The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

The Hollow Girl

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...

Title:The Hollow Girl
Author:
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Edition Language:English

The Hollow Girl Reviews

  • Allison

    This is such a powerful book. It really packs an emotional wallop. I cried off and on through the entire thing. And then I didn't want to read anything else for a week after.

    Full review to come.

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)

    This is one of those reviews where I feel like I should clarify that

    tells the story of a Romani girl who is the victim of a violent rape and sees a boy she likes killed. To save her friends, she goes on to extract one body parts from these boys, sometimes when they are alive and

    This is one of those reviews where I feel like I should clarify that

    tells the story of a Romani girl who is the victim of a violent rape and sees a boy she likes killed. To save her friends, she goes on to extract one body parts from these boys, sometimes when they are alive and sometimes when they are not. And yeah, it is fucking creepy and awesome - buuuuuuut there are a few issues. Let's discuss. Faults come first.

    Okay, writing style here

    .

    It's not just the lack of showing, though;

    There's a moment where Gran tells a long story that's clearly meant to parallel Bethan's life, which would be awesome, but then the narrative outright states “this parallels my life.” This is a recurring pattern; the author will use a literary device well, and then call it out specifically as if it was hard to catch, taking away the emotional impact and makes the book feel more amateurish than it actually is.

    Guys, this book is a tonal fucking

    . The first 100 pages are not remotely brutal and frankly, they don't have enough dramatic tension to lessen their sedentary nature. But the real pacing faults occur later on as the book actually gets brutal. There's blood and rape and a thousand different plot points occurring and yet somehow it was boring. The plot didn't feel driven; Bethan needs to extract five body parts in three days and yet she spends so much time sitting at home that this conflict loses its tension.

    It is so hard to feel worried about how fast Bethan needs to get this killing done when Bethan has literally wasted three days waiting at home. Making timing a conflict here is completely empty and contrived, an easy way to manipulate the audience. And even worse,

    When the protagonist is trying to achieve something she decided not to achieve just a few chapters ago, the final conflict misses a lot of tension.

    For me, personally, the ending was not

    as much of a gut punch as I'd hoped. I had hoped for Bethan to have a big emotional moment to end the book with a bang, easily shooting this to a four star - after all, she

    the best part of this whole book. Unfortunately,

    rather than character-heavy, paying less attention to Bethan's internal conflict than it does to flimsy plot conflicts. You guys know I'm a sucker for an emotionally cathartic and character-focused ending, and I think with more focus on Bethan's emotional issues, the ending could've been a tearjerker. But... no.

    Rape here is treated as a mortal sin, not because of the sexual element, but because of the violation it entails. The author treats this subject with care, and writes in an emotive way. Also, putting a trigger warning for rape in the author's note was fantastic.

    Monahan also infuses this story with good rep of Romani culture. I really appreciated the note at the front of the book to clarify her heritage. (It was just a really good note, okay?? I'll move on to the actual book soon.) It's clear that she knows what she's talking about with her representation.

    Listen, not to sound like a terrible human being, but this book is

    . You know how I feel about that.

    There totally is a romance here and while it didn't do

    much for me, it's not a bad romance by any means. The book doesn't use the romance as a way to cure Bethan of her trauma, but also doesn't ignore the progression of a relationship after rape. Which... was kind of amazing, to be honest.

    Listen, guys, I LOVE Bethan. She's a rich antihero who always manages to gain your sympathy, even while she's tearing out someone's eye. She brings a new name to morally ambiguous and I love it. And her character arc around trauma is a fucking masterpiece - her touch-averseness and need to close herself off are written beautifully.

    If you like suspense or horror, this book is a pretty damn solid read. While

    had its issues - for me, anyway - Bethan's character is a fucking achievement and basically made this book for me. It's clear that a lot of thought went into this novel and I'm excited to see what Monahan comes up with next.

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  • Ellen Gail

    4.5 dreadfully good stars!

    With vibes of

    ,

    , and

    ,

    is haunting and bloody, tender and brutal. It promises grand and terrifying things,

    4.5 dreadfully good stars!

