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The Mystery of Hollow Places Hardcover – January 26, 2016
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“This heartfelt and page-turning debut introduces readers to a whip-smart and wise heroine.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Sharp plotting, unexpected twists, dynamic characters, and a sensitive treatment of mental illness make Podos a writer to watch.” (Booklist (starred review))
“Debut author Podos creates an engrossing mix of detective story and family story, as Imogene compulsively follows the trail but also begins to realize the fantasy that has driven her family narrative.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review))
“Debut author Podos makes capable use of believable characters and addictive clues to keep readers guessing.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Podos delivers an eerie debut novel that is a solid homage to mysteries and Gothic novels alike.” (SLJ)
About the Author
Rebecca Podos is a graduate of the writing, literature, and publishing program at Emerson College, where she won the MFA award for best thesis. Her fiction has been published in Glimmer Train, Glyph, Paper Darts, Bellows American Review, and SmokeLong Quarterly. Her books include The Mystery of Hollow Places and Like Water. She lives with her husband in Connecticut.
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Top customer reviews
Convinced that her father must be looking for her mother, Imogene begins her own investigation to try to find him. But first, she must unravel the truth behind the identity of her mother - and her own origins.
Beautifully written and utterly mesmerizing, THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES is much more than, well, a mystery. It's a story about a girl searching for her family and grappling with the unbelievable reality of her father's disappearance. It's also a story of teen friendships and insecurities, as Imogene's life as a high schooler doesn't just vanish because her father did. While the story is well plotted and the questions of "who the heck is Imogene's mom" and "where the heck did her dad go" serve as great hooks, it was really the the hypnotic writing and Imogene's voice that kept the pages turning for me. Like I said, utterly mesmerizing. I read the whole thing in maybe 48 hours (while on a vacation with plenty of distractions).
As a character, Imogene is a fantastic mix of the snarky and the profound, a teen who alternates seamlessly between rattling off fun quips in both dialogue and narration and delving into gorgeous descriptions of her world and emotions. I also loved that the story explored a female friendship rather than focusing on her romantic interest. Not that there's anything wrong with romance, mind you. And there's a bit of that too.
The whole book flows like a river, sometimes serene, often bouncing up against rocks, winding around obstacles to reach a thoroughly satisfying conclusion that left me staring into space and sighing for far too long (fortunately, my travel companions were too asleep to witness the weird smile that must have been on my face). Finishing was indeed bittersweet... I loved how it concluded but was sad that it was over.
And in conclusion: READ IT READ IT READ IT!!!
P.S. In the interest of full disclosure - Rebecca Podos and I share an agent (Lana Popovic), but other than that leading to my discovery of her awesome novel, that has nothing to do with anything. (What, I work at a Big Company and they've gotten me in the habit of adding disclaimers to everything)
Recommended for: ages 14+, YA readers, adults who read YA, mystery fans, school libraries, public libraries
This was an interesting read about a 17 year old daughter whose father disappears, only leaving her one "clue" in his absence. Her father, a mystery writer, was an interesting character to read based on his profession and that he was a single parent. In attempting to find her father, our protagonist must overcome obstacles, out think her mystery writer father and uncover secrets from their past.
Things that I loved about this book were the writing, the female friendship and the close introspection into single parent families and mental illnesses.
A great debut novel that has sold me on any future book this author writes.
Most recent customer reviews
The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos
This was a decent young adult mystery book.Read more