE HUNDRED PAGES even though I was bored after the first fifteen because I wanted to have something happen that would redeem the book for me. Nothing ever did. It just got worse
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Yan.
348 reviews74 followers
August 5, 2009
I must admit I’ve been dying to read this book since last year when word leaked out. In some areas The Hollow impressed me but in others, it fell short.

First off judging from the summary you can presume that the story will heavily revolve on the death of Kristen or some feature of her correct? Sadly it was about 10% Kristen and 75% Caspian swooning, 5% Sleepy Hollow legend, and 10% daily life activity.

Just chapters after the funeral with Kristen, Abbey somewhat falls in love with Caspian. I was a bit shocked and miffed at this development. Even more so when Kristen is practically dismissed for the next couple of chapters while Abbey continues to swoon over Caspian. Verday though manages to deal with Abbey’s grief in the middle of novel of Kristen while inserting several flashbacks of their friendships throughout some chapters. We then get a peak of Kristen’s secret diary and a mystery “D” whom Kristen falls in love with. We dealt with that for about a chapter then nothing more until seemingly the last few chapters (only about a line or two). It’s all very much frustrating.

I enjoyed the little tidbits of how Abby creates perfumes, the fact that the author talked about the Legend of Sleepy Hollow for readers who may have never heard of it, and the many twists. The old couples? Yup. Caspian? Yup. Abbey running away when nothing makes sense? Definitely yes! Seriously I’m tired of people poking their noses into things that you shouldn’t. You know those scary movies where you’re screaming at the screen “No! You stupid idiot, run! Don’t open that door!” From that moment on I gained respect for Abbey (too bad it was like the last chapter when it happened).

And finally Caspian. I liked him in the very beginning with his weird, funky do (very pale yellow with a jet black streak) but then he plummeted on my “like” scale when he confessed to Abbey that he never loved her. Wow. You suck. Can’t believe you led her on for…24 chapters just to shoot her down. He started out promising; kind, sweet, a bit secretive for my taste, and edgy. The twist in the end I should have expected….

The secrets and mysteries of The Hollow are never fully answered. It just builds and builds, up until the point where I’m frighten that Verday may not be able to answer them all...or at least to the expectation that the readers may want.

Overall: A many missing holes.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for ☣Lynn☣.
743 reviews203 followers
July 20, 2015
The last time I read this I was still in my 'Twilight phase' and I gave this 5 stars and a fangirl review that had a lot of OMG CASPIAN IS SO HOT bullcrap. It's funny how you read a favorite you haven't read for a good 6 years or so and end up hating it. I hate when that happens I really do, but this book was so full of insta love and so fucking boring that I can't help but hate it.

I can see why I loved this years ago though. It's pretty much like Twilight. Although Twilight actually has some paranormal stuff going on. This book doesn't. It's a 500 page book and nothing paranormal happens till the last 50 or so pages... -___- The whole book is basically about her being depressed that her bff died and her drooling over her so called 'boyfriend' Caspian. That's basically the whole story till the very end. And instead of finding out HOW her bff died, she goes around obsessing about this boy who she knows basically NOTHING about.

I like Twilight more than this crap.

Do not recommend at all!
Profile Image for Kiki.
193 reviews8,460 followers
July 30, 2011
I liked this book. Not because the story was in any way symbolic, deep or profound; not because the characters were rounded or ever properly explained, not even because the setting convinced me; no, it was simply because no matter how hard I tried to pick fault with this book, tried to tell myself it was a bad YA crap-out by a lazy author, I couldn't. I enjoyed it too much.

It was fun, original and kept me entertained for a good six or so hours. The pacing was fine, and I liked that it was based upon Washington Irving's classic tale of Sleepy Hollow. I change what I previously said on this review, since on analysis, Abbey was an alright heroine. She wasn't too flat, and although there was a lot of room for expansion, she has a promising career ahead of her. Caspian was unique, captivating and although he has the same kind of minor issues as Abbey, he too has a lot of great potential.

But I wasn't totally fooled; there were a few times when I sat back and thought 'all this is stupid. With the Headless Horseman and all the crazy twists'. But...when all's said and done, it was fine. It was.

One thing I will say is that when I mention the book being well paced, I mean the book in general. The romance was too slow, for one, although the relationship between the main protagonist and her elderly friends did provide light relief, even though the outcome of that friendship is wholly bizarre.

