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A devil is a bad influence . . .

There was a time when geeky, squeaky-clean Max Kilgore would never lie or steal or even think about murder. Then he accidentally unearths a devil, and Max’s choices are no longer his own. The big red guy has a penchant for couch surfing and junk food—and you should never underestimate evil on a sugar high.

With the help of Lore, a former goth girl who knows a thing or two about the dark side, Max is racing against the clock to get rid of the houseguest from hell before time, and all the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos this side of the fiery abyss, run out.

352 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 6, 2015

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About the author

Gina Damico

7 books787 followers
I grew up under four feet of snow in Syracuse, New York. I received a degree in theater and sociology from Boston College, where I was active with the Committee for Creative Enactments, a murder mystery improv comedy troupe that may or may not have sparked my interest in wildly improbably bloodshed. I have since worked as a tour guide, transcriptionist, theater house manager, scenic artist, movie extra, office troll, retail monkey, yarn hawker, and breadmonger.I live in Western Massachusetts with my husband, two cats, one dog, and and obscene amount of weird things purchased at yard sales.

NOTE: I don't check back here as often as I'd like to (OR write reviews), so instead of sending me a friend request or following me, why not hit me up on Twitter instead? @ginadamico

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5 stars
277 (21%)
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485 (38%)
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359 (28%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 263 reviews
Profile Image for Heidi The Reader.
1,372 reviews1,419 followers
August 15, 2017
Hellhole is a modern Faustian tale about Max Kilgore, his deathly ill mother and the devil.

Though written for a young adult audience, readers need to be aware that there are some bad words in the dialogue and innuendo in some situations. All kids are different, but I'd lean towards 15 and up for Hellhole.

Our hero is just a regular guy: "Seventeen-year-old Max Kilgore suffered from the unfortunate curse of having a name that was far cooler than the person it was attached to." pg 8, ebook.

Max attends high school, holds down a job and cares for his ailing mother in Eastville. "The town of Eastville was known for four things: its renowned hospital, its renowned high school football team, its renowned granite quarry, and its stupid, stupid name. No one could say with authority what Eastville was supposed to be east of..." pg 13, ebook.

One day, after a bad decision on Max's part, Burgundy Cluttermuck (Burg) walks through his door. "The name is Burgundy Cluttermuck, devil-at-large. I do bachelorette parties and retirement galas, but no more children's birthday." He sucked in some air through his teeth. "Too much screaming." pg 38.

How is Max going to get rid of him? And how long is this devil going to stick around? It's dangerous to have a devil around the house: "He won't go after you. He'll go after the ones you love, and then you'll have to live with the guilt. That's your 'punishment for dealing in devilry'..." pg 107, ebook.

Recommended for young adults, 15 plus. If you enjoy this book, a similar read is The Gentleman by Forrest Leo.
589 reviews1,031 followers
January 9, 2015
Celine and I discussioned (that's a word) this on the blog and we both gave Hellhole 4 stars! Come and check out the awesomeness (and for a giveaway or two) here.

Things we discussioned:
- How this was hella funny but also dark. And totally Gina Damico style
- How hilarious Burg the devil was
- And we agreed that he totally stole the spotlight here
- We admire Damico's ability to create some great character growth
- And talk deep stuff like being good and evil
- We also discuss Max's mum (aka the deeper stuff)
- And how we liked the romance but not so much that we shipped them like FedEx
- We also admire how fabulous Lore is
- Because she really is
- And so is Gina Damico.


P.S: Here's a book trailer which is acted out by (real) dinosaurs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dM6Sp...
Profile Image for Ashley Marie .
1,218 reviews376 followers
October 5, 2015
All these devils make me want to reread Horns.

Ahem. I can't remember the last time I buzzed through a book so fast that wasn't a Harry Potter book. Yet another fantastic novel from Gina Damico! The whole concept of devils showing up because of our actions actually kind of terrified me -- I've never stolen from anyone, but I was a compulsive liar as a kid and... yeah. That would *not* have been fun. I really liked Max and his fascination with dinosaurs, he makes me want to watch Land Before Time. Maybe tomorrow. And Lore was really cool. Audi had that added dimension of being the friend you've known for so long that it would just be weird if you were together, and Wall was very surprisingly not a douchenozzle jock. Very awesome. AND RUCKUS. I LOVE THAT FUCKING CAT.

