January 31, 2016

The Mystery of Hollow Places Tour: Review + Giveaway

The Mystery of Hollow Places
Author: Rebecca Podos
Genre: YA Contemporary/Mystery
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Balzer & Bray

Rating: 3.5 Stars!


All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It's the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist, she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed by a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as troubled waters.

When Imogene is seventeen, her father, now a famous author of medical mysteries, strikes out in the middle of the night and doesn't come back. Neither Imogene's stepmother nor the police know where he could've gone, but Imogene is convinced he's looking for her mother. She decides to put to use the skills she's gleaned from a lifetime of her father's books to track down a woman she's never known, in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she's carried with her for her entire life.

Rebecca Podos' debut is a powerful, affecting story of the pieces of ourselves that remain mysteries even to us - the desperate search through empty spaces for something to hold on to.
The Mystery of Hollow Places is a realistic young adult contemporary novel that blends two types of mysteries - the main plot, where Imogene's father is missing and she must try to find him; and the underlying story that points out the fact that we all hide pieces of ourselves - memories, fears, hopes and dreams, etc., from the world around us and even to our own minds. This book has an interesting storyline and is really good for a debut. The plot has been done similarly before, but isn't tired out. The book is full of intrigue, mystery, complicated social themes, and likeable characters. Imogene was a realistic main character that I could empathize with early on in the story. I enjoyed watching her character grow while learning things about her parents - and even about herself - as she tries desperately to find her father. I don't normally read YA contemporary fiction, but since this was labeled as a mystery, I thought I'd give it a chance. I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed that the story was focused more on the contemporary aspects than the actual mystery that was trying to be solved. This is solely my own opinion - and I mean nothing bad by it at all. Other readers are going to have completely different experiences with the book - these are just my personal thoughts and feelings. Overall, the writing was solid and the book had a good story that was engaging and interesting. One bigt thing for me was the use of the first person point of view. I'm always a big advocate for this style of writing because it allows the reader to get to know the narrator on a very personal level that just isn't possible with any other perspective. I love that the author chose to write the book from Imogene's perspective - it helped give it the extra bump that kept me reading. While this book didn’t exactly blow me away - it was a good story on several levels and helped to show the author's talent. It was a solid debut - I certainly wouldn't have guessed it was the author's first novel by just reading it. Recommended for fans of YA contemporary fiction, realistic fiction, and mystery fans.
Read an excerpt of THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES on Epic Reads:

The Mystery Of Hollow Places | Books | Epic Reads
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Follow the The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Rebecca Podos' debut YA novel, THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES, is forthcoming from Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins) on 1/26/16. A graduate of the Writing, Literature and Publishing program at Emerson College where she won the M.F.A. Award for Best Thesis, her fiction has been published in Glimmer Train, Glyph, CAJE, Paper Darts, Bellows American Review, and Smokelong Quarterly. Past Awards include the Helman Award for Short Fiction, the David Dornstein Memorial Creative Writing Prize for Young Adult Writers, and the Hillerman-McGarrity Scholarship for Creative Writing. She works as a YA and MG agent at the Rees Literary Agency in Boston.


  1. I too would probably pick this up based on the "mystery" value.
    Glad to see that the rest of the story was enjoyable.

  2. I love mysteries and this sounds like a refreshing take on the mystery genre.