Friday, January 02, 2015

Review: Hellohole by Gina Damico

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I received this book for free from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Hellohole by Gina DamicoHellhole by Gina Damico
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on January 6th 2015
Genres: Comedy, Paranormal, YA
Source: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Buy on Amazon

A devil is a bad influence . . .

There was a time when geeky, squeaky-clean Max Kilgore would never lie or steal or even think about murder. Then he accidentally unearths a devil, and Max’s choices are no longer his own. The big red guy has a penchant for couch surfing and junk food—and you should never underestimate evil on a sugar high.

With the help of Lore, a former goth girl who knows a thing or two about the dark side, Max is racing against the clock to get rid of the houseguest from hell before time, and all the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos this side of the fiery abyss, run out.

What a fun book!! For starters, the table of contents is a crossword puzzle. Yes, it has to do with the story, but besides that it’s super fun. (The answer is at the end of the book in case you need it.) I love dark humor and this book had that covered. With a serious storyline and humor combined, it was an entertaining read that also has you really feeling for the characters. The devil is hilarious, but keep in mind, he is a devil so he is very evil.

Max is kind of a nerd and doesn’t really have friends besides his next door neighbor. She of course is popular, pretty, and dating the star football player. He is like the third wheel. He also spends most of his time working and taking care of his mother, who has a bad heart. He’s a good kid who loves his mom, fossils, and crossword puzzles. One bad decision spurs a devil on him. Now, he has a devil living in his basement with crazy demands. But, if he gives the devil (Burg is his name) what he wants, he has agreed to cure his mother. Well, he learns the hard way to never trust a devil. Burg wants more and more, and Max does some really horrible things in order to please him. If not, he fears that Burg will kill his mother, or others in his life.

Lore is a girl who decides to help Max with his devil problem. He goes to her out of desperation, and rumors that she was into satanic shit before. The more he gets to know her, the more he understands about her… and begins to fall for her. She was a hard character to like. She is very abrasive, and very unstable. She would be helpful and friendly one minute, then be a huge bitch the next. As I got to know her though, I understood where a lot of it came from. I know this was really the story of Max, but I wanted to know more about Lore. Not just some things about her past, but how her life was in the present besides helping Max please his devil. In the end I did like her, but I felt I needed more out of her character.

There is of course a bit of romance, but it fits the story. Max has never has a girlfriend and isn’t really sure how to act around girls. He is awkward, and always says the wrong things. Lore is very moody, but it’s apparent that she likes him too. She just has some things going on inside that keep her from really letting herself fall for him. They do work well as a team, and mostly they are too busy worrying about what to do about Burg to act on any feelings they might have for each other. I was hoping that they would finally tell each other how they felt, but timing is everything. While fighting to keep your family alive and get rid of an intrusive devil living in your house, romance isn’t really at the top of the list.

While this book is essentially a comedy, it does have a really good, and sometimes sad story. There is death, illnesses, and of course the desperation of the situation. The dark is nicely blended with the humor to keep you from getting sucked into an emotional state with all that is going on. This author does a perfect job with it and I loved it. It was entertaining and engaging. A perfect start to the year with a fabulous read. I can’t wait to read what this author writes next. She is a must buy for me.


4 Hot Espressos

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I'm no good at this, but I'm a mom of one little girl who really thinks she is a princess. I love reading all sorts of books (horror being a favorite genre of mine), love meeting new people, drinking lots of coffee, and eating chocolate. If you want to know anything else about me, just ask.
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18 Responses to “Review: Hellohole by Gina Damico”

  1. Tammy @ Books Bones & Buffy

    Agreed! I just read this and will have my review up soon. I’ve been following Gina’s blog for a few years and she is just as funny as her books. I had so much fun reading Hellhole and now I need to go back and read her Croak books.

    • Amy

      I follow her blog as well and she is super funny. I met her in real life and she is totally awesome. She stopped by my closest B&N on her way back from her road trip, so it wasn’t a book signing event or anything, just her stopping by. 🙂 I still haven’t read her last Croak book yet, but I loved the first two.

  2. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I need to read more books by Gina Damico! I’ve heard such good things about her books. This one sounds like a lot of fun. I wonder I would feel about the girl Max goes to. Hopefully, her constant switch in attitude won’t bother me too much.
    Great review!

    • Amy

      Her attitude switch is a bit annoying, but it fits. That’s just due to what she has been through. (And her crazy teenage girl hormones or something lol) The story was really great though and I think you would like it Nick!

  3. Zareena

    I’ve read the first book in Gina Damico’s Croak series and that was a really fun and enjoyable book 🙂 This sounds similar so I think I would enjoy it. Nice review!

    • Amy

      It has the same type of dark humor, but the story is a lot different. It was still a really fun book and I really did care about what happened to the characters.

    • Amy

      Yes!! It’s a perfect blend. It’s got enough seriousness to make you care about what is happening, but plenty of humor to stop it from being depressing.