Oh yeah and Burg. Holy crap but he can give me the willies. Eesh. I loved Max's relationship with his mom, and the fact that he was aware of what he was doing the whole time, going out and stealing and killing people and really just being so self-aware. Although I could definitely reread the drunk scene for the next week and cackle to myself. And I LOVED that this was a standalone. I mean, if she wants to write a sequel I'll certainly read it, but the ending really seemed to wrap things up nicely and I miss that sometimes -- it seems like so many authors get multi-book deals where they're basically stuck with writing a series or whatever or maybe they just want to drag it out and torture us, I dunno but this one kept everything really contained and that was cool.

Sidenote: As much as I loved the name-drops of Project Runway and Harry Potter among other things, I always get a bit irked by books that do that. Just feels like it's gonna be dated when it gets read ten years from now or so. One of my stupid nitpicky things, pay no attention to the Ash behind the curtain *vanishes again*

Endnote: Wasn't as good as the Croak trilogy, but still glad I read it.

22Jan15: it's waiting to be picked upppp. but imma be patient and get it on Saturday :P


Profile Image for Lauren Lanz.
645 reviews243 followers
May 9, 2020
A boy who likes to dig up fossils one day digs up the pits of hell.

Naturally, hearing that premise alone was enough to grab my interest. Surely enough, Hellhole proved itself to be a properly funny book full of adventure and heart.

Max Killgore is a seventeen year old boy tasked with caring for his sick mother. So, when he accidentally releases a devil into his household--one that takes a strange liking to video games and snacks at that--Max is in for a nightmare trying to get him out.
The two end up striking a deal straight from hell, and if Max can hold up his end of it, it could mean receiving a cure for his mom.

While the writing wasn’t the greatest, I did have a fun time with this book. Max was a surprisingly relatable character in the sense that he’s just a confused teenager trying to deal with the hurdles of life (and the addition of the devil >.>).

Surprisingly, all of the side characters were really likeable—though I did wish for some more development on their part. It was nice to see Max contemplate the meaning between what's right and wrong amidst his situation; he was a really great character to follow.

Overall, this was a nice book for some quick escapism. There’s a witty story full of quirky characters waiting for you!
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,880 followers
January 26, 2015
3.5 stars
Gina Damico, author of the Croak trilogy, is known first and foremost for her fabulous sense of humor. Her books are always hilarious, which more than makes up for the occasionally weak plots. On the surface, Hellhole is a pretty weak story about a boy who accidentally ends up taking care of the devil (one of 666 of them, apparently) and makes all sorts of ill-advised bargains with him along the way. But there are many other things underneath, and it’s precisely those things that make this book worth your time.

The beginning and the ending were actually Hellhole’s weakest points. The beginning seemed slightly ridiculous as there was no good reason for Max to end up with Berg. The whole digging-up-the-devil business made very little sense and I felt that Max’s whole predicament lost some weight because of how it came about. The ending on the other hand felt rushed and non-sensical and it made my head spin with how quickly everything was wrapped up. I had maybe twenty minutes left of my audiobook and nothing was resolved, which made me panic slightly, and then before I knew it, everything was set to rights.

The middle part, however, was an absolute delight, what with all the humor and the explorations of Max’s character. A boy in his situation could so easily be swayed by the forces of evil, and it was touch-and-go for a while there since he kept making so many poor choices that almost led him to the point of no redemption. That psychological aspect of the story that can be pondered and discussed if one is willing to dig just a little deeper is something I truly didn’t expect from Damico, but it made Hellhole a much better and far more worthy experience.

The romance developed slowly, gradually, from poorly hidden disdain to reluctant friendship and finally to love. I really enjoyed the fact that Max had a best friend who was never anything more, and that he managed to endear himself to Lore despite his inability to talk to girls. Word vomit is a term that certainly applies to Max and his predicament was always equal parts endearing and exasperating.

