Cover Image: Into the Hollow

Into the Hollow

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Member Reviews

Unfortunately, for my older books requested I was unable to review probably. They were never read, not because they weren't great, but because I ended up sick. I am just now getting back into the swing of thinks. Thank you, Netgalley.
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The story follows Freedom, who fights to protect her family from harm. The story is set in The Hollow, in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia.

It's a beautiful YA novel that really hits home. Very interesting, especially as a way of introducing certain topics into the classroom and make them easier to discuss.
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This book just didn't work for me. I think the author has a lot of potential but this entire story lacked real Appalachian  authenticity which kind of killed the entire book for me. It wasn't a bad book, it just didn't deliver what a book about poverty and living in the holler should.
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I really loved this coming of age story. It portraits wonderfully the value of hard work, family and the difference between real and fake dreams. In this story we follow the perspectives of our two main characters: Freedom and Cole and the cruel reality of their lives. Not only that but how their environment also affects the decisions they make about their future. 
This story is heartbreaking but also a fuzzy one. It’s deep and filled with emotion: anger, sadness and joy. It’s extremely fast paced. The author did a wonderful job with the writing. Definitely recommend it.
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I was drawn to this book because of the stunning cover and was pulled in by the compelling story. Vroman provides it all: mystery, family, and friendship. This is a story about families with secrets and the desire to both protect and escaped them.
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Thank you so much to Owl Hollow Press and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This novel is set in the town of Poplar Beach, West Virginia where we meet 17-year-old Freedom who is living in a shack without water or electricity with her younger brother and her father. Neither of the children attend school and are not allowed to have any friends. Their father is always scheming ways to make money even if it means ripping people off while Freedom works at a grocery store. Enter Cole, another teenager who also has a troublesome home life. What starts as helping Freedom out after her dad is injured turns into so much more.

I went into this book expecting YA romance which I feel I have read a million times before. I was so not ready for what this book was actually about. It's not just a story about love, it's a story about family and survival and teenagers with crappy lives trying to make it better and be the adults.

Lynn Vroman has an amazing writing style that will keep you interested and wanting to know what happens next. The way she details her characters and the storyline is amazing and she has a true talent for this. I loved the characters Freedom and Cole and how they had such a slow building romance while trying to help each other out. This was such a great book!
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Wow, I haven't devoured a book like this in months!

I'm not quite sure what exactly I was expecting when I picked this book up, but it certainly wasn't the touching, profound read it turned out to be:
Wonderfully developed, damaged protagonists alongside a slew of amazing supporting characters, all of them struggling to survive and ultimately escape their bleak lives in a deprived coal town in the mountains of West Virginia. Love, friendship, family and loyalty are probably the prevailing themes in this book, and Vroman handled it so well without drifting off into clichés or sobstuff.
While I loved both Free and Cole and their sweet budding romance, it was Free's precious relationship with her little brother that really got to me and moved me most, and how she was willing to sacrifice everything for him. I'm not too proud to admit that it made me shed quite a few tears.
The atmosphere is a rather sad one thoughout the book, bordering on but never quite transgressing into depressing territory, but somehow, it never made me feel down. I just knew everything would work out in the end, Free and Cole being too smart and mature to allow anything else.

So why not 5 stars, you ask, if I adored this book so much?
There was a stretch somewhere in the middle that felt incredibly drawn out, as if the author didn't really know where to take the story from there. The pacing felt off, the characters' thoughts became redundant and I just wanted it to go back to the way it had been before. Thankfully, she managed to recover and once it was back on track, I enjoyed every remaining word of it. So much so that I wished there had been some sort of epilogue.

All in all, though, this was a fantastic read. Emotional, sweet and empowering. What more could you want?

Trigger warning:
Despite the protagonists being teens, due to some pretty graphic mature content such as domestic abuse, drug addiction and violence, I'm still not sure whether this really should be labelled as Young Adult.
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Something weird happened with my laptop and a lot of my downloads disappeared, including this and other Netgalley ARCs I had not yet gotten around to, but are now archived and not available to re-download... I am sadness
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I really enjoyed this contemporary fiction novel I received via Netgalley. The story is set in The Hollow, in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia. It's the story of a girl named Freedom, and her fight to find herself, save her family and get out of the hills. Good story telling and fun, believable characters.
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***Actual Rating: 4/5 Dreams-Unliving Stars*** 

Into the Hollow featured two teenagers, Free and Cole, living in the Appalachia Mountains Area, trying to figure out what was going on with their lives. When Free’s father went too far by dealing with the devil, her younger brother and her life was in serious jeopardy. They were hunted and threatened by the most notorious gangsters/drug dealers in the area so escaping their nightmare was hardly an option. 