Overall, the book was fine. That's my verdict. Not bad, but nowhere near excellent. And I'm pretty sure that if I see the sequel on the bookshelves of Cole's, I'll pick it up and spend a few dollars on it.

Also: I prefer the paperback cover by far. The hardcover jacket design is horrible. Horrible.
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews907 followers
March 27, 2016
*nervous laughter* umm I don't actually think I read a story, because for some reason I was looking for one and couldn't find any. Unless you call instant love with a boy named Caspian (!!!!!!) after a month of barely knowing each other a "romance." And you could see the big reveal from miles away. It wasn't even a big deal! I thought this book was going to be about Abbey trying to find out how and why her best friend died, but there was nothing but romance and Abbey going on her daily life, watching her break down and cry and mourn for her dead best friend. That part was realistic but everything else? Not so much. I was sooo bored so I pretty much skimmed until the very end when something exciting happened, when actually I knew all along who these people were. A big disappointment and I kind of wished I didn't even bother with this book. Now I have the others and I don't know if I want to continue on.. But maybe I will because I really need to know why she died. I'm torn.
Profile Image for Sarah Marie.
1,839 reviews226 followers
July 30, 2018
The Hollow by Jessica Verday

Book one in The Hollow trilogy

2 stars (originally 5 stars)

Abbey’s best friend, Kristen, has gone missing. She’s wracked with guilt, confusion, and wonders what happened to her friend. It doesn’t help that Kristen’s parents have decided to bury a coffin without Kristen inside of it. At the funeral, Abbey meets a strange boy with white hair and a black steak. Her world has been turned upside by the loss of her best friend, but who is this mysterious boy who keeps her company in the cemetery. This was one of emo thirteen-year-old Sarah’s favorite books. I loved it because of its ambiance and I connected with Abbey’s depression and love for the macabre—legend of Sleepy Hollow, the cemetery, and moody boys. Twenty-year-old Sarah does not share the same sentiments. The ambiance fluctuates between kind of foreboding and overwhelmingly chessy. This book wants to be a ghost story but isn’t one until the last two chapters. I remember loving the big reveal and it was why I loved the book so much when I was younger, but as someone who has read more books, this is rushed and poorly plotted. It feels almost like Verday remembered that she needed to finish the book someway because by chapter 23 out of 25, Abbey is working on a science fair project and doing a lot of borrowing inconsequential things that don’t affect the story at all. It’s not horrible, but it’s underwhelming. Verday has promise. There were times where I really liked her descriptions of the landscape and her intertwining of the legend of Sleepy Hollow to the town the novel is set in and its relation to the story, but this is 85% about Abbey mooning over Caspian. It’s boring and cliché. It is a steaming pile of instalove and angsty teenage moaning about true love not being fair and tragic and yada yada yada.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 2

Abbey is a drag. I appreciate that she is a character struggling with depression, but she is very empty. I think that’s what Verday was going for and she succeeds in that depiction, but people are more than their depression and I would have liked more characterization. I did like that Abbey was passionate about perfume making. It’s unique and it’s been a character trait that I’ve remembered for years. She is too boy obsessed for me to really care though, so I don’t know. I couldn’t tell at times if she was mourning the loss of a friend or the cold-shoulder of her heart throb. It was unconvincing.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 2.25

Caspian… what a name. Someone really loves the Chronicles of Narnia and it’s appeal to sounding like a goth kid’s attempt at rebranding themselves during their teen years. I used to think he was so swoon worthy, but I can’t tell you one thing about Caspian besides his affinity for classic literature and always showing up when Abbey is really sad and needs him most. He is soulless. An empty shell of a person and why Abbey lusts after him is beyond me.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 1

The Villain- Pretty sure Verday forgot about writing one in. There’s this mysterious plot about Kristen having two journals and living a double life. I suspect it is leading up to a villain for the future, but this novel is boring. There’s no suspense. No terror. Just the moonings of a teenage girl.

Villain Scale: ???