MacLeod Andrews is quickly turning out to be one of the few narrators that can be relied upon completely. He is the male version of Lorelei King – fabulously funny, extremely capable, with a voice laced with humor and a talent for voice characterization. I still maintain that his female voices need more work, but overall, his performance is always superb.

All in all, Hellhole is a standalone, it’s adorable and it will make you laugh. When you add to that MacLeod Andrews’ fabulous voice, you know you’re in for a treat.

Profile Image for Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries).
1,212 reviews391 followers
February 1, 2015
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from Amazon Vine.

4.5 stars.

So, funny thing with me and Gina Damico books. The first two books in her Croak trilogy failed to wow me, but the third one tore my fucking heart out and sacrificed it to Satan as I cried the best bookish cry in ages. Did I want to read Hellhole? HELL YEAH. (You’re going to be seeing a lot of that pun this time around. Get used to it.) Anyone who loved her Croak books or liked the humor in its more quotable bits will be all over Hellhole because it’s hellishly funny.

Max is basically Michael Cera in every typecast role he’s ever played. The awkward guy who has no luck with the girls, isn’t any kind of looker, and gets involved in something big through ridiculous events (Max’s being the theft of a glittering cat figurine)? Yup, that’s Max. Still, that character archetype is a last-nerve-dancer for understandable reasons, but it can kinda slide maybe. He screws up a lot throughout the novel, but he gets what’s coming to him for the stupid decisions he makes–like trying to bargain with Burgundy Cluttermuck and thinking he could possibly win against one of the 666 Satans from Hell.

Did I mention this book is hilarious yet? No? Well, it is. The devil’s name and his descriptions of how Hell works just like a business (he’s the Associate Imp of Salty Snacks, if you’re curious) are just the start. Later on, there’s a drinking game and running commentary on Project Runway by Burg and Max, who has just been tempted into his first binge-drinking session. WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED?

If the answer is cats, then you’re all set with Hellhole. Not only is Max’s cat not killed during the course of the book as fictional animals often are, he’s what keeps Burg at bay because he–along with all other devils, presumably–is terrified of cats. No joke, they’re treated like evil overlords who scare even Satans with their indifference. As a cat lover (duh, my blog is titled The YA Kitten), this obviously pleases me and makes me need to take a break from writing this review for a snuggle session with my sweet Dodo Bird. Ain’t no devils gonna touch a house with three and a half cats, especially one who is still a vicious hunter at age 12 or so.

The resolution to Max’s demonic problem might be predictable, but if Damico’s humor is your jam, you probably won’t care because you’re having such a good time laughing at love interest Lore and her handy crowbar Russell Crowebar (complete with glued-on googly eyes!). My one concern is Max’s mom, who suffers from congenital heart failure and is on the transplant list. She’s so bad because of her heart that she needs her son to fish her toothbrush out of the toilet. When she’s in that kind of condition and spends most of the day alone at home while Max works, goes to school, and tries to find Burg somewhere else to live, how is she okay? Well, as okay as a woman in her condition can be, but you probably know what I mean.

I reread very few books because there’s simply no time with all the review books I own and the unread books I’m ready to jump into, but Hellhole is one of those books I’m certain will be worth rereading one day. Pick Hellhole up and also get her Croak books while you’re at it. You don’t know how much you want the running gag of a teenage boy’s inability to remove a bra until you’ve read her stuff.
Profile Image for Giulia.
152 reviews237 followers
March 11, 2016
3.5 stars