Mercifully, with the help of Cole, a cute neighbor who ended up going to the same school as Free, she regained her composure and found back the confidence and motivation she needed to keep moving forward. Little did Free know Cole may be fighting against his personal demons all this time he was doing his best giving her a hand. 

As an aspiring journalist, Cole had a habit of putting down headlines in his notepad wherever he went. I loved his random thoughts and inner feelings for Free because he was such a sweet cinnamon roll with a kind heart and a soft spot for this math whizz girl (even though he doesn’t like math that much, ha!).

Despite the adversity both Free and Cole had to encounter, there was a pinch of humor in their daily banters that I absolutely adored. However awkward and inexperienced they were when it comes to love and life, they never backed away from stumbling through darkness just to find the silver lining. 

In the beginning of the story, I was totally obsessed with the background setting and character development. I highly appreciated how mature and thoughtful Free and Cole were because in my opinion, that was the highlight of this book. To my slight disappointment, I got lost somewhere in the middle of the story since Cole had way too many questions about Free that were left completely unanswered, untouched. I found myself searching for answers but to no avail.

Thankfully, the story picked up its pace as the ending approached. As relieved as I was to see Free and Cole figure a tiny part of their messed-up lives out, which resulted in them staying clear of the rabbit hole, I would definitely appreciate more if there could be more detailed disclosures on the whereabouts of those villains. I mean, I was pretty curious about what happened to them since they were sort of a crucial part of the story. Don’t get me wrong, the story itself was indeed an awesome-sauce with its well-developed characters and realistically heartfelt plot; it’s just that there were too many unsolved problems to thoroughly enjoy it.

All in all, Into the Hollow is a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED book from me because I think everyone should meet Free and Cole and take a closer look at how they sought the light through darkness, baby step by baby step. It’s an uplifting story since the characters were flawed, stuck with their messed-up families, but somehow fought their way back to normalcy successfully. My favorite feature of the story? It’s undoubtedly its bittersweet touch of reality and helplessness I believe some people in real life are still struggling with, whatever dark corners in the world they are in. Enough said, please go give this book a try and let me know what you think!
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This book was just absolutely gorgeous. Heartbreaking and sweet, it follows 17 year old Freedom and 18 year old Cole through their hard times and their sweet budding romance. 
Incredibly poignant. I am still crying. I can not recommend this one enough. Thanks netgalley for giving me a chance to read Into the Hollow.
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Into the Hollow addresses the topic of poverty. Told with warmth and heart, it's a feel good and feel sad story all at once. We see how to overcome adversity in ways other than the typical. It teaches valuable lessons with loveable characters. I enjoyed this book.
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Into the Hollow is more than a YA contemporary , it’s also a coming of age story which portraits the value of hard work, the importance of family and the difference between real and fake dreams. In this story we follow the perspectives of our two main characters : Freedom, Cole and the cruel reality of their lives. Not only that, but how their environment also affects the decisions they make about their future. 

This story is heartbreaking but also a warm fuzzy one (trust me ) . It’s deep and filled with emotion: anger, sadness and joy are some of the many feelings you will get while reading this book. It’s extremely fast paced . Lynn did a wonderful job with the writing , making you feel like you’re part of the story . 

I decided to give this book 4.5 /5 stars because I had an issue with a part of the story (which I will not talk about because it will be a spoiler) but that didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the book. Highly recommend it .
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Into the Hollow is a beautifully written book. The main characters are really well developed and their storylines are written with such depth that you feel the hopelessness that they embody.
That being said, I found the middle section a little slow going. I think Cole’s character lost his way a little bit and was overshadowed by how strong Free is.
The plot is good but you could see what was going to happen quite early on in the resolution.
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Great job Lynn Vroman! Wow! This was my favorite book of 2018 for real! Amazing book, read it! Don't think about it, buy the book and read it, you won't regret it I promise!
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I can’t seem to write this review. I’ve tried a couple of times now and I find myself trying to retell the story and all the great, awesome parts of this book instead of telling you what I love about it. You have to read this book for yourself. It was beautiful.

