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House of Hollow

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Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats. Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. But when her eld Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats. Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. But when her eldest sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Iris learns just how weird her life can get: horned men start shadowing her, a corpse falls out of her sister’s ceiling, and ugly, impossible memories start to twist their way to the forefront of her mind. As Iris retraces Grey’s last known footsteps and follows the increasingly bizarre trail of breadcrumbs she left behind, it becomes apparent that the only way to save her sister is to decipher the mystery of what happened to them as children. The closer Iris gets to the truth, the closer she comes to understanding that the answer is dark and dangerous – and that Grey has been keeping a terrible secret from her for years.


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Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats. Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. But when her eld Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats. Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. But when her eldest sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Iris learns just how weird her life can get: horned men start shadowing her, a corpse falls out of her sister’s ceiling, and ugly, impossible memories start to twist their way to the forefront of her mind. As Iris retraces Grey’s last known footsteps and follows the increasingly bizarre trail of breadcrumbs she left behind, it becomes apparent that the only way to save her sister is to decipher the mystery of what happened to them as children. The closer Iris gets to the truth, the closer she comes to understanding that the answer is dark and dangerous – and that Grey has been keeping a terrible secret from her for years.

30 review for House of Hollow

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kai

    All I want in life is to write a book weird and haunting enough to receive such a first class cover treatment

  2. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    what a bizarre little book. very ‘wayward children’ meets ‘the only good indians’ with a whole lot of riverdale season 3. and my rating/review reflects that i misread the synopsis. i totally thought this was a realistic mystery/thriller story. im not a fan of magical realism and, had i known that was the backbone of this book, i probably would have given it a pass. that being said, i cant deny that this is extremely well-written. for being such a strange, spooky story, the writing is actually qu what a bizarre little book. very ‘wayward children’ meets ‘the only good indians’ with a whole lot of riverdale season 3. and my rating/review reflects that i misread the synopsis. i totally thought this was a realistic mystery/thriller story. im not a fan of magical realism and, had i known that was the backbone of this book, i probably would have given it a pass. that being said, i cant deny that this is extremely well-written. for being such a strange, spooky story, the writing is actually quite beautiful. very lyrical, yet dark. its the perfect kind of storytelling for this sort of tale, so i did enjoy that. but again, the plot wasnt my cup of tea. i have no doubt that it will capture the attention of many other readers, as gloomy fairy tale vibes are super popular right now. i just wish i didnt have such a personal aversion to magical realism so i could have enjoyed this more. :/ ↠ 3 stars

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lala BooksandLala

    reading vlog https://youtu.be/q9VF8P7kvTc reading vlog https://youtu.be/q9VF8P7kvTc

  4. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    ↠ 5 stars Something lurks in the shadows unseen in this Grimm-inspired urban fairytale you won't be able to put down. Trouble has always accompanied the ethereally beautiful Hollow sisters. It’s a strangeness that can be traced all the way back to their childhood and the start of one of the most famous unsolved mysteries of the past decade. One fateful New Years’ evening, the girls disappeared right from under the watchful eyes of their parents and were not found until over a month later, huddled ↠ 5 stars Something lurks in the shadows unseen in this Grimm-inspired urban fairytale you won't be able to put down. Trouble has always accompanied the ethereally beautiful Hollow sisters. It’s a strangeness that can be traced all the way back to their childhood and the start of one of the most famous unsolved mysteries of the past decade. One fateful New Years’ evening, the girls disappeared right from under the watchful eyes of their parents and were not found until over a month later, huddled together on a sidewalk clutching an ornate knife. In the months that followed the sisters would undergo peculiar changes, hair becoming stark white and eyes turning to black. Iris Hollow is the last of her sisters, left behind with her mother while Grey and Vivi pursue careers. All Iris wants is to ignore the past, but when her eldest sister mysteriously disappears, she learns just how quickly it can return to haunt her footsteps. Following the unusual set of breadcrumbs left behind by her sister, Iris begins to uncover the truth of what really happened on that night all those years ago. Something demandant of a swift reckoning. House of Hollow is straight-up one of the most unsettling books I have read in years. In just a few hundred pages, Sutherland tore me away from everything I know and love to grapple with an utterly grotesque mystery far unlike anything I have ever read before. This is an urban fairytale straight in the vein of the classic Brothers Grimm stories. Terrifying, yet achingly beautiful. Each layer of the story unfolded to reveal something much more sinister, creating an unsteady ground for everything known and unknown thus far. The imagery and atmosphere present throughout each chapter are what lift the story during its darker moments, something I found myself clinging to like a life raft upon reaching the turning point in the novel. There really is nothing I can say specifically about the revelation to the whole mystery without being spoilery, other than it was completely brilliant and I will not be recovering from it anytime soon. Sutherland interweaves sisterhood with terror, in a story that makes you ultimately question just how far you would go to protect the ones you love. Lines are blurred until the reader is no longer able to truly question the morality behind each character's actions. Nothing prepared me for how unsettling that would be, like a dense fog wafting over everything until there is nothing left but the haunting resolution to the story. Having arrived at the all-so-distant shore, I must commend the amount of foreshadowing present that just went completely over my head. It really is ingenious on the author's part, but I was much too engrossed in the story to slow down and catalog everything. Knowing there were so many breadcrumbs placed throughout though is certainly worth me rereading this at some point in the near future. This is a dark, twisted fantasy that will leave any reader regretting having not read it any sooner. Full of eerie language and middle places that will forever inhabit a place in their thoughts. Trigger warnings: blood, gore, violence, murder, attempted murder, death, death of a loved one, self-harm, suicide, body horror, attempted sexual assault

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    At least hundred times I asked myself after finishing the last line of this brain cells destroyer, mind hacker, nail biter, extremely shocker, jaw dropper novel; What the freaking heck I just read? This is more than creepy, dark, disturbing, eerie! Those words are not enough to describe the senses you feel when you have one of the craziest reading experience! It’s bleak, soul crushingly dark and sharply twisty, extremely complex earns your 100 decibel screams! Let’s talk about the blood freezin At least hundred times I asked myself after finishing the last line of this brain cells destroyer, mind hacker, nail biter, extremely shocker, jaw dropper novel; What the freaking heck I just read? This is more than creepy, dark, disturbing, eerie! Those words are not enough to describe the senses you feel when you have one of the craziest reading experience! It’s bleak, soul crushingly dark and sharply twisty, extremely complex earns your 100 decibel screams! Let’s talk about the blood freezing, disturbing plot line to draw a clear picture! Ten years ago: on New Year’s Day on a quiet street of Edinburgh, Hollow sisters ( three young girls Grey(11), Viv(9), Iris(7))have been disappeared in front of their parents’ watchful gaze! Her poor parents Cate and Gabe didn’t stop to look for them and as their hopes start diminishing after month passed and no trace has been found, the girls suddenly came back at the very same street they were taken. They were naked, carried nothing with them but an antique folding hunting knife. All of them have half moon scar at the base of their throats which have been stitched with silk thread. Instead of that, there were no physical injuries or no signs of sexual assault have been found. They were just malnourished and dehydrated. There were identifiable hybrids kind of flowers found on their hairs. There is still no clue what happened to them and so many conspiracy theories are running around including alien abduction, parental hoax, fairy changelings. The people of their town called girls “witches” because by touching people with their fingers they can manipulate them to do anything they want. The girls didn’t talk at first, having no memory about their abduction, sleeping together, devouring every food they’re served as if they’ve been starving for months. Their hair color changed to white as their eyes’ color turn into black. Their father Gabe slowly lose his mind, insisting those girls are not his daughter and finally he took his own life! After the heartbreaking tragedy, elder sisters Grey and Viv left the house at young ages and only little, obedient Iris left behind, living with her over protecting mother, bullied by school’s privileged, spoiled girls JJ, suffering from loneliness at age 17. When the anniversary of their kidnapping approaches, her sister Viv who shaved her head, pierced her skin, covered in tattoos, turned herself a rock star calls to remind her of the concert she’ll perform at their town. Their eldest sister Grey who turned into a successful, billionaire designer with millions of social media followers also text them to meet at the concert. At the same day, Iris sees a strange man follows her at her running track and school yard which gives her suspicious vibes. And at the night concert, their special sisterhood intuition warns them something bad happened to Grey who didn’t show up and turn back to their messages which was absolutely not like her. As the two sisters start chasing the traces of Grey, they start realizing the dark world of their sister which is full of dangerous secrets and which would be connected with their disappearance. I’m stopping her! Because from that point the story’s direction turns into very wild, scary, shocking road where only true horror fans who are open to any kind of awkwardness may enjoy! The conclusion of the story was truly mind blowing! Without giving more clues, I’m giving my five extraordinary, mind numbing, earth shattering, oh my goodness this is freaking mad but it also freaking entertaining and unique stars! This is one of the strangest things I’ve ever read but I honestly loved the craziness dosage and extraordinary mind of author so much!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    4.5 Stars ⭐️. Freaking awesome! Now I can buy it!! This book was cray and awesome for a ya horror book. There, in the distance, was the man in the bull skull, watching me. I was not expecting this book and was pleasantly surprised or horrifically surprised 😏 Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 4.5 Stars ⭐️. Freaking awesome! Now I can buy it!! This book was cray and awesome for a ya horror book. There, in the distance, was the man in the bull skull, watching me. I was not expecting this book and was pleasantly surprised or horrifically surprised 😏 Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  7. 4 out of 5

    chan ☆

    ngl i didn't fully understand this. vibes were nice and spooky but i don't think i'll remember this one a year from now. ngl i didn't fully understand this. vibes were nice and spooky but i don't think i'll remember this one a year from now.

  8. 5 out of 5

    maria

    How can a cover be so beautiful?

  9. 4 out of 5

    Krystal Sutherland

    I wrote this. I think it's pretty good. I apologize in advance for any nightmares/strong feelings of betrayal you experience while reading. I wrote this. I think it's pretty good. I apologize in advance for any nightmares/strong feelings of betrayal you experience while reading.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    Very unsure how I feel about this one, so much so that I can't even give it a star rating until I think on it for awhile, but I do know that I couldn't put it down. Review to come. Very unsure how I feel about this one, so much so that I can't even give it a star rating until I think on it for awhile, but I do know that I couldn't put it down. Review to come.

  11. 5 out of 5

    jenny✨

    one word: HOLY-MOTHER-EFFIN-COVER.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Storiesandcoffee

    "I am the thing in the dark.” Wow. This book definitely brings the creepy, unsettling vibes, and after a long night with some very weird dreams, I'd say I'm still recovering. House of Hollow is a dark, atmospheric mystery/horror novel about three sisters who disappear when they are young, return a month later without any explanation, and are never the same. This story is plot driven, so I never felt fully connected to the characters, but I think that's intentional. These sisters are as much a myst "I am the thing in the dark.” Wow. This book definitely brings the creepy, unsettling vibes, and after a long night with some very weird dreams, I'd say I'm still recovering. House of Hollow is a dark, atmospheric mystery/horror novel about three sisters who disappear when they are young, return a month later without any explanation, and are never the same. This story is plot driven, so I never felt fully connected to the characters, but I think that's intentional. These sisters are as much a mystery to themselves as they are to the world, so in a way, we as the readers are just along for the unnerving journey. Here are some of my favorite aspects of House of Hollow: Sexual/Female Empowerment: The Hollow sisters are gorgeous and have the power to make anyone fall under their spell (literally.) While each sister handles this ability differently, each knows that the world can be a dangerous place for a female. Walking alone at night. Dressing provocatively. Just simply being a woman does not mean we should become prey. And Sutherland drives this point home through Grey, the oldest Hollow sister. Grey makes sure anyone who poses a threat to her or her sisters pays the price. (Think Jennifer's Body) Dark Fairytale Vibe: Folklore. Brothers Grimm. R.L. Stine. Charmed. This book reminded me of a variety of things mixed together perfectly to bring us this tale. The Twists and Turns: Okay, so I may have figured out one twist before it was revealed, but the rest of this book definitely shocked me. Some answers left me applauding Sutherland. Others left me a bit nauseous. But the book as a whole is one I won't forget anytime soon. 4.5/5 Thank you Penguin Teen for the advanced review copy

  13. 4 out of 5

    Reading_ Tam_ Ishly

    Gothic and mysterious. "Like I could open any drawer or door or cupboard and there find my sister's bare-naked soul, neatly folded." This one is so young adult dramatic and easy to read. A story about three most "perfect beautiful" teenage sisters who everyone else believed to be witches (you know what's it like with gossips). Something bad happened to them when they were kids and their dad. A mysterious man like being seems to follow them and it is well related to what happened to them. And we ha Gothic and mysterious. "Like I could open any drawer or door or cupboard and there find my sister's bare-naked soul, neatly folded." This one is so young adult dramatic and easy to read. A story about three most "perfect beautiful" teenage sisters who everyone else believed to be witches (you know what's it like with gossips). Something bad happened to them when they were kids and their dad. A mysterious man like being seems to follow them and it is well related to what happened to them. And we have to read the book to know the purpose for this. The eldest sister Grey goes missing. Well, that's basically it about the plot. Turned out more fun and dark than I had anticipated. The writing is so fast-paced that I was trying my best to breathe normal while reading it. Ever since the very first page, this book started out so good. The witchy vibes just engulfs you from the cover itself. And it just doesn't know how to dial down. There are lots of bullying going on at school, at home too I would say the way the mother and the older sisters are behaving towards Iris. Well, the story is engaging even when none of the characters didn't turn out to be that outstanding as the writing described but everything blended well together. And I really appreciate the fact that the writing and the characters nowhere made me feel the Twilight saga vibes. Well, the characters do lots of silly things but in this world the adults seem to have limited words or actions. Then again, things are made to sound so serious and scary one moment and the next moment we are talking about the beautiful things the most beautiful eldest sister used to wear. And yes, we all know how "beautiful" and "perfect" these sisters are. It was repetitive throughout the entire story. I wished the writing maintained the pace well and not jumbled up some parts. I wish some parts in between the pages were removed because I genuinely felt that those were intentionally put to make the book longer. The mystery suspense isn't that harrowing or groundbreaking. It's the suspense in the writing that kept me engrossed throughout. The gothic details just fitted well. And I was still pissed towards the end of the book that the bullies are still bullying. But then I had a good time reading this book nevertheless. The gory details and the shady characters played their role well. *The plot deals with PTSD, identity, some possible syndrome called Marie Antoinette syndrome as an option, alcoholism, self-harm. *And now I have some journalling goals. Grey, you did well.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Claude's Bookzone

    CW: (view spoiler)[Body horror, father was coerced through magic into killing himself, loss of loved ones (hide spoiler)] 4.5 Stars Well this was exceptionally well written and utterly gripping! There were so many moments where I was completely creeped out during this dark fairy tale horror. During 'the ant' scene the hairs on my arm were literally standing on end. The characters also made for compelling reading and the dynamics between the sisters were intense and engaging. The whole story was so CW: (view spoiler)[Body horror, father was coerced through magic into killing himself, loss of loved ones (hide spoiler)] 4.5 Stars Well this was exceptionally well written and utterly gripping! There were so many moments where I was completely creeped out during this dark fairy tale horror. During 'the ant' scene the hairs on my arm were literally standing on end. The characters also made for compelling reading and the dynamics between the sisters were intense and engaging. The whole story was so richly imagined and the world building complex and fascinating. The tone of this definitely harked back to the original Grimm's fairy tales with surprisingly dark twists and turns. Thoroughly recommend this.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Luce

    / / / Read more reviews on my blog / / / “Dark, dangerous things happened around the Hollow sisters.” Brimming with beauty and danger House of Hollow is a spellbinding modern fairy tale. Written in a tantalising prose that seems to echo traditional fairy tales House of Hollow presents its readers with a beguiling tale about sisters and monsters. “We were taken. We came back. None of us knew what happened, and none of us ever would. We were the miracle that parents of all missing children dreamed o / / / Read more reviews on my blog / / / “Dark, dangerous things happened around the Hollow sisters.” Brimming with beauty and danger House of Hollow is a spellbinding modern fairy tale. Written in a tantalising prose that seems to echo traditional fairy tales House of Hollow presents its readers with a beguiling tale about sisters and monsters. “We were taken. We came back. None of us knew what happened, and none of us ever would. We were the miracle that parents of all missing children dreamed of. Spat back from the abyss, unharmed and whole.” When they were children the Hollow sisters went missing. And then, a month later, they came back. Ever since their return, the Hollow sisters have become undeniably strange. Their hair has turned white, their eyes black, they have matching scars on their throats, and they seem to have unquenchable appetites without ever gaining weight. Something about them makes those around them feel intoxicated, as if under a spell. “Strangeness only bred strangeness, and it felt dangerous to tempt fate, to invite in the darkness that seemed already naturally drawn us.” At seventeen Iris Hollow desperately craves normalcy. Her older sisters left the nest years before and, unlike Iris, have no interest in playing normal. Grey, the eldest, is a supermodel and fashion designer, while Vivi is leading a sex & roll kind of lifestyle while touring with her band. After months without seeing them the Hollow sisters make plans to meet up....and Grey doesn't show up. Fearing the worst, Iris and Vivi try to make sense of Grey's disappearance and soon come across some disconcerting clues. Someone, or something, else is also after Grey, and it is up to Iris and Vivi to untangle the mystery of their sister's disappearance. “What you don't understand,” she said to me once when I told her how dangerous it was, “is that I am the thing in the dark.” There is so much that I loved about this novel. Sutherland's prose is lush. Flowery descriptions give way to ones that are almost grotesque in nature. The fairy-talesque rhythm of her prose makes Iris' story all the more alluring. The atmosphere is in this novel is as exquisite as it is eerie. We also get some exceedingly lavish descriptions about the characters' appearances, clothes, and environments, which made the story all the more vivid. I don't want to reveal too much in terms of plot but things get dark. ‘The Halfway’ reminded me a bit of The Hollow Places while the supernatural elements brought to mind Natalie C. Parker's Beware The Wild duology and Holly Black's Modern Faerie Tales series. The magic in House of Hollow is as beautiful as it is dangerous and Sutherland is not afraid to reveal the rot that lies beneath a beautiful veneer. The relationship between the Hollow sisters is utterly captivating, low-key co-dependent, and one of the novel's biggest strength. Iris' voice was compelling and I immediately felt drawn to her. Vivi and Tyler provided some lovely moments of lightness and I loved them from the get-go. Grey was a fascinating if sinister kind of character. The casual queer rep was a welcome surprise and made me fall even more in love with the story. And, I can't begin to describe how refreshing it was to read a YA novel that isn't about the romance! House of Hollow is an enthralling and subversive fairy tale, one that combines a missing person story with a creepy tale about scary places and dangerous girls. Sutherland's writing is breathtakingly gorgeous, her characters alluring, her storyline entrancing. I am more or less in awe with House of Hollow, so much so that I would love it if Sutherland would grace us with a sequel.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I read it, I loved it, I blurbed it: Stepping nimbly among the liminal spaces and eerie real-world haunts of our heroine’s missing sister, this haunting modern fairy tale will wrap you up like a glittering fog, before it goes for your throat. Seriously though this book is my exact poison. <3

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jessica | JustReadingJess

    House of Hollow is a dark and twisted fairy tale that is impossible to put down. The Hollow sisters went missing for a month and then showed up with no recollection of what happened. Their hair and eyes changed causing their father to be suspicious, but everyone else is glad to have them returned safely. Ten years later, Grey is missing and left clues to help Iris and Vivi find her. Sutherland grabbed my attention from the very beginning and packed the book with suspense leaving me trying to fig House of Hollow is a dark and twisted fairy tale that is impossible to put down. The Hollow sisters went missing for a month and then showed up with no recollection of what happened. Their hair and eyes changed causing their father to be suspicious, but everyone else is glad to have them returned safely. Ten years later, Grey is missing and left clues to help Iris and Vivi find her. Sutherland grabbed my attention from the very beginning and packed the book with suspense leaving me trying to figure out what happened ten years ago and now. The story is told from Iris’s perspective. She is a high school senior and my favorite character. Iris will do anything for her mother Cate and is very close to her sisters even though her mother has a difficult relationship with her sisters. Vivi and Grey are interesting counterparts to Iris. The sisters are all very different but have always been close. They react to things very differently. Grey has always held the sister trio together, so Iris and Vivi have to figure out how to find Grey without her help. There are some gruesome parts of the book that made me squirm, but it was worth it. The supernatural and unexplainable situations are present throughout the book. The reader is constantly wondering what will happen next. Family was also an important part of the book. I highly recommend House of Hollow to anyone that likes dark books. Thank you Penguin Teen/G.P. Putnam’s Sons Book for Young Readers for House of Hollow. Full Review: https://justreadingjess.wordpress.com...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Melanie (mells_view)

    ”Everybody keeps secrets, Little Hollow. Perhaps your big sister has been keeping more secrets from you than you realize.” First and foremost I want to say that this book would make a BEAUTIFUL movie. It’s a little gory and sad, but it also has such beautiful imagery and sense of family that would translate well into a creepy magical realism type film. So essentially this is a story of three young sisters who went missing as children for a month, and by some miracle returned right to the very spo ”Everybody keeps secrets, Little Hollow. Perhaps your big sister has been keeping more secrets from you than you realize.” First and foremost I want to say that this book would make a BEAUTIFUL movie. It’s a little gory and sad, but it also has such beautiful imagery and sense of family that would translate well into a creepy magical realism type film. So essentially this is a story of three young sisters who went missing as children for a month, and by some miracle returned right to the very spot they disappeared from. That being said, when they returned they weren’t quite right. I mean, who would be after being god knows where, with god knows who for a month. Ten years after their unexpected return, Iris Hollow is doing her best to fit in and be normal, even though she is anything but. She goes to school, she gets amazing grades, and is extremely close with her mother. Her older sisters on the other hand, have embraced their allure and “weirdness”. Grey is a model turned designer, and Viv a rockstar. When Grey goes missing without a word, Iris and Viv follow a series of unusual clues to find her. What they find along the way is both terrifying and intriguing. As you know, I usually try to keep my reviews pretty vague so that anyone can read them and not get too many spoilers about the book. So what I can say about this story is that it dances around death, grief, and pain in such a magical, yet creepy, way. You get this sort of exploration of girls/women and how differently we all react to the same traumas or circumstances. All of that impact weaved into a dark, creepy, and remarkable story about sisters and family. Their closeness, the power they hold over one another, and the lengths they will go to protect each other. All in all this was just an entertaining read. A little bit of mystery, a little bit spooky, and a little bit beautiful. AVAILABLE NOW! *ARC

  19. 4 out of 5

    Johann (jobis89)

    Like a beautifully dark and gory Grimm’s fairytale. This was stunning!! ALL THE STARS. Full review to come.

  20. 4 out of 5

    aly ☆彡

    I have mixed feelings for this book and no, not because it was bad. The book was actually good but magical realism is just never the genre for me. The book starts strongly, I really love the ominous atmosphere, the full-blown terror, the dark past, the eerie feelings, literally everything this book has to offer. "We might be peculiar, but we're not new" Seventeen years old Iris Hollow and her sisters have always been strange, well at least have always been after the kidnapped incident I have mixed feelings for this book and no, not because it was bad. The book was actually good but magical realism is just never the genre for me. The book starts strongly, I really love the ominous atmosphere, the full-blown terror, the dark past, the eerie feelings, literally everything this book has to offer. "We might be peculiar, but we're not new" Seventeen years old Iris Hollow and her sisters have always been strange, well at least have always been after the kidnapped incidents that none of them seems to remember. However, when Iris' sister, Grey Hollow started to go missing under suspicious circumstances, it can't be helped that the only way to save her sister is to decipher the mystery of what happened to them as children. The most interesting thing about this book is definitely the hows of the missing Hollow sister and the truth afterwards . It literally blows my mind (in a good and bad way). "If they're dead, do we killed ourselves?" "Yes" I already have my first suspicion, seeing how the Hollow parents only allowed the children to call them by their first name after the return. I was wondering why Cate doesn't let them called her "mom" anymore but then they almost killed themselves when they thought of the possibilities of their dead children. They lived with the guilt for the reason of their missing children and maybe by calling "mother" and "father" reminded them of the burden that they once failed... (view spoiler)[or maybe because they knew it was never their daughters who returned WTF. (hide spoiler)] And for whatever truth comes afterwards, even anticipated, still left me so taken aback because deep down, I wished the truth won't be as dark. But this part is the sole reason why this book is such a page-turner. The constant wondering and question if Grey is still alive, of what actually happened to the sisters, of who the dude with the bull's skull over his head, and for the truth. It was all intriguing until it took a very dark and horrible turn that left you with an unsettling impression. I applaud Sutherland for that, but again magical realism is not my cup of tea and my idealist self did not take the truth as openly as I thought I would. The second thing I love about this book would definitely the: Hollow sisters themselves. "I didn't follow my sister. I was my sister. I breathed when she breathed." I love the ties that bond the three sisters and how they could not co-exist with one another. They would do anything for one another no matter how morally questionable it is. This book puts sisterhood as one of its main focus as well as self-discovery and recovery from one's grief. And I love how this book traverses their curse to something pleasing instead of their weakness, especially when you look at Grey, who is the most apparent with her compelling and uncanny personality. This also brings me to point out how well written the characters are seeing how distinct the three sisters with one another. I also enjoyed the symbolism and association with death that this book has going on, which give you more of the creepy feeling. One like the minotaur/the man with the bull skull which was a symbol of power and a tool for death and torture, seeing how legitimate it is to the truth in this book. Not to say the significance of the carrion flower which also known as corpse flowers that emit an odour that smells like rotting flesh. And I swear, at one point I felt like I can smell what the characters were smelling for how graphic and lifelike the descriptions were. To see how these flowers keep growing on dead bodies got me so uncomfortable. Like it's cool but very uncomfortable. So, if I were to put aside my non-favouritism for magical realism, this book can be a solid four for me. Even so, there was a moment where things get so repetitive and I started to get bored. Over and over, the book keeps on unfolding the kidnap story that I can remember the whole plot by the time the character decided to tell again. One moment, I feel like I really want to know the truth, and the next time, I hoped this book could have just ended sooner. (view spoiler)[And despite the truth, I wished the book would offer more establishment behind the "Hollow sisters" before the kidnapping. Although the reason seems valid enough, I just don't see why Grey was after the real Hollow sisters' bodies or why they were stuck in the Halfway (which means that they still have unsettled business and if so, why is that) (hide spoiler)] Hence, objectively speaking, this book only works three stars for me. But take it with grain or salts, if you love Neil Gaiman works or others of similar works, this book might be the one for you.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ayman

    Thank you for the ARC courtesy of penguin teen, all opinions are my own. NON SPOILERS 3.8 ⭐️ overall i enjoyed this book it was definitely something out of the comfort zone and not something i necessarily go for. long story short this book follows Iris Hollow, youngest of 2 older sisters. they are very close with one another but they are also very strange due to their shared trauma. When one of the sisters, Grey, goes missing. Iris and Vivi try to figure out that mystery which leads to a sequence Thank you for the ARC courtesy of penguin teen, all opinions are my own. NON SPOILERS 3.8 ⭐️ overall i enjoyed this book it was definitely something out of the comfort zone and not something i necessarily go for. long story short this book follows Iris Hollow, youngest of 2 older sisters. they are very close with one another but they are also very strange due to their shared trauma. When one of the sisters, Grey, goes missing. Iris and Vivi try to figure out that mystery which leads to a sequence of very unfortunate and disturbing creepy events. this was a good story. i felt as though this was a bit dragged out and the plot didn’t start moving until past half way of the book. i didn’t connect with any of the characters. this is definitely a plot driven book. i enjoyed the creepy aspects of it. all the characters were uniquely different. each interesting on their own way. there were AHHH moments that i didn’t see coming and other moments that i saw from a mile away. the only thing that really made me upset was the way things turned out for a particular character that i liked. it didn’t sit right with my spirits. you can scroll down for the one and only major spoiler⤵️ SPOILER ok there was absolutely no reason Tyler had to die. like i said at the top, i didn’t connect with any characters in anyway shape or form but i enjoyed Tyler as a side character. he was definitely the tokenized side asian character, although in my opinion, the author did a great job in making this character the most liked, relatable, and funny character. i’m not a big fan of authors killing off the (sometimes only) racially diverse characters. literally his death had no good reason. it did not further the plot in anyway shape or form.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Park Fatima Wani

    This was a mind blowing, fantastic, creepy read. I loved and loved this book. Everything about it is amazing. I’m so glad I picked it up. I recommend this book to every fantasy lover out there. Let’s talk about- THE PLOT: The plot was very good. I really loved it. We follow these three sisters Grey, Vivi and Iris, who were kidnapped as children and were found a month later, naked and changed. As time passed, their hair started turning white and their eyes started turning black. No one knew what ha This was a mind blowing, fantastic, creepy read. I loved and loved this book. Everything about it is amazing. I’m so glad I picked it up. I recommend this book to every fantasy lover out there. Let’s talk about- THE PLOT: The plot was very good. I really loved it. We follow these three sisters Grey, Vivi and Iris, who were kidnapped as children and were found a month later, naked and changed. As time passed, their hair started turning white and their eyes started turning black. No one knew what happened to them and where they were taken. Our main character is Iris, who is the youngest sister. When Grey goes missing, Iris decides to go looking for her with Vivi and tries to find the mystery behind their disappearance. Overall, the plot was great and I enjoyed it a lot. THE CHARACTERS: The characters were great too. I liked all of them. But Tyler took my heart. I love him so so much. I liked Iris and Vivi too. I didn’t like Grey much. And their mother was okay too. Overall, great characters. THE WRITING: The writing was decent and enjoyable. I admit, sometime things got confusing but those confusions were quickly cleared. And I guessed all the things beforehand, but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable. I really hope for a sequel :(

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Star Rating: —> 4 Stars This was....... Something else. A beautifully grotesque fairytale. Creepy as all hell. I had an idea of what the big reveal would be, but I honestly had no clue how i'd end up there & what would come after. No short of horrifying, yet so intriguing and haunting in the best possible way. The perfect dark fairytale. I loved how all of the grotesquery was veiled in beauty & loveliness, both the literal & the metaphorical imagery throughout. Speaking of which, the writing was Star Rating: —> 4 Stars This was....... Something else. A beautifully grotesque fairytale. Creepy as all hell. I had an idea of what the big reveal would be, but I honestly had no clue how i'd end up there & what would come after. No short of horrifying, yet so intriguing and haunting in the best possible way. The perfect dark fairytale. I loved how all of the grotesquery was veiled in beauty & loveliness, both the literal & the metaphorical imagery throughout. Speaking of which, the writing was SO vivid, filled with lush & imagery focused prose. This was SO DARK. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I was drawn in from moment one—the mystery, the gothic, suspenseful writing style & imagery of this novel were just SO compelling. The entire story is sort of about the character development, leading to the big reveal of an ending. I normally need more than that to keep me reading, but the author did a pretty amazing job with keeping the surrounding atmosphere something to crave AS WELL as answers in regards to the main characters. I actually loved all of the main characters, three sisters who disappeared as children, and came back... changed— with black eyes & white blonde hair & some weird ass habits, and if they so choose, powers over people; they are, for reasons I will not reveal, extremely strange girls, who basically happen to be like crack or morphine or something to everyone else (no wonder people will do whatever they say, eh? Lol). That's all I can say without spoiling the story, but I DO have to say that I truly REALLY LOVED this trio of sisters— • The brilliant & resilient, MC who finds her strength as the story progresses— Iris ; • Her freaking amazing as hell, tattoo-covered, trickster & mischief maker rock star of an older sister (who is also queer! Woo for lesbian rep)— Vivi ; • & the eldest of the three, the jet setting, 'so offbeat it's mainstream' couture designer, absolutely drop dead gorgeous—and equally as dangerous—high profile model, older sister— Grey (who is also the most a mystery, and the most to be a little lowkey sus to be honest). They are ALL AMAZING! So is a side character I don't want to reveal because again, spoilers—I loved them SO MUCH. They warmed my heart. I have to say I am extremely impressed because this story was incredibly intricate & complex & strange & could have been a GD HOT MESS—but the author pulled it off by a landslide! This is a story I didn't know I needed until I read it. I definitely think there were a few things that bothered me, but overall, I REALLY ENJOYED IT! I recommend to anyone who LOVES a dark, atmospheric, & gruesome fairytale, & who isn't afraid of a bit of blood & a bit of violence in a totally creepy/ gothic, yet contemporary setting. Some of the imagery was honestly super startling lol. It felt very indie, in the best way. I just really liked this one. I felt like the pacing was SPOT ON. Anyway it's the early hours of the morning & I am SO totally rambling here, haha. I apologize if this review makes little to no sense; i'll return to it in the morning. ;)) 🌼💀🌺💀🌸💀🌼 🖤🖤🖤

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    House of Hollow is a YA horror-mystery about three sisters who disappeared for a month as young girls and when they reappeared their eyes had turned black, their hair was white, and they had crescent-shaped scars on their throats. Now the youngest sister is 17 and strange things are happening. They her famous older sister disappears.... I don't want to say a lot more about the plot because spoilers, but after finishing this book it took me awhile to decide how I felt about it and how I wanted to House of Hollow is a YA horror-mystery about three sisters who disappeared for a month as young girls and when they reappeared their eyes had turned black, their hair was white, and they had crescent-shaped scars on their throats. Now the youngest sister is 17 and strange things are happening. They her famous older sister disappears.... I don't want to say a lot more about the plot because spoilers, but after finishing this book it took me awhile to decide how I felt about it and how I wanted to review it. So- What I loved - It's a page-turner. When I got into it, I kept wanting to read to see what would happen, all the way to the end. - The creep factor is pretty high for a YA story. This relies heavily on nature horror (think rot, mold, insects, weird plants etc.) and also has quite a bit of gore as well. Especially early on in the book, I found the reading experience to be genuinely creepy. - The emphasis on family and close sister relationships. Even if things can get toxic at times, there is still a lot of love. - The blend of real-world with fantastical elements. - Casual bisexual rep with the main character. What I didn't love - The writing is fairly repetitive and over-described in a repetitive way. So, plot points get sort of recycled, but also we get the descriptions of the nature horror mentioned above described ad nauseum. So that by the end, it become less creepy for me and more tiresome. Less would have been more in this case. - The ending was too predictable and it needed more twists. Especially because the book was so repetitive. This either should have been a novella, or it needed more twists. - The heavy emphasis on the traditonally white, thin, angular form of beauty the sisters have, in combination with their tendency to binge eat mass quantities of food and still not feel full. I kind of get what the author was trying to do there, but I don't love it. Especially in a story directed at teenagers. And it is repeated quite frequently throughout the book, sometimes in great detail. (so I guess content warning for disordered eating, and scenes of body dysmorphia) - This book uses suicide in a way I didn't love either. I can't get into details due to spoilers, but I don't think it fully grapples with the ramifications of that plot arc and it...made the ending feel not enough, for lack of better way to put it. So....I don't know. This book has some definite strong points and is quite a page-turner, but the ending left me unsatisfied. I received an advance copy of this book for review from Penguin Teen. All opinions are my own.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Celia McMahon

    A big old wet kiss of a thank you to Ashley at Penguin who graciously read my arc request and promptly sent over the NetGalley widget. Gorgeously written and creepy. This book has a cover to match the story and is seriously one of the best books I have read in 2020. I expected a semi-creeptastic story about sisterhood, but I was given a fairy tale horror masterpiece that read like a cult film. Three sisters, Grey, Vivi, and Iris disappeared as children only to turn up a month later with no recol A big old wet kiss of a thank you to Ashley at Penguin who graciously read my arc request and promptly sent over the NetGalley widget. Gorgeously written and creepy. This book has a cover to match the story and is seriously one of the best books I have read in 2020. I expected a semi-creeptastic story about sisterhood, but I was given a fairy tale horror masterpiece that read like a cult film. Three sisters, Grey, Vivi, and Iris disappeared as children only to turn up a month later with no recollection of what had happened to them. Now older, they've gone their separate ways. Grey is a supermodel while Vivi has a punk band and drinks a lot. Iris decided to stay in high school and be as normal as possible. But normal is not a word the Hollows know. After Grey disappears, the younger Hollow sisters embark on a journey to find their sister, even if means stepping back into a terrifying past that could expose the truth once and for all. This book is dark. This book made my stomach squirm. Every word seemed to wrap around me, squeezing like a carnivorous vine. But beneath all the scary bits is a story about the love of family, and the deep instinct to survive. I am 100% sure this book is going to get the highest praise. It felt like a nightmare version of Narnia where Aslan goes after the Pevensie children in the real world and tries to drag them back to Narnia to kill them. That's the only way I can describe it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Daviau

    This book just absolutely SLAYED ME. Dead. Done. Deceased. It’s just so BLOODY brilliant and sickening and everything I have ever wanted from a book. It’s dark and gritty and sinister and twisted and not to mention ALL THE DEAD THINGS. Two paragraphs in and I was already texting a friend that I knew it was a winner, that’s how quickly it had me hooked and under its delicious spell. Just EVERYTHING about it is perfection: the setting, the characters, the magic, the story, EVERYTHING I TELL YOU. I This book just absolutely SLAYED ME. Dead. Done. Deceased. It’s just so BLOODY brilliant and sickening and everything I have ever wanted from a book. It’s dark and gritty and sinister and twisted and not to mention ALL THE DEAD THINGS. Two paragraphs in and I was already texting a friend that I knew it was a winner, that’s how quickly it had me hooked and under its delicious spell. Just EVERYTHING about it is perfection: the setting, the characters, the magic, the story, EVERYTHING I TELL YOU. I know I’m screaming a lot here but that’s just how this book has me feeling, I need to shout to let it all out. I adore the way the author combined horror and fantasy and thriller all into one fucking GLORIOUS package that just checked all my boxes and some boxes I didn’t even know I had! And that ending was just pure perfection and left me breathless and desperately wanting more because I’d read a hundred books set in this delightfully sinister fantasy. Was there ever a book that was more perfect for me? I think not!

  27. 5 out of 5

    A.G. Howard

    Delightfully gruesome with some really cool twists on different elements of traditional lore. The sensorial, descriptive, and atmospheric writing put me directly into every scene ... sometimes when I really didn't want to be there, because SO CREEPY--that's meant as a compliment. ;) Really enjoyed this one! Delightfully gruesome with some really cool twists on different elements of traditional lore. The sensorial, descriptive, and atmospheric writing put me directly into every scene ... sometimes when I really didn't want to be there, because SO CREEPY--that's meant as a compliment. ;) Really enjoyed this one!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Drewthereader20

    Wow this was a really great novel! I really enjoyed this and will have more correhinet thoughts later....

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tabatha (tab.talks.books)

    BOOKSTAGRAM | BOOK BLOG | AMAZON Wow-freaking-zers. First of all—I’ve never read a book like this. Super creepy and I swear if I had to read about forest rot and sour milk stench I was going to start dry heaving myself. The constant descriptor were a little much—we get it….the stench of the rotting decayed forest smells like a horrific stench. Aside from that, the story was -extremely- captivating like I stood up until all hours to read this book to figure out what happened to the hollow sisters BOOKSTAGRAM | BOOK BLOG | AMAZON Wow-freaking-zers. First of all—I’ve never read a book like this. Super creepy and I swear if I had to read about forest rot and sour milk stench I was going to start dry heaving myself. The constant descriptor were a little much—we get it….the stench of the rotting decayed forest smells like a horrific stench. Aside from that, the story was -extremely- captivating like I stood up until all hours to read this book to figure out what happened to the hollow sisters all those years ago. The story is so dang sad, I usually avoid stories like this, I’m more of a HEA kinda gal. Tyler grew on me baaaaaaad. The ending was just what the readers needed I think. It was all just so unsettling and quite frankly disturbing. It’s weird how anyone can even think of stories like this but I was so intrigued I couldn’t stop-so kudos to you Krystal Sutherland because what you were trying to convey to the readers you certainly did. I’m going to have dreams of funky flesh smelling flowers growing out of me and vomiting up beetles and ants. The story line was just so scary because in the beginning you really realize that this could happen-has it happened before? Is this real? WHAT😩IS😩LIFE. I felt for Cate and just wanted to hug her. Towards the end I had such an uneasy feeling and then in the weirdest way (you’ll have to read it to understand what I’m saying) that feeling lifts and you’re not sure if your soul is being manipulated or not 😳😂😵‍💫 no—but really this is in the weirdest way possible a good read, I would recommend this book for sure, way out of my comfort zone and I’m gonna have to consume myself with romance novels for the next month to cleanse this plot out of my head 😅

  30. 5 out of 5

    charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)

    i am processing Rep: bi mc, lesbian mc, British Korean character CWs: gore, body horror, past suicide, compulsion, sexual assault

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