Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos.

I think I've found a new favourite book, this one very pleasantly surprised me!

The story follows Imogene, a high school senior whose mother, Sidonie, left when she was a baby. She doesn't know anything about her, except for what her father has told her. Now her father is missing and she and her stepmom are trying desperately to find him. Imogene believes that the only place he would have gone was to find Sidonie. Now she just has to find her dad and maybe meet her mom for the first time since she was a baby.

I think what I loved most about this story was its originality. I was expecting some run-of-the-mill mystery but I got something much more than that. Sure the story is about Imogene finding her parents, but it's also about her finding herself and recognizing the family she does have.

I think Podos did a great job of making the story realistic. There were times when Imogene was off doing something she probably shouldn't have been and she was punished. Her parents or at least her stepmom was around and actually part of her life. There were times when Imogene drew attention to the fact that she was just a teenager playing the role of Sherlock. There was never a moment where things turned unrealistic because Imogene was quick to point out the differences between real life and the mystery novels she loves.

I also really loved Imogene's voice. The story is told in her perspective and I think she is one of the best narrators in my recent memory. She was very aware of what was going on and was quick to call out herself when she was wrong. Her relationship with her friend Jessa was sweet and once again realistic. There were moments where things didn't go as planned and they had fights but they made it through.

Podos also does a good job of keeping the story on track. There are hints of possible romantic connections with Imogene and Jessa's older brother Chad but nothing really comes of it and it certainly doesn't take over the whole book.

The pacing and writing of this book were fantastic, it drew me in from the very beginning and couldn't put it down. I was so enthralled in the story and I had to see where it was going. It wasn't even so much the mystery of finding Imogene's dad or mom that kept me reading but Imogene's narration and journey. I didn't want to miss a second.

This book is for those of us who loved mysteries growing up, whether it was The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes or the Nancy Drew series. It's a modern-day detective story about life and family. It's not a fast-paced page-turner, but so much deeper and better than that. In some ways, I feel like this book was written just for me, I'm not sure why, but I think that's why I loved it so much. It was the book I've been waiting for.

I adored this book and hope you do too.

Overall, highly recommend this one and am hotly anticipating anything else by this author.