That Ben guy was annoying. I think he’s supposed to be the Jacob end of the love triangle, but he’s weird. Who sees a girl that he doesn’t know but has forced his friendship upon (creepily and ineffectively I may add) a girl at a restaurant with family while on a date and ask to sit with these strangers? It was the most awkward thing (outside of Abbey’s pining) that I had to endure listening to. Also, who is Kristen? I keep being told and shown memories of them together, but who was she as a person. She wasn’t just a friend. My friends are people with qualities and I can list all the things I love about them and why I value their friendship while also telling stories about times we hung out, but Abbey seems to only be able to relay memories and not reasons why she loved her friend.

Character Scale: 2

This reread was a bust. It proved to me that I really have grown as a reader and my tastes have changed drastically. I do plan on checking out the sequel because I’ve heard the writing and story improves. We shall see.

Plotastic Scale: 2

Cover Thoughts: Back in the day, I read that ugly hardcover, but I love the necklace cover. It is beautiful.

The Hollow is one of my favorite books. I loved Abby and Caspian they were such good characters. Abby struggles with the death of her best friend and ends up meeting Caspian and falls for him. I liked the paranormal twist that was thrown into the mix, especially since it was vampires. I love vampire novels, but I like having a mix of other paranormal creatures and this book took the cake for a good jaw-dropping shocker.
December 23, 2013
What a FUCKING disappointment! This shitload of shit was nothing but a pure disaster and once again not the exciting type!

I can't understand why this book is tagged as "paranormal" or "urban fantasy" cause 90% of this crap was about Abbeys normal everyday life! I'm not making that up unfortunately!

I'll just let the pictures say what an absolute disaster this book was!

Profile Image for ~Tina~.
1,092 reviews159 followers
January 24, 2010
I can see why not a lot of people liked The Hollow. It was slow paced and very detailed, but in this case that's why I liked it. It was a very vivid book filled with a lot of sorrow and regret. It was a charming tale that put a good spin on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The characters grief wasn't dulled down, so it made Abby more believable. Caspian (great name) is mysterious and alluring.
All in all this was a decent read and I'm looking froward to reading this trilogy!
Profile Image for Jennie Damron.
467 reviews60 followers
August 5, 2019
I enjoyed this book so much. First off I loved the depiction of Abbey's grief for her best friend, Kristen. The ache, numbness, isolation and anger is so relatable and true. I know what it is to have your heart broken by an unbearable loss. I loved how that was written. Abbey is a great character. I loved how she talks to the grave markers and spends her free time in a cemetery because that's where she feels at peace. I was intrigued with her making perfumes and loved the scents she was working on. I thought that intertwined with the story well. Caspian is a great character. Mysterious, full of secrets, brooding, intelligent, draws and loves books. I mean come on...I would be swooning too. Love a man who reads and can hold his own in a decent conversation. Sometimes I thought the author would get lost in unnecessary thoughts or details, but other than that I enjoyed the read. Can't wait to read the second book.
Profile Image for Jude.
198 reviews637 followers
September 26, 2017

I was walking through borders, [Before it went RIP] and I saw the cover of this book [the old one] and I just picked it up and bought it without reading the summary.

Once home and reading the summary I just dived in and I LOVED it! I saw a lot of reviews in which they argued the slow pace of the book, but, to be honest I just jumped into the story and it refused to let go until the very end.

There were so many things circling the story! Abbey's best friend mysterious dead, a black diary, a live legend in sleepy hollow and a haunted boy...

My heart was beating hard along with Abbey's and the ending definitely caught me by surprise! it was sorta predictable what Caspian's -the haunted boy - situation was, but I just never imagined that abbey would react that way. I've been reading a lot of books with similar situations lately and usually the protagonist just suck it up and deal or they super fall in love. This was a more realistic reaction and one that I LOVED.

Cliffhanger ending, The Hollow is not one to be missed :)

Profile Image for Kristy.
592 reviews87 followers
December 15, 2010
Well, I'm torn on this one....
On the one hand:
It was extremely original.
It was about Sleepy Hollow.
It dealt with real issues and emotions.
The Characters were believable.
It was a pretty fun read.
The information on the perfume was kind of a neat, off-beat topic.
The descriptions of gifts and objects were inpecable.
The Town

On the flip side;
It was extremely long, I felt like it took forever to read.
Some of the dialoge was really bad and unrealistic.
It was sad.
I didn't get enough sleepy hollow, i got more of a weird romance.
The parents were either, not around or being abnormaly controlling.
The mom was pretty much an awful character.
I found it odd that this girl spent so much time a the cemetery... i know it was part of the book, but it's still a little wierd.

