Jessica Verday is the New York Times bestselling author of The Hollow trilogy. Her short stories have been featured in The First Time anthology, which she co-edited, and Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions. She believes a shoe isn't a shoe unless it has a three-inch heel, and nothing beats a great pair of boots. When not daydreaming about moving into a library of her own, she can be found working on her next story, redecorating her office, or buying vintage furniture. Find out more about The Beautiful and the Damned, The Hollow trilogy, and the forthcoming Of Monsters and Madness series at JessicaVerday.com.
Gr 7 Up-The Hollow opens with the funeral of 16-year-old Abbey's best friend, Kristen, who vanished near the legendary Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and is presumed dead. On the day of the funeral, Abbey is drawn to Caspian, a mysterious young man who comes into and out of her life during the next several months. While she searches for answers to Kristen's disappearance, she meets Nikolas and Katy, the charming caretakers of the cemetery. During a chance visit to a shop in a neighboring town, Abbey discovers Caspian's secret. This inventive tale from a first-time author cleverly interweaves elements of Washington Irving's famous "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" not only in the setting, but also in the characters of Nikolas and Katy. Abbey's narration is heartfelt and authentically written as her emotions fluctuate from grief at Kristen's disappearance to growing romantic feelings for Caspian to raw anguish at learning the truth about him. Unlike many coming-of-age novels, the minor characters aren't given short shrift; instead, Abbey's parents, her classmate Ben, Kristen's mother, and Nikolas and Katy all come vividly to life through unique personalities, characteristics, and pasts. Readers, particularly fans of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" (Little, Brown) and other supernatural romances, will clamor for the second novel in this trilogy.-Leah J. Sparks, formerly at Bowie Public Library, MD Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
In the wake of The Twilight Saga, another supernatural romance rears its ugly head, this time taking on Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. After the death of her best friend, Abbey feels abandoned and alone. She tries distracting herself by creating perfumes, but true distraction comes in the form of Caspian, the "total hottie" she meets in the Sleepy Hollow cemetery. Abbey quickly falls head over heels in love with Caspian, although she struggles with his mysterious and elusive demeanor. Just as things seem like they are back to normal, Abbey makes two discoveries: she finds Kristen's secret diary that reveals she was hiding something from Abbey, and she learns Caspian's true identity. On the verge of a breakdown, Abbey's world slowly begins to unravel when she realizes Sleepy Hollow may hold more truth than legend. At first glance, Verday's book appears to be overflowing with fabulous potential. The stunning cover art and legendary premise lure readers into thinking this hefty tome is worth the time investment, but the story line drags, disappoints and quickly falls flat. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is the obvious catalyst for the story, but other than the setting, Abbey's obsession with the tale, and the quotes that open each chapter, it is unclear as to how the legend relates until the last few chapters. Unfortunately readers might not feel compelled to stick it out to the very end after reading countless pages describing Abbey's mundane activies like mixing scents, baking cookies, organizing her uncle's office or working on a science fair project. Although the book will definitely sell itself, it is not well written and readers may be disappointed. This scheduled trilogy may be a series to pass up if budgets are tight. "----VOYA April 2010"