Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Bone Hollow

Ventrella, Kim. Bone Hollow
February 26th 2019 by Scholastic Press
E ARC from Edeleweiss Plus

Gabe is trying to rescue Ms. Cleo's prized chicken from the roof when a hurricane hits and kills him. Since he wakes up and can hear everyone around him, he doesn't quite know that he is dead. His loyal dog, Ollie, remains by his side, but once he starts to roam around and attempt to talk to people, everyone is afraid of him and chases him out of town. Luckily, he meets Wynne, who takes him to Bone Hollow, feeds him, and gets him settled in. It's not easy to be dead but NOT dead, and Wynne tries to show Gabe his new purpose. She has been helping people pass to the other side for many years, ever since her death at a young age, and she's getting tired. Wynne is convinced that Gabe will take over for her, and shows him some of the people she has helped, and the methods she has used. Gabe has had a sad life, losing his parents, sister, and grandparents, so the opportunity to help others, even people who have been mean to him, seems like a possibility, especially since he can keep Ollie with him.
Strengths: This is well written, with an interesting premise and engaging characters. Gabe is a good kid, even though life has dealt him a very difficult hand, and he doesn't hold onto bitterness or resentment. It's good that he is able to keep Ollie with him. Wynne could have been portrayed as an evil character, but instead is quite sympathetic. The world building is solid, with a good description of what Wynne does and how she came to have this role. Auxiliary characters show up at good moments and add to the story line.
Weaknesses: Like Skeleton Tree, this isn't really a scary book, and it had a quirky Southern feel that I never enjoy. Also, since I don't believe that anything at all happens after we die, it was hard for me to feel invested in it.
What I really think: Since Skeleton Tree hasn't circulated too well, I will wait to purchase.
Ms. Yingling

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