I didn't give this book four stars because that's something I save for books I know for sure I would read again, and Hellhole is not one of them, but it's still a good book. I recently read Croak, also by Gina Damico, but I think I actually liked Hellhole more.
The characters are great (I bet I'm not the only one who fell in love with Lore, because she was just that amazing) and the whole concept is original and interesting. I think the book was a little slow sometimes, but I liked that it kept giving us false hope and, just when you though everything was going to be alright, you understood that Burg had played both you and Max once again. And, oh, Burg. He is one hell of a gray area (no pun intended)! All the time, I felt torn between knowing that he was a devil, so he couldn't possibly be good, and the fact that he was most definitely the funniest, slyest and most unpredictable character in the whole book. He kinda grew on me, because he wasn't really a villain, but he definitely wasn't the good guy either.
I really liked the ending as well. I thought the scene in which Surprisingly, I also enjoyed that little bit of romance that the author's thrown in, and once again Gina Damico's writing style is quick, sarcastic and makes her books an easy read. As I also said for Croak, I would've liked Hellhole to be a little darker, but I'm glad that I read it, because overall I really enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Latasha.
1,271 reviews367 followers
December 7, 2015
fun and witty. I loved the reader-MacLeod Andrews. he was fabulous!! if you like Christopher Moore, you will like this.
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,220 reviews1,650 followers
December 16, 2014
For more reviews, gifs, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

For those who are not aware, Gina Damico writes some of the funniest and darkest YA novels today. If you have not read the Croak trilogy, you need to consider your priorities, because those books are so fucking amazing. My expectations for Hellhole were sky high, because the Croak books are among my top favorites ever. A bit sadly, Hellhole won’t be joining them on my eternal favorites list, but it’s still hilarious and dark and very Gina Damico.

Damico’s humor is just so great. I think her style will appeal to those who enjoy Bryan Fuller shows (Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me, Hannibal) or similar off-kilter, darkly comedic programming. Though I didn’t like Hellhole as much as Croak, the humor is still most definitely on point. Damico’s creative swears are still present, as are the snide pop culture reference, blissful nerdiness, and friendly misanthropy. I’m sort of repeating myself here, but seriously if you love dark humor and you’re not reading Damico’s books, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?

The big difference with Hellhole is that I simply didn’t emotionally bond with Max and the rest of the cast the same way I did with the people in Croak. Max is my sort of kid, in that he’s a total nerd. He’s kind of a young Ross Geller, bad hair and all, given his obsession with paleontology and crosswords. Like teenage Ross, he’s the opposite of smooth, despite having popular Audie rooting for him to find a girlfriend. Max’s platonic friendship with Audie is fabulous, though her role in the book is too minimal for me to really have a handle on her as a character.

Max’s mother is going to die sometime soon if she doesn’t get a heart transplant. Max works really hard to hold the household together, since his mom can no longer do that. Their relationship is the most touching aspect for me. They truly love one another and that’s so obvious, even though she isn’t able to really take care of him at any point. The sheer amount he’s willing to do to try to help her shows what a wonderful mother she’s been to him all his life. They’re happy together, despite the mother’s illness and their poverty. Their movie nights to watch romantic comedies or musicals are just the best.

Though Max has always been a fearful kid, he risks his job to steal an ugly bobble head cat for his mother, who greatly appreciates weird junk like that. He couldn’t afford it and knew she’d love it. And she did. Only the bobble-head came with a free gift with theft: satan, who insists on residing in Max’s basement. Now, he’s just one of many but Burg is still an evil dude who could kill anyone around Max instantly. Perhaps unwisely, he makes a deal with the devil for his mother’s life and suddenly the cat was just the beginning to his criminal career.

One thing that I love about Damico’s books is how dark they get. Though not as dark as the Croak trilogy ultimately got, I was once again thrown by the humor into expecting something fairly light. It both is and it isn’t. Damico’s very good at doing things I really don’t expect her to do to the characters. Hellhole is one of those novels where even the protagonists aren’t going to come out looking too good.

Finally, if you’re a cat lover, there’s something special in here for you. Aside from the bobble-head, Max and his Mom have an ill-tempered cat. The great thing is that this house cat is the one thing that Burg fears. Even devils think that cats are too evil to be reckoned with. This is precisely why cats are so cute. I think I’m going to go snuggle mine now, as I wait for the time until Damico has another book coming out.
Profile Image for Kačaba.
930 reviews218 followers
February 3, 2015
Ták jo.
Dávejte pozor.
Jediný a nejvíc nejlepší důvod, proč byste si měli přečíst tuto knihu, se jmenuje BURG.

