The Mystery of Hollow Places Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos

Release Date: January 26, 2016

Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Rated: YA 14+
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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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.

Raving reviews with a gorgeous cover and title to top it off–I knew that I had to get my hands on The Mystery of Hollow Places. I was super stoked when I got a copy in the mail and then got accepted into the blog tour because I could not wait to dig into this beauty. No disappointments here! I really, REALLY enjoyed this one. Every time I’d have to take a break from reading it, I longed to go back to it. I was really captured by the mystery and Rebecca Podos brings to life this wonderful story.

The book’s mystery wasn’t really like a mystery-mystery. It’s one of those personal stories with a few surprises at the end, the kind that slowly builds up and while the end doesn’t completely blow your mind, like the twist in Shutter Island or whatever, it’s still a super satisfying ending. Personal journeys are important too, people! I also liked that the father was a mystery writer... makes it so much more interesting with the parallels of the detectives that the father writes about and the qualities of those characters that our protagonist Imogene draws upon.

While I did like Imogene’s character for the most part, it was just a little annoying when she’d start yelling at the people around her trying to help. It was just tedious time to time when they’d try to help but then because of something that we thought she’d let go somewhere in the middle comes back and just makes a whole mess of the situation. But hey, whatever pushes the story! I liked the direction the story took after that, so that whole mess was overlooked by yours truly. Jessa’s character was also super cool–I’d totally want a bestie like her! While the whole “omg she’s so beautiful and I can never be like her” thing coming from Imogene was a *bit* overdone, I still liked that this girl was manipulative, beautiful and helpful. And of course we have Chad...I liked that he wasn’t too swoon-worthy, but just enough because it’s enough to give you the mushy feels but not enough to overpower the entire story.

The romance wasn’t a huge element in the story, and I’m glad for that. There wasn’t too much of it, now that I think about it... but whatever was there seemed quite necessary for the plot, so there was no overdone infatuation with our protagonist becoming completely sidetracked from her main mission. And hey–there’s an unexpected ending with all of this too.

I LOVE that this was set in Massachusetts! I could totally visualise and recognise some of the places mentioned in this book, such as Newbury street, and The Friendly Toast (although I’ve never gone). Chad was even a sophomore at BU! LIKE ME!! Which is why it was strange to see Imogene calling him an adult or too old for her, haha. All kinds of awesome in this book with the awesome locations...I totally need to find out if there’s actually the beach mentioned in this book somewhere around here.

Overall, The Mystery of Hollow Places was a fantastic story with just the right amounts of mystery, laughs, tears, and romance. Rebecca Podos’s debut is gorgeous and I totally recommend you all pick this one up soon! I know I definitely can’t wait to read what comes next from her.

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Megan at HarperCollins International for sending a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪

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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.

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It’s time for a giveaway!
Enter to win...

One (1) hardcopy of The Mystery of Hollow Places + Swag!

Enter via the Rafflecopter below:
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Click on the button above to follow the rest of the tour!

Thank you so much to FFBC Blog Tours for having me along!


  1. The synopsis promises an exciting mystery as well as internal struggle for this character. I love mysteries and can't wait to read this book. I also love the cover!!

  2. Ooo, this book sounds pretty good! I have an ARC, but didn't even read the synopsis until now. I'm not a huge fan of mystery, so I'm glad it's more of a personal journey, rather than a mystery mystery. Great post!

    Hafsah, IceyBooks


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