Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Mystery of Hollow Places ~ Rebecca Podos Tour Review + Cast + Playlist + Giveaway [@RebeccaPodos @The_FFBC @epicreads]

The Mystery of Hollow Places
by Rebecca Podos
Balzer & Bray
January 26, 2016
304 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery

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.

The Mystery of Hollow Places is a book I have been wanting to read for a while - so much about it appealed to me: the mystery, Imogene's father was a forensic pathologist turned novel writer, the absence of her mother, Imogene's decision to find her mother. Now that I have read Rebecca Podos' novel, I know it was even better than I expected.

Imogene has a love of mysteries - from her father's novels to those featuring Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew and beyond. While her stepmother and the police have their ideas about finding her father, Imogene has her own plan. She is sure he's looking for her mother and that if she can find the woman who left them so many years ago, she will also find her father.

She may just be a high school student, but years of reading as the great detectives solve their mysteries has her sure she can solve her own.

Imogene does definitely come up with some creative and intelligent (though  not always strictly legal) ways of finding information to aid her in her search. I liked how she came up with the next steps, what to do, how to do them and the information she hoped to gleam. 

It also worked really well that, even as she uncovered shocking or startling information, facts that could throw her off of her plan, she kept moving forward. She did either deny some implications or push them off to later, but the way that you knew she was still aware of them, still had them in her head was compelling. Even as she seemed to really be sticking to her plan, her search, you had to wonder how far she would be able to take it.

I also really loved that Imogene's personal life - her friendship with Jessa, her crush on Chad, her relationship with Lindy, especially in the absence of her father - was very much a part of the story. Even if her attention was mainly on finding her mother (and through her, her father), we still got a great look at Imogene and Jessa, the history of their friendship along with the present.

The Mystery of Hollow Places is a well done mystery in how Imogene discovers her clues, how she tracks down information and pieces things together. The mystery is not the neat 'who committed x crime' of mystery, detective novels but is, instead, about Imogene, her family, their past, the secrets and truth and what it all means for and about her.

I loved Imogene, her friends and how they helped her to discover the truth - and how they each dealt with and reacted to the discoveries along the way. (Imogene also gets extra love from me for her love of Rebecca.)

Malese Jow as Imogene

Bella Thorne as Jessa

Freddie Stroma as Chadwick

Kelly Rutherford (ala Gossip Girl) as Lindy

(This should actually be Lifts You Up. - it's playing as that on my computer, but . . .)

Read an excerpt of THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES on Epic Reads:

The Mystery Of Hollow Places | Books | Epic Reads

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Follow the The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

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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