Since I can’t stop myself from telling you the story, instead I am going to just write up some bullet points about what I loved about this book and some things this book made me think about.

1.	This isn’t a book you just read. This is a book you experience. At least it was that way for me. This book hit on some really tough topics – child abuse, drug abuse, extreme poverty, neglect, teen pregnancy, prejudice. But it was also a story about family, hope, discovery, and love. In the end, it really emphasized that sometimes the best action is to let go, rather than continue on a dead end and ultimately destructive path.

2.	Everyone in the world should be loved the way Freedom and Little love each other. There was raw emotion there, definitely borne of hard life experiences, but a love deeper between siblings than I’ve ever experienced before in a book. It was pure, unconditional, and beautiful.

3.	Everyone in the world should be respected and loved the way Cole respects and loves Freedom. Good guys do exist.

4.	Poverty does not have to define you. You define you. Sometimes your decisions (good and bad) can define you (at least temporarily), and the right decisions are super hard to make! But you are never locked in – while it can be difficult, you can change your life if you want to!

5.	Not all foster families are bad.

6.	Guidance counselors can ROCK!

7.	Girls can be unbelievably smart!  I love that Freedom was a math prodigy and that it was so prominent in the book.

8.	Saying goodbye can be the hardest thing in the world. There is a scene between Freedom and Little that made me ugly cry. It was painful, raw, heart wrenching and destroyed me for a bit. I actually had to put the book down for a while to recover. 

9.	SO MANY EMOTIONS!  This book was a rollercoaster spanning from hate, dread, and despair to outright joy, hope and love. Quite a ride.

10.	Sometimes survival means taking care of yourself first. Love yourself.

11.	I loved that this is a YA book that did not go the catty high school girls route. Refreshing!

12.	You are allowed to be happy! 

13.	Did I mention MATH!?!!  

14.	Family is everything. And sometimes the ones that are your best family aren’t even related to you.

15.	You are stronger than you think, but you can ask for help when you need it. And when you need to, scream at the top of your lungs from a cliff!

There is so much in this book to love. I want to tell you about all of my favorite parts and provide quotes and describe the scenes, but I would be rewriting the book for you if I included it all. I seriously want to buy this book for everyone I know and hold them hostage until they read it and experience what I just experienced reading it!

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher Owl Hollow Press for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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I found this book a really beautiful story.  It captures an often not talked about side of poverty with grace.  I was able to feel for the characters and really felt as though they were real people.  It was also really refreshing to have a female character be a math prodigy.  I am frequently looking for books that bring that gender equality to my students and classroom.
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The story started suspenseful with secrecy and twists and slowly became more of a romance. It read to me a bit like a New Adult novel, without the sexual content.
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I really loved this book. It made me feel all sorts of emotions and Free is a girl that is narrated so well. All the characters felt wonderfully real but really did make me sad at the different circumstances they all faced. I hope there is a sequel (although there's room for interpretation). Cole and Freedom are wonderful, feeling as if they were right next to me. Thank you for this.
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This is a gem. 

There's so much to love about this novel. The writing is so smooth and fluid; the dialogue is realistic and the story glides along the page. Lynn Vroman has an amazing style and a great talent. I haven't read any of her other work but will absolutely make a point to do so soon. Honestly, there's such a lovely fluidity to her work that I am straight up jealous.

The story is heartbreaking and hopeful at equal turns. The characters are rich and rounded. It's not often we see a group of young adults band together through thick and thin. Girls welcome new competition without the cattiness that comes so easily to storylines. Adults help and guide but don't make promises they can't keep. Family betrays one another. Family finds a way to come back together. 

This was a peek into the lives of the tough people that poverty keeps down. There's no hiding the ugly in this story and there is plenty to see. But there are shining moments of love and hope. The people we meet in this story will resonate for a long time. Thank you to NetGalley and Owl Hollow Press for providing me with a review copy.
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