BY REBECCA PODOS
Category: Young Adult
Expected Publication: January 26th, 2016 by Balzer & Bray
Format Acquired: ARC
Source: HarperCollins International
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 knows 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.
"They could be lonely wherever they were, But not us, Immy. We have each other. So we'll never, ever have to feel that way."
I haven't read any mystery book in a while, so I thought, why not start the year with one? Besides, the title and synopsis of the book look interesting, so I decided to start reading this one.
The Mystery of Hollow Places is about a girl named Imogene, who is in search of her missing father. She looked up into the clues that she thought her father left for her, and, later on, found herself also searching for her mother who left them when she was two. I think it's really sad, not knowing the real reason why her parents ran away, and there she is, searching for clues, trying to track one of them so she could find the other.
"I think he left the heart for me not as a clue, but as a map. Hoping just this once I would see it too, the picture in the stars, and use it to find my way to him."
Things got more exciting when Imogene used her dad's own novels to track him down. That's a really smart move for a girl of her age. and she's got a very positive character. I like that, unlike others who easily give up and start self-pitying for themselves when things get tough. Plus, there's Jessa, her only friend whom she can really rely on, who helped her more than enough. Jessa's character is like those Queen B's at high schools, but I liked her because of the things she did for Imogene.
"I don't know what it adds up to, but I know it leads somewhere. And how do I know that? Faith. In Dad, and in mysteries."
I also like the fact that this book didn't give any focus on romance, but gave a small hint of it. It didn't lose it's emphasis on Immy's search for her missing parents even though she's with a guy she's interested with -- Chad, Jessa's brother. Also, Lindy, her stepmom, played a huge role in this book. She has always been there for Imogene even when her father went missing. She tried to understand her and did her best to help with the case. In short, she's not one of those stepmoms you'd hate.
This book is about mental illness and depression, and how it can affect a person and his or her family, how selfless one may become because of it, how that person no longer cares about how the others would feel, as long as he/she knows it's for the better.
I'm glad this book didn't disappoint me. Take note, this is the author's first novel and she did a great job! Imogene now belongs to the strongest female characters I know. She's a smart and tough girl for her age! I admire her fighting spirit! I totes recommend this to everyone who's into mystery and positive girl fighting spirit.
"This Valentine's Day. . .maybe a stone heart counts as a Valentine after all."
|4 out of 5 Pandas|
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: REBECCA PODOS
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