Seznamte se.
(Podobizna je SKORO přesná. Vlastně spíš nepřesná.)
Žhavý jako peklo samo, já vím.

Budete ho zbožňovat. Jako já. Protože je vtipný jako smrt, nesnáší nošení gatí, miluje alkohol a stěžuje si na měkkost lidí (a na další milion věcí). A je podlý. A ovládá čáry-máry.

“All my friends are gone.”
“Your . . . friends?”
“Captain Morgan, Jim Beam, Johnny Walker, Jack Daniels. Who’s the guy in the commercial who fights a sea monster to get his whiskey back?”
“No, that’s not it—Jameson! There were a bunch in the liquor cabinet, but they seem to have mysteriously disappeared.”
Max sighed. “I poured out all the alcohol to make it look like O’Connell was drunk—”
“You POURED!” Burg cried. “OUT! The ALCOHOL?”

A přestože samotná knížka působí klasicky, děj je předvídatelný atd.. "dohoda mezi klukem a rohatým, což se vždycky vymstí", budete slzet smíchy, budete brečet nad tou (doslova) pekelnou jízdou plnou extra super čuper duper humoru!


“What is the matter with you? Don’t tell me you don’t like bacon.”
“Not when it’s a million degrees and flying directly at my head!”
“Puny little humans. So weak. So soft.” Burg picked up another slice and popped it into his mouth, the fat dripping down his chin and into his beard. “Mmm,” he said with a satisfied quiver. “If there’s anything on earth more delicious than a hot, dead pig, I don’t want to know about it.”

Profile Image for Brittany S..
1,403 reviews692 followers
January 15, 2016
Initial Impressions 12/17/15: 3.5 stars, not quite 4
I grabbed the audio verison of this book because it was narrated by MacLeod Andrews who is one of my favorite audiobook narrators! I wasn't totally sure what to expect but I was guessing more of a dark comedy than something series and that turned out to be mostly true!
HELLHOLE is the story of Max who accidentally summons a devil (one of the many who reside in hell) and has to do the devil's bidding in order to protect the ones he loves. Max was an okay character for me -- he's shy, nerdy, and kind of a loner, spending most of his time taking care of his sick mother. It wasn't that he was lacking personality because he was a bit humorous and you could tell he had a good heart... But I have a hard time with super-awkward characters because it's just painful to watch!
I wished there was a BIT more personality from the supporting characters. I did like Lore a lot but Audi seemed a bit one-dimensional and I wished I had felt that friendship bond a bit more between her and Max.
Burg (that's the devil character) was funny but it's just a me thing... He was gross. He's a glutton for junk food, has a lewd (but not too lewd -- it's still YA) sense of humor, and doesn't wear pants. I mean none of this is like OH MY GOD HOW AWFUL but put together it's just... meh. I prefer snark and clever humor over things being funny because it's disgusting or makes you cringe. Just not my sense of humor! And really, it was nothing too off-putting but I just kept thinking how I could have enjoyed the book so much more if the evil had been more sly, sinister, or clever. Or even normal and just not repulsive.
The story was okay but it was mostly straight-forward and didn't feel like it had a ton of depth. I was engaged from start to finish but it was nothing that was really like, "That was a great story." This was a quick and easy read (or listen, on audio) but I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it.

Full review originally posted HERE on The Book Addict's Guide 1/15/16: HELLHOLE is another book that I really picked up solely because of the audiobook narrator. If I’m being perfectly honest, this book wasn’t even on my TBR until I heard MacLeod Andrews narrated it! It wasn’t intentionally off my list but the book really hadn’t grabbed my attention and I actually really love my favorite audiobook narrators have recently motivated me to try books that I might not have otherwise!

HELLHOLE was really my kind of concept — a male narrator, a comedic circumstance, and an awkward romance usually hook me so I was interested right off the bat! Max was definitely the nerdy type and the amount of time that he spent taking care of his mother (who is very frail due to a heart condition) really kept him out of social circles even more. At times he was a bit too awkward and I had a hard time with it but overall, he was a fun character to connect with an an easy one to root for! Most of the characters were very easy to connect with and I really