I would suggest this if you are interested in reading a non-scary, romantic (somewhat watered down), modern day sleepy hollow.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Marzie.
1,128 reviews91 followers
Want to read
March 29, 2011
I'm reading it on principle. You can read about why here:


and here:


Oh dear, Trisha Telep made a big mistake and Running Press and Constable and Robinson did too little, too late, and too ambiguously to correct it. Oh dear, Jessica, I'm buying your books not the ones she's editing. Oh dear, I hope this garners you a lot of press and gets people to realize that oh, dear, gay people and bi people are allowed to have YA stories about them, too.

Profile Image for Ceitidh.
297 reviews130 followers
September 17, 2011
More reviews at http://dazzlingreads.blogspot.com/

The book was there on the shelf with a facing display and a the girl with Gothic makeup caught my attention. She looked at me, and somehow, I saw my own reflection. Then, I read the book title; The Hollow. This picked my curiosity so I took it from the shelf and started to read. It was something about a romance in the town of Sleepy Hollow and that was enough. Seconds later, I was running with the book in my hands toward the cash line.

This is how I first met The Hollow by Jessica Verday. This is a enchanted, mysterious and lugubrious story behind a beautiful romance and one of my most beloved characters ever, Caspian. He is the reason I kept reading with an accelerated heart beat. The Hollow is a story that really captivated me. I know there are some mixed reviews about it, but from my point of view, It is a really good book and I enjoyed entirely! It engrossed me in such a way that I remember going back to the bookstore to purchase the second book right after I finished the last page. I couldn't wait any longer. That's why I went back to the shelves just a day after buying this book. Jessica Verday created a whole new story that intertwines with the legend of Sleepy Hollow. How could I not love it! The aesthetics of the setting and the fine descriptions gives me chills and makes my sigh during the whole read. There is so much beauty in this gloomy landscape, I just couldn't put it down.

Here we have a book with murderer, mystery, danger, chills, peculiar and lovable characters, chemistry, an intelligent heroine and a swoon worthy boy. If you like young adult paranormal romance, then The Hollow by Jessica Verday is definitely your book!
Profile Image for Kate.
272 reviews75 followers
June 20, 2010
Update June 2010: I change my rating for this book. After reading MANY books over the past few months, I realise The Hollow was actually not as good as I initially thought. The writing may be good but the plot was icky. Not much character development and no questions answered. I can rattle the names of many authors who expertly wrote books in trilogies with good plots and a least some questions answered.


Initially I did not want to post my review so early but since everyone is excited about Hollow, I decided to post it earlier. The moment I finished reading the first chapter on Jessica's website, I was hooked! I wanted to know more, more about Abbey and Kristen. I was lucky enough to get an ARC for The Hollow a few weeks later.

When I finished reading The Hollow, my first thought was Oh My God. It was so freaking good absolutely wonderful! I was very impressed by Jessica's writing. Her descriptions were very vivid. Here's a teaser (nothing spoilerish):

He was wearing a seventies-style brown paisley shirt that did not flatter this portly frame in any way and, unfortunately already bore the faint marking of a sweat patch under each arm. (pg 56)

Maulsoleums and crypts, with faded names that I knew by heart, rose majestically from the earth. Their outsides, although ravaged by the effects of time, still provided a safe place for the bodies that rested inside, and I nodded my head as a sign of respect to those once graceful homes of the departed. (pg 71)

His smile was breathtaking, and heartbreaking, all at the same time. (pg 120)

Hope you enjoyed the teasers. ;) You can see how much I love Jessica's writing! She's a really good writer. I was quite surprised to learn that Abbey made perfumes. I wasn't expecting that but I found it really cool. Makes her character very unique from all the others that I have read.

As this book is the first book in a trilogy, there will be unanswered questions. Definitely makes readers want the second book once you're done with the first.

I'm trying to make my review spoiler free so I will keep this short. The Hollow is definitely a book you do not want to miss. A must read! The next two books in the trilogy come out in 2010 and 2011. I can't wait! The Hollow comes out September 1 2009. Preorder it now on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Visit Jessica Verday's blog and Lee Verday's blog as well.

Gold Star!

