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
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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 on wordpress)

    3.5 stars.

    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.

    —> 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,

    3.5 stars.

    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.

    —> 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.

    —> The protagonist, Bethan, has a great character arc filled with darkness. She's a rich antihero who always manages to gain your sympathy, even while she's tearing out someone's eye.

    —> The writing style isn't bad, but there's too much telling and not enough showing. 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. This takes away the emotional impact and makes the book feel amateurish.

    —>

    has huge

    . The first 100 pages aren't remotely brutal, but don't have enough dramatic tension to lessen their boring nature. But the real pacing faults occur later on. 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.

    —> Adding on to that, it was hard to feel worried about timing during the finale when Bethan had wasted so much time earlier. It was an empty conflict. Another plot convenience really bothered me; Bethan had an opportunity to kill Silas earlier, and she didn't, which made the final conflict lose much of its tension.

    —> The ending isn't nearly as much of a gut punch as I'd hoped. It sounds cheesy, but I'd hoped for Bethan to have some big emotional breakdown to end the book with a bang. That easily could have shot this to a four star. Unfortunately,

    and not character-heavy enough. In general, this book needed to pay more attention to Bethan's internal conflict during the finale and less attention to the flimsy plot conflicts. With more focus on her emotional issues, the ending could've been a tearjerker.

    If you like suspense or horror and want an emotional story, this book is a solid read. While

    had its issues, it's clear that a lot of thought went into this novel and I'm excited to see what Monahan comes up with next.

    div17: mc of color in sff

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • All Things Urban Fantasy

    Review courtesy of

    .

    THE HOLLOW GIRL was written by a Romani to honor her grandmother and their shared Romani heritage. I was drawn in by that fact, excited to learn more about the Romani culture from the point-of-view of a young woman learning magic from her grandmother. However, I feel I must start this review by acknowledging that THE HOLLOW GIRL deals with a trigger warning for sexual harassment, abuse, and rape.

    Bethan is subject to many different abuses at the hands o

    Review courtesy of

    .

    THE HOLLOW GIRL was written by a Romani to honor her grandmother and their shared Romani heritage. I was drawn in by that fact, excited to learn more about the Romani culture from the point-of-view of a young woman learning magic from her grandmother. However, I feel I must start this review by acknowledging that THE HOLLOW GIRL deals with a trigger warning for sexual harassment, abuse, and rape.

    Bethan is subject to many different abuses at the hands of people both within and outside of her clan. She faces the awful reality of sexual harassment and rape culture. People touch her without her permission, because of her birthmark and because she stands outside of the clan as the drabarni's apprentice. She is both feared and admired, but ultimately thought of as an object to be possessed by the clansmen. This is not a book for people that want to escape the harsh reality that, even in 2017, women are treated horribly across the globe.

    The rape, while not descriptive, remains the center of the book and propels all action. Her grandmother, the clan's drabarni, foretells something terrible is meant to happen to Bethan. I was uncomfortable with this plot decision from the start, but I could not get over the implication that it was Bethan's destiny to be raped and to survive. Until the rape, Bethan is largely passive. Afterwards, she is motivated to learn magic from her grandmother for the purposes of revenge. And when she completes her revenge, the book abruptly ends.

    THE HOLLOW GIRL is well-written and covers the harsh truths of life that many women, especially minorities, face. But I could not get over the use of rape as a motivating plot-device. Some might find the revenge cathartic. I, like Bethan, only felt hollow.

    Sexual harassment, abuse, rape

  • 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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