I received this book for free from Balzer + Bray in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos
Published by Balzer & Bray on January 26th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Balzer + Bray
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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.
So I’m not really sure what to think of this book. It wasn’t bad, and it had the potential to be really good, but it missed the mark. I’m all about background information and learning the history of the character and their lives, but this one was to the point that is was very disruptive to the story and it really just disconnected me from the whole thing. It was hard to really care abou the story and what was happening when it was interrupted for long stretches explaining something about the past. I get that it’s the thought process of the main character as she is the one telling the story, but it just did’t quite work for me.
Imogene is the MC and she was just okay to me. I get that she wants to know more about her mom and know what her dad refuses to tell her. The main thing going on in the book is to find her dad who is missing. Though, he did leave on his own. She is determined to follow the clue that he has left her and knows that by finding her mom, she will also find her dad. Oh yeah, and just so you know, her mom left when she was a baby and her dad is remarrried, so he left his daughter and his wife. So anyways… Imogene is really smart actually and she does a good job with the help of her friend. (Who I must say is a much better friend to her than Imogene is to her.) Due to her uncertain history of mental illness on her mother’s side, and her father having mental illness, she starts to question herself as well. She sticks with her search though, and even though she makes some really horrible choices and hurts those close to her at times, I did understnd where she was coming from.
I thought that this book did have a great story and I did like the mystery of Imogene puzzling things out. Like I said before though, all the long descriptions of past things just really took me away from the story. I wanted to really care about what Imogene was going through and to feel her emotions, but I just didn’t. When I would start to get wrapped up in her life, it would go into something about a resturaunt that they used to go to or something and it was hard to get back into her head. This was a good book about how mental illness can both tear a family down, but also bring them together. It really did do a good job at that. It showed how much Imogene was struggling not just with her father missing, but even events through her life that could have been much different had she not been so affected by what her father is going through and wondering about her mom. I liked this, but I just couldn’t love it since I couldn’t fully get into the story. I would definitely try out other books by this author though in the future.
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