View the review with a VIDEO on my site: click here!
Profile Image for Joanne.
1,026 reviews148 followers
October 20, 2009
I didn’t like this book. It starts off with Abbey at the memorial service of her best friend, Kristen, and it’s quite intriguing. Abbey doesn’t believe she’s dead, but she has no clue what happened. Questions spring to mind automatically for the reader, but you’ll have to wait a while for even a smidgen of an answer. Then Caspian enters, and Abbey falls for him. The only problem is, he’s hot, then he’s cold, and Abbey never really knows what’s going on with them.

That’s pretty much the story; what happened to Kristen and what’s happening between the two of them? Things start picking up around the last 40 – 30 pages. Perhaps there will be some meaning in the next book in the series, but most of what happens in this book – walks through the cemetery, Abbey making perfume, going to school and coming home – it doesn’t really play any real part, and drags. I suppose you could say that it helps to build characterisation, and you could be right, but it just wasn’t interesting, in my opinion. I always read on author sites that scenes should make the story progress. For the most part, in my opinion, they didn’t in The Hollow.

The characters; I really liked Ben. Who is Ben? A secondary character you don’t see very much of, but the only one who seemed real to me. Abbey and Caspian just don’t behave like normal teenagers. A lot of my friends are teenagers, and I watch American teenage movies; teenagers don’t behave the way Abbey and Caspian do. Abbey reads far too much into what Caspian says, and reacts more like a younger teenager, say 12 – 13, rather than a 16-year-old. Caspian is around 20, and nor does he say things someone his age would say, nor what guys would say generally – or at least not in the way Caspian says them. Neither character was all that believable, and I didn’t feel anything for them. I didn’t relate to them, and I didn’t care about them.

On a positive note, the description in this novel was amazing. You can really see in your mind’s eye all the places Abbey goes to, and they sound so beautiful! Especially the cemetery! The setting of Sleepy Hollow for this novel is just awesome to imagine.

For anyone expecting an action packed urban fantasy, be prepared to be disappointed. There is no action, and the only fantasy elements make an appearance in the last 40 – 30 pages. There aren’t really any concrete answers to the questions brought up throughout the book. Overall, I was pretty disappointed with The Hollow, especially as I was really looking forward to it.

The Hollow wasn’t for me, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be for you either. Read a few other reviews before you make a choice. But I think I can safely say I won’t be picking up the sequel when it comes out.
Profile Image for Brigid ✩.
581 reviews1,821 followers
September 22, 2012
Actual rating: 2.5

Abbey lives in the small town of Sleepy Hollow. You know ...

... That one.

Recently, Abbey's best friend, Kristen, disappeared near a bridge. While most people believe that Kristen's death was an accident, Abbey suspects that something fishy is going on. Then things start getting weirder, when some mysterious boy she's never seen before shows up at Kristen's funeral ... and then, naturally, starts stalking her everywhere.

(You can probably already see where this is headed.)

So, it turns out the boy's name is Caspian (which I'm pretty sure isn't a real name except in Narnia). He is also super sexy and he and Abbey fall in insta-love. Caspian follows Abbey around, and insists on calling her "Astrid" because apparently her real name is too stupid, and ... well, let's just say some weird supernatural shit is going on, because it's a paranormal romance and yeah. I won't spoil it, but I think you get the idea.

Well okay, this book wasn't all bad. I did get through it pretty fast and found it entertaining enough that I didn't give up on it.

The setting in Sleepy Hollow and the integration of Washington Irving's story were interesting, and something I haven't seen in a YA book before. I think Jessica Verday did a good job conveying what good friends Abbey and Kristen were, and what a big loss it was for Abbey. Also, Abbey is a perfume-maker, which is original and pretty cool. Except, she plans on someday having a perfume shop called ... Abbey's Hollow.


But anyway, it was a cool aspect of the story nonetheless.

So, over all this was a pretty predictable YA paranormal romance. However, it did have enough original elements to keep me interested and compel me to read the second one. I don't know if I'll read the third, but I thought this one and the second one were both pretty okay.

Profile Image for jesse.
989 reviews100 followers
June 16, 2010
Abbey's best friend Kristen dies or so the whole town believes, because the body hasn't been found yet. She finds consolation in doing the things she would've done were Kristen with her. Hanging out at Sleepy Hollow's cemetery. Talking to (dead) Mr Irving. Looking for new things. There she also meets Casper Caspian, who seems to be more than meets the eye.

