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House of Hollow
Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats.
Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. But when her eldest sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Iris learns just how weird her life can get: horned men start shadowing her, a corpse falls out of her sister’s ceiling, and ugly, impossible memories start to twist their way to the forefront of her mind.
As Iris retraces Grey’s last known footsteps and follows the increasingly bizarre trail of breadcrumbs she left behind, it becomes apparent that the only way to save her sister is to decipher the mystery of what happened to them as children.
The closer Iris gets to the truth, the closer she comes to understanding that the answer is dark and dangerous – and that Grey has been keeping a terrible secret from her for years.
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.
Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.
(4.5 / 5) It was so easy to get sucked into this on the first page. I had many moments of, “Don’t talk to me, I’m reading!” And when I did have to put it down, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was spectacularly bizarre in all the right places.
This is not my normal type of read. I’m not big into horror or paranormal but wow, this one hit the spot. I had some FOMO when my friends were receiving it and raving. When Penguin Teen had it available, I snatched it up to see what all the hype was about. While it was creepy, it wasn’t overwhelmingly so. It was thoughtful and unique and so brilliant.
I was definitely captivated by Sutherland’s writing. It had to be good to hook me so quickly! The suspense grabbed me and didn’t let go until the end. I feel like I’m still trying to absorb it all and appreciate the little details.
Tyler was my favorite character. His self-deprecating charm was adorable and I wish there would’ve been more of him. “Can I leave you behind if you die or do you expect me to be heroic and drag your corpse home?”
The book definitely takes a few turns and they are intense with some gore. It’s a dark, twisty fairy tale that is hard to put down. It was mysterious yet alluring and I just ate it up. Honestly, this book is not for everyone. However, I have to say that Sutherland impressed me!
Content Summary: The sisters are 17, 19 and 21. The older sister’s are very into drugs, alcohol and adult lifestyles. The youngest sister gets involved with these also but to a lesser degree. There is an attempted rape, but few details about intimacy in general. The intensity is high and the creepy factor mixed in with gore and a few more details may be too much for some. The end has some intense situations and details that are very dark. I would not recommend this to sensitive readers.
Thank you to Penguin Teen for the copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book releases Tuesday April 6, 2021.
Detailed Content Review
Derogatory terms etc-
Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking
A woman is high on meth.
A woman often takes walks drunk.
A woman has dark circles under her eyes from drugs and drinks.
A group of teens sneak into a liquor cabinet for shots of tequila.
A woman smokes a cigarette. She smokes clove cigarettes and drinks spiked tea throughout the day.
Previously, teens drink absinthe.
A sister sneaks her teen sister wine.
A vape co hands out free samples.
Sisters drink shots of absinthe.
A woman smokes a cigarette.
Dom perignon is served at a party.
A young woman comes home drunk and pukes.
A woman (19?) turns to alcohol and drugs to numb herself. At one point, she has 2 days of hard drinking and smells of cigarettes and alcohol.
A man drinks alcohol. He smells of gin and weed.
A man says he needs cocaine.
Previously, a runaway teen sold drugs to get by.
A woman smokes a clove cigarette.
A man and woman are drunk and smoking.
Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty
*Moderate LGBTQ+ aspects included*
A young woman kisses a woman.
A male teacher pushed a young woman against the wall and kissed her neck in front of the class.
A young woman kisses a young woman.
A sister tells her sister about the women she has bedded.
“It’s like an interior designer masturbated in here, and came on everything.”
A woman puts her finger against a woman’s lips. The woman sucks her finger.
Three sisters; one is straight, one is gay, one is bisexual.
Two young women kiss.
“…don’t come in with a big swinging dick accusing me…”
A runaway teen randomly picked up shifts at a strip club to make money.
A woman kisses a woman, then later a man. No romantically, but to persuade them.
A woman kisses a man.
A man grabs a young woman’s wrist then throws her to the ground, feeling “his hardness” as he tries to get in her pants. She screams and fights. He kissed her, bit her then licked those wounds.
A young woman kisses a man. They kiss harder and deeper before pulling away.
Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood
A young woman watches a woman sneak through her window. She screams and the woman is tackled by a woman and young women. She bites one and head butts another.
A man tries to pull a young woman into his car but she broke his jaw and knocked out two teeth.
A young woman gets bullied multiple times. “Witch” is written on her locker in blood, a dead bird is put in her backpack and broken glass is sprinkled on her lunch. A picture of women burning on the stake is altered so each sister is photoshopped into the pic.
When a young woman gets grounded, she wrapped her hands around her moms throat. Her mom slapped her so hard her lip split.
A room has blood splattered over walls and furniture with bloody footprints on the floor. There was definitely a fight. Liquid is dripping from the ceiling, a body falls out. The man is naked with his throat slashed.
A man shoots at a young woman.
A missing woman is found naked with a young woman’s blood on her.
A woman is said to have deep cuts from self harm.
A photographer manhandles a woman to get her picture and she punches him.
A man is on the floor, bloody. A woman is bloody.
A woman stabs a woman with a scalpel, blood gushing, then lowers her to the ground. A man shoves a man into the wall. A woman stabs him in the chest.
A woman grabs a man and shoves him against a mirror, shattering it. She is choking him. She tells him to go home and kill himself slowly and painfully.
A young girl points a shotgun at two young women.
A man holds a woman by her hair and another over his shoulder as she fights. A man tries to stab him with a broken bottle but he is hit and falls unconscious. A young girl shoots him twice. He smashes two people into the wall. One is killed, her neck at an angle. The man takes two women.
A man grabs a young woman by the hair. She kicks him in the groin. He grabs her hair and slams her head into the floor. The man drags her by her hair, trying to drown her. A man shoots at him, hitting his face. The young woman’s forehead wound is bleeding profusely. The man comes at them, black mouth, jaw hanging loose, tendons exposed.
Two women are tied to stakes. One fights so hard that she hits her head and is unconscious and bleeding. A man lights the pyre.
A man has killed a man. Grief is apparent many times.
A man throws a young woman to the ground and squeezes her neck.
**BIG SPOILER** Skin is taken off people and used.
A young woman killed 3 young girls.
Potentially Intense Themes
Three young girls go missing and return a month later but changed and with no memories. They were naked and held a knife and had scars on their throats.
A woman carries 4 pregnancies to term but only one child survived.
A young woman sees a man with a mask watching her from a distance. This happens a few times.
Two teens quit high school.
Previously, a father dealt with delusions and mental health. It led to institutions and then suicide.
Young women know the smell of a decaying body. A neighbor slipped in his tub and died. His body started to liquefy and smelled.
Two people make a pact to kill each other.
Previously, a brother and sister are found floating in the water. The boy is revived but not the girl.
A young woman likes to skin mice, birds and snakes and make weird “Frankenstein monsters.”
After threatening to drive his family off a cliff, a man hangs himself in his house and his young daughters find him.
In an in-between world, many people are stuck. They are naked with varying degrees of decay. Many bodies are drifting by in a river. Some are floating in standing water and watch as people go by. A young woman finds a lot of old dried blood.
Three people dig up a shallow grave.
**Any quotes from the book are taken from the advanced copy and therefore may not be fully accurate or correctly compare to the final copy of the book.
**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.