    With vibes of

    ,

    , and

    ,

    is haunting and bloody, tender and brutal. It promises grand and terrifying things, and delivers them with a wham.

    I've been trying to write this review for days. Do you ever have a book where you're like, "Fuck, that was great!" but you have no idea what to say about it? Or I know what I want to say, but my brain will not cooperate. I've just been typing words and nothing is happening.

    No matter how hard I try, I just can't really get words for this one.

    So, I'll let the book do the talking.

    First, some wise words from some very talented authors, in case my recommendation isn't enough for you. And if it isn't, well how

    you not take the word of me, a highly accomplished internetour?

    This was actually my ineptus to read this one - the authors of

    ,

    , and

    ALL loved this? How could I not read it?

    So, since my words have failed me, I hereby present much better words from

    , aka reasons why you should read it.

    That's all I've got folks. The whole book is brilliant. Just read go read it.

  • Mel (Epic Reading)

    Ugh.

    Where do I even start?

    This book is set at an indeterminate time... maybe in the late 1800's? Our lead gal is being raised by her gypsy caravan's 'witch'. The lady that everyone goes to for healing, charms, etc. At first we are not sure that any magic is real; that quickly changes. I'm going to use the common words for gypsy, herbal woman/witch, and what not. The book uses (what I assume) are the correct words to describe these groups but let's face it you won't know these words if I

    Ugh.

    Where do I even start?

    This book is set at an indeterminate time... maybe in the late 1800's? Our lead gal is being raised by her gypsy caravan's 'witch'. The lady that everyone goes to for healing, charms, etc. At first we are not sure that any magic is real; that quickly changes. I'm going to use the common words for gypsy, herbal woman/witch, and what not. The book uses (what I assume) are the correct words to describe these groups but let's face it you won't know these words if I use them. So for simplicity sake I'll be generic below.

    If gruesome, gross and immorale is what you think defines a horror YA book then perhaps The Hollow Girl is for you. For me the only thing scary about this book was that it was: A) making excuses for why it's morale and okay (in some ways) to act on vengeance and take revenge; B) how bad the writing was.

    A good horror book, like a good sword wielding fantasy story will have elements of gore in it; but there is a lot more to the story in that. It should give build slowly, give you shivers at times and make you question the thoughts and beliefs of the main character. And likely have empathy for some of the characters involved (because it's not their fault).

    And yes horrific things happen in The Hollow Girl such as rape, murder, torture, lose of appendages, etc. But none of these events are what I found to be the hardest to accept. Instead I cannot believe that anyone would think it appropriate to torture, murder and maim others in order to save one person.

    There are very few situations in which I am convinced that someone deserves to be physically punished. Now that's not to say that the occasional smack to a small child is wrong. I believe that at certain moments and levels that can be an appropriate parental response. BUT you would always react in an appropriate way and not out of a spiteful revenge filled place. Too bad our lead gal isn't taught this lesson. Instead she is taught the dark magic of her people by the existing herbal doctor she lives and grew up with.

    It doesn't really bother me that our lead gal wants vengeance but it does bother me that she enacts her revenge on five of her peers (boys) at the consistent encouragement from the herbal doctor she calls grandmother. I don't want to teach children to be like Stephen King's Carrie and that getting revenge is the right course of action.

    If we all took an eye for an eye each time we were wronged then we would be a society of blind people.

    Between the unnecessary blood and gore, questionable moral compass and the attempt (with the authors note at the beginning of the book) to make readers feel compassionate towards the story without even starting it; I just can't give The Hollow Girl anything more than 2 stars. I only finished it because I was very close to the end (less than 50 pages) and wanted to see if there was some resolution of the morale issues. I was sorely disappointed.

    I would not recommend this book to any one. Even a half-smart teen would see through the typical 'gore' tropes quickly and find it over the top and morally questionable. I love anti-heros and characters you love to hate; but here we are shown a lovely girl that is turned evil in a very unproductive way. I would not recommend this book to any one. Even a half-smart teen would see through the typical 'gore' tropes quickly and find it over the top and morally questionable. I love anti-heros and characters we love to hate; but here we are shown a lovely girl that is turned evil in a very unproductive way.