I read 3/4 of the book and skimmed through the rest. The pacing of the book was kind of off. Slow. Not that much suspense. Mrs Verday must've thought the suspense she created through the mysterious Casper Caspian and the unsolved case of Kristen's whereabouts were enough. Which it sadly weren't. The idea itself wasn't original either, - entwining a classic (Irving's Sleepy Hollow) with the author's own story. I guess the potential was there, but it wasn't tastefully done. So, there you go!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Krystle.
893 reviews337 followers
July 8, 2010
I picked up this book because I was intrigued by the incorporation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow into the story and the very striking cover. Sadly, picking a book mainly on the merits of its cover was not a smart thing to do.

It was a chore to read this book. Most of this story revolves around the day to day where it seems like the plot was nowhere to be found, nor was it actually moving forward. I couldn’t help but scream to myself, “what is the point of all this!” Her life consists of Caspian, Caspian, and nothing but Caspian. It was like she was consumed by him. Beh! And for that the romance felt extremely rushed, lacked chemistry, and didn’t feel at all plausible.

The writing for this story varied from decent, poor, to annoying, and usually they could all be found in the same chapter. I’m guessing if I had to make a comparison it reminds me of Beautiful Creatures, just not as somber of a mood and with less of an obvious plot. There were lots of repetitions and the use of the word very. Bleh.

And the climax of this book was not satisfactory at all. The huge big reveal left me going, “what you couldn’t have done that about 250 pages earlier?” And not all the plot points were wrapped up either. Who the heck is this person her friend Kristen was dating? It didn’t even delve into that other than “maybe I should be happy not knowing”. HUH?

On the plus side, I liked how Abbey made perfumes and all the intricate details in the choice of ingredients, scents, and the process she used to create them. The book made an effort to showcase real grief at someone losing their best friend; it didn’t just go away in the span of a few chapters. The repercussions lasted almost throughout the book, a much more realistic depiction. But was it done well? Eh, that’s up for debate.

The best thing is that the spacing between lines is huge, so you’d be able to read through it fast. Interesting premise and cover but lacked in actual development and execution.
Profile Image for EmilyViolet.
349 reviews4 followers
July 11, 2014
Ah- I- no- My god- SO BAD!

I am honestly astounded how BAD this book was. I was really looking forward to reading it for some reason, but this book was seriously the biggest let down I've ever read.
I'm really mad, so instead of ranting, I'm going to list. Yes, lists are my friends.
-Main character with almost NO personality.
-Main character with only the trait of BLOODY ANNOYING AND SLAP WORTHY
-Main character trying to be distinguished by one tiny thing that just DOES NOT WORK
-Main character randomly throwing up, having breakdowns and grinning when she just got rejected
-Main character completely oblivious
-Main character supposedly 'smart' when she sounds like the dumbest person on the planet
-Love interest so Edward-like it was freaking soul crushing
-Love interest WAY too dramatic and over the top
-Love interest with no personality besides 'the love interest'
-I guessed what the love interest was like halfway through the book
-Main character's parents either ignorant to the and/or ignore child, or overbearing/terrible at parenting/bipolar
-So totally generic the gun started looking enticing, eg. cemeteries, friends dying, second 'nice' love interest, the underdog, total wuss, ghosts
-Book draaaaaaaaaaaagged out so much I literally nearly stopped reading it

As you can see, I could go on forever. But I won't put you through that.

One of the many, many worst parts was the fact I was so excited about this book, that I got this one PLUS the sequel out, and now I can't stand the sight of either. I'm not even going to give the second book a chance, I don't care if it's a thousand times better, it still WON'T BE GOOD!

This book is seriously in the running for the worst book I've ever read and I commend anyone who has also suffered through these long, drawn out, insufferable pages.
Profile Image for Farlene.
97 reviews8 followers
October 7, 2015
Actually 1.5⭐️
When I read a book I want to get emotionally involved. I want to be taken on an adventure, get frustrated, sad, angry or explode with happiness... I felt nothing but boredom.
This story didn't peak till the last 30 pages or so...It was stagnant for 480 pages! And what disappointed me even more is that I knew what was coming, so it wasn't even a surprise for me :(
The name of the book is The Hollow, where is the thrill? Where is the horror? The setting is Sleepy Hollow for crying out loud! The only morbidity represented was a cemetery and nothing happened! She just visited it over and over again and that's it!

The romance was dull, as Caspian's character was barely a character to begin with. He was vague and barely had presence. I knew he had a secret, but it was just a flop for me when it was revealed :/
I felt like I read 470 pages of teenage angst followed by 30- something pages of barely there 'suspense'.

I hate to be bashing another novel in one month. Actually, I hate giving bad reviews at all! But I am just being honest and this is only MY opinion....I'm sorry to all who loves this book.
I initially thought that this would be more suitable for 12-15 year olds, but I've read some middle grade books and the standard far exceeds what this book offered.

In the end, I might not be continuing with this trilogy and that is a very hard thing to say because It just makes me sad when a story's potential is destroyed. :(
Profile Image for Allybal.
8 reviews16 followers
September 22, 2009
"...This sequestered glen has long been known by the name of Sleepy Hollow."

When I received The Hollow in the mail I nearly threw my other reading selections aside, their bookmarks noting my reality of being rather far from completion, and I happily welcomed this exciting, inviting take on an old classic.

You are greeted by obviously beautiful cover art, and a well chosen font style but then you open the rather large book to see nearly 500 pages of a much larger then necessary font.(Oh, the waste of paper!) The first chapter in about 8 pages, but it takes less then two minutes to read... it's just a little unnecessary.(Even if it's aimed at younger 'tweens' they can still read a more moderately sized type.)

Any-who, I finished The Hollow in two long, uninspired days to be left feeling entirely disappointed and with more then a few question marks looming overhead.

Abbey and Kristen have a strange obsession with their hometown, Sleepy Hollow and the famous Legend that is derived from it. Which ultimately leaves them unpopular, and painfully strange.

When Abbey meets Caspian, a dark, mysterious brooding type in the cemetery she frequents, a rather alarming crush occurs, or as we are to believe a relationship is formed. Which of course works out beautifully to help distract our misfit Abbey from the recent death of her best and only friend, Kristen.

Our heroine, Abbey is original sure, in that archetypal 'loner-girl' kind of way that is customary to these human/supernatural relationship central tales.
Although I will say that her passion of creating perfumes was rather intriguing,... at first, that quickly became tired with her prolonged explanations of their individual scents and composition.
Author Tip: Don't focus so long on certain things that you cannot control. Reading a book cannot convey real scent, the attempt at creating a real sensation is nice, but not possible. Overall it becomes redundant, then frustrating.. I would love to be able to smell Kristen's very original perfume, or Caspian's that smells like delicious snicker-doodle cookies, but hey this is reality and not smell-o-vision book edition.

Which isn't to allude that I dislike description, it's just that overall I find, Verday hasn't quite grasped the most enjoyable way for the reader to really see her stories. Pages and pages focus on mundane tasks that have no real place or importance in the plot and aren't even slightly entertaining. Abbey working for her uncle, Abbey walking through her cemetery routine, Abbey cooking, Abbey making perfume, Abbey whining over her non-relationship with Caspian, Abbey whining about how much she misses Kristen....

Really, Abbey just does a lot of whining.

Not to mention, Caspian isn't very drool-worthy. He seems completely indifferent to Abbey most of the time, and by the end I find myself almost forgetting anything he's done only chapters before and even worse caring if their 'relationship' will work out.

Maybe I'm just hypercritical because it's been a few years since high school for me, maybe I've crossed over that bridge and can't really connect because that part of my life is over... but I enjoy plenty of young adult novels without feeling so completely void of any and all REAL emotion. That tends to be the best part of these types of stories, their ability to transport us all back to a different point in our lives, with sweeping emotions and stereotypical but entertaining characters and situations.

The most upsetting element of this whole thing too, is the climax and resolution are thrown together so sloppily in the last few chapters it all barely makes sense. It really is a great idea, it just needed a lot more work.... and a real plot.

Oh, and I still can't find a moral to the story.
Profile Image for Ichigo.
150 reviews
September 7, 2011
Profile Image for Howard.
1,178 reviews73 followers
October 16, 2020
3 Stars for The Hollow: The Hollow Series, Book 1 (audiobook) by Jessica Verday read by Cassandra Campbell. This was an YA novel that didn’t quite work for me. I don’t think that I’ll be read the next book in the series. The narration was good though.
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