Hollow Pike- Juno Dawson

“When I was little, my dad used to tell me stories about children who went into the copse and never came out. They just vanished.”

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Blurb: “She thought she’d be safe in the country, but you can’t escape your own nightmares, and Lis London dreams repeatedly that someone is trying to kill her. Lis thinks she’s being paranoid – after all who would want to murder her? She doesn’t believe in the local legends of witchcraft. She doesn’t believe that anything bad will really happen to her. You never do, do you? Not until you’re alone in the woods, after dark – and a twig snaps…”

*Disclaimer: Dawson has since announced that she is transgender hence the name on the book. However, she has said that she would prefer her new name and pronouns to be used when referring to her older works*

The story follows Lis London who moves to Hollow Pike to live with her sister. She hopes that a new place and a new school will stop her reoccurring nightmares in which she is murdered. No such luck there when her new home looks very similar to the location in her dreams. She learns that Hollow Pike has a history of witchcraft and one night, when a prank goes horribly wrong, Lis starts to wonder whether the rumours about Hollow Pike are something more.

I have been on and off with Juno’s writing in the past but the concept of one of her books with more of a “witchy” theme made me hold out just a little bit longer. This was the first book she wrote in the Young Adult genre and it’s incredibly well written.

The characters felt so real and therefore it was easy to believe that any decisions made fit in line with how that character would act. The plot progressed at a perfect pace; in this kind of story it could so easily have fallen into painful lull period but it didn’t. There was enough happening in sub plots to keep the story afloat without losing the main objective of what it was trying to achieve.

It was a solid read with no weaknesses I could pick out. There was a nice balance between the contemporary and supernatural elements.

Well worth a read!

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