    For this and more of my reviews please visit my blog at:

  • Candace Robinson

    Perfection! Definitely, one of my favorites this year! I am all about revenge stories. Creepshow 2 (the short with the wooden Native American statue), Last House on the Left (the original, not that piece of crap remake), and I Spit on Your Grave! This book is more than just about revenge, it's about emotion, family bond, a potential love bond, and helping someone that deserves to be whole again. I can't even begin to express how good this book was! Review on my blog

    Perfection! Definitely, one of my favorites this year! I am all about revenge stories. Creepshow 2 (the short with the wooden Native American statue), Last House on the Left (the original, not that piece of crap remake), and I Spit on Your Grave! This book is more than just about revenge, it's about emotion, family bond, a potential love bond, and helping someone that deserves to be whole again. I can't even begin to express how good this book was! Review on my blog

  • Ashley

    I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

    It was released earlier this month (October).

    I was looking for some spooky/creepy reads for this month in celebration of Halloween and came across The Hollow Girl on Netgalley. Magic, witches, I'm all for it! I love books about witches. That's now all this book is about though. There are so many elements to this story and some being very serious and important topics.

    Bethan wants revenge on the boys that harmed her and her friend M

    I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

    It was released earlier this month (October).

    I was looking for some spooky/creepy reads for this month in celebration of Halloween and came across The Hollow Girl on Netgalley. Magic, witches, I'm all for it! I love books about witches. That's now all this book is about though. There are so many elements to this story and some being very serious and important topics.

    Bethan wants revenge on the boys that harmed her and her friend Martyn and in doing so she has to do some pretty intense things. Things that could damage a person's sanity and change them completely. The story was pretty dark and the journey Bethan had to go on was not an easy one. I was rooting for Bethan all the way. I loved her and she did what she had to do. I felt like she grew throughout the story, especially with the things that she had to do (some pretty gory things!) and the things that were done to her. They will completely change a person. 

    Overall, I loved this story and I loved Bethan and Martyn. I especially loved Bethan's relationship with her Gran. There is a strong family bond in this story, which I loved so much. Bethan went on this dark emotional journey, but she also gained so much as well. I honestly wish there was a sequel, because I would really like to see more of what happened after the things in The Hollow Girl. Perfect Halloween read or to read anytime, really. It deals with a lot of important things such as physical abuse (and more). I highly recommend checking this one out!

  • destiny ☠ howling libraries

    Just got approved for an ARC of this one and let me tell you, if this book does not involve revenge of absolutely

    , I am going to be sorely disappointed.

  • Fadwa (Word Wonders)

    Full review originally posted on my blog:

    This book. THIS BOOK. I’ve been staring at my screen for the past half hour trying to collect my thoughts and write them into words but I’m failing miserably because as hard as this book was to read, it felt so deeply personal to me. Beyond the revenge, beyon

    Full review originally posted on my blog:

    This book. THIS BOOK. I’ve been staring at my screen for the past half hour trying to collect my thoughts and write them into words but I’m failing miserably because as hard as this book was to read, it felt so deeply personal to me. Beyond the revenge, beyond the gore, Bethan’s inner thoughts and journey spoke to my soul for more reasons than one reason but holy wow, it was an amazing read that I would recommend BUT with caution as it can be very graphic.

    Hillary Monahan is such a freaking talented writer, I love her writing style in general but what surprised me even more here is how she is able to tailor it not only to the genre of the book but also the themes it deals with. Here it’s gorgeous and strong and so so emotional, I could feel everything Bethan was feeling, the despair, the hollowness, the fear, all of it and I’m not gonna lie, it was tough on me, I had to take breaks but I got there and I loved it.

    The only thing I did not like about the book is its pacing. It feels unbalanced. The whole first half of the story is slow paced and nothing much happens in it if we’re being honest. I think it was done to help the reader get familiar with the setting, the culture etc… and to immerse themself in the story, and build up to the revenge part but I think all of it could’ve been done in a fewer chapters as it felt like it dragged unnecessarily.

