Book Review: The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

Delacorte Press
Published Oct. 10, 2017
272 Pages

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 a half-Roma friend, Martyn. As empty and hopeless as she feels from the attack, she asks Drina to bring Martyn back from death’s door. “There is always a price for this kind of magic,” Drina warns. The way to save him is gruesome. Bethan must collect grisly pieces to fuel the spell: an ear, some hair, an eye, a nose, and fingers.

She gives the boys who assaulted her a chance to come forward and apologize. And when they don’t, she knows exactly where to collect her ingredients to save Martyn.- Goodreads

It has been some time since I read a book that emotionally damaged me to the point that once I finished it, I sat in silence. This book has triggers. It has things in here that some women have experienced. If you are a sensitive reader, this book is not for you.

I am not a sensitive reader but this book definitely made me rethink that for a moment.

Bethan is attacked and in the worst way possible. Not only does the boy who tries to protect her gets hurt, she is hurt on a physical, spiritual and emotional level. I am hurt on that level for her. The author doesn’t shy away from what happens. You know what happens, you see what happens and man do you feel so horrible about it. But what I appreciate what the author did about making that the focus was she didn’t create Bethan to submit.

Bethan doesn’t fully allow her anger to take over. As angry as she is, she doesn’t try to let things get too far. She is fairly rational with her punishment. I call it punishment because its not revenge. Bethan seeks not only justice but to right a wrong to something done to someone trying to save her.

Beyond all of this, the author added a twist to the story, which was unexpected and well placed. However, it doesn’t really change the story or even the flow. It was a filler. A good one but a filler none the less. If the author did not add it in there, it would not have been missed.

The story moved along very well and although this was my first read by this author, the talent was there. To take a very sensitive topic and give readers the whirlwind emotions in a emotional and deep reading, is impressive.

The only fault or issue, I had with this read, is I was desperate for an affectionate relationship. Bethan has a relationship with her grandmother but I didn’t feel love between them. I felt that it was more of a obligation. I wanted there to be love and its kind of put in there but it isn’t there enough for me.

Overall, I was surprised about this read. I liked it but as previously mentioned it is not for sensitive readers.

4 Pickles. 

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