    But once the story picked up, oh boy, did it get good. I can’t say I enjoyed it, because that word feels inappropriate considering how the book deals with rape but it was brilliant, so freaking brilliant. I loved how the rape was treated, it’s a mortal sin in Bethan’s Romani community and is treated as such and I also appreciated how the revenge wasn’t for the sake of revenge (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and that she didn’t enjoy any of the thing she did, doing them with a sense of duty only. But still, the fact that she was so powerful and ruthless about it was amazing.

    There’s something I disagree with though, people say the rape is off page, but it’s not completely off page, the start AND end are in the book, not the whole thing thankfully and that alone was enough to put me in a rough state for a couple hours. So, I would advise you proceed with cotion when picking this up if rape can trigger you. The first part of the novel has a lot of harrassement, so I’d be careful with that as well. The second part though is very graphic with the violence and revenge execution it’s bloody, it’s vicious and fascinating especially in the way it was laced with Romani culture and beliefs.

    Another huge plus in the novel is how the Romani culture is treated and so so well crafted in the story, even the atmosphere of the writing matches it perfectly. The author (being multiracial and of Romani heritage) threads with care and makes sure to subtly address many of the bad stereotypes Romani people are subject to. I was completely sucked in the multiple layers of the culture and all the intricate aspects of it.

    I loved Bethan‘s character arc and how authentic she felt to me (emphasize on the *me*). The portrayal of the aftermath of her assault on her mentally and physically was something I cherished because of the nightmares, the hollowness, the touch-averseness. All of it was great to read and reassuring. I also appreciated how her relationship with Martyn didn’t save her. It didn’t even happen (as a romance) by the end of the book because she needed time to heal on her own.

  • Miranda (MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It)

    was the perfect horror novel to put me in the spooky mood. This revenge story was equal parts dark, suspenseful, gritty and emotional.

    Rape is a large element of this book, so there are definitely trigger warnings for that in this story, which the author does point out. I thought that the author handled this sensitive topic in a very understanding and careful way. I don't have any personal knowledge on the topic, but it seemed like the author really looked into it so she could tr

    was the perfect horror novel to put me in the spooky mood. This revenge story was equal parts dark, suspenseful, gritty and emotional.

    Rape is a large element of this book, so there are definitely trigger warnings for that in this story, which the author does point out. I thought that the author handled this sensitive topic in a very understanding and careful way. I don't have any personal knowledge on the topic, but it seemed like the author really looked into it so she could try to present carefully, which I appreciated. I also really liked the way the author represented the Romani culture. Again, I don't know a lot about this subject, but the author expressed her connection to the culture which made her writing seem like a really good representation of the culture.

    Bethan, the main character, went on a really interesting and dark journey. Bethan definitely could be viewed as an anti-hero at times, BUT I WAS LIVING FOR HER. She went through a lot in this book and I really understood why she did the things she did. Bethan was a character that wanted revenge and I did not blame her. Her character development was progressed perfectly throughout this story. I don't know what it says about me, but there were times where I was actually cheering on Bethan as she would take body parts from boys. WHAT A QUEEN!!!!

    There was a hint of romance in this book, but it was never a prominent element of this book. After the dark things Bethan went through, she wasn't really interested in getting involved with a boy. Even though the boy of interest was extremely adorable and kind, I totally understood why Bethan had her hesitations and it was handled very well.

    The beginning of the book was a little slow for me. There were a lot of plotlines that were introduced, but it still felt like not a lot was happening? It took some time for the book's pacing to pick up and get more addicting. Once the book did pick up the pace, I was a lot more invested in the story! I was also hoping for a little more emotional ending for this story. I enjoyed the ending, but I do wish there would have been a little more attention drawn towards the internal conflicts of the characters at the end.

    Overall, this was a really unique and interesting story. If you are a fan of creepy and suspenseful revenge novels that pack an emotional punch, then I definitely would recommend checking out this book!

    3 / 5 Fangs

  • Susana

    Honestly, I don't even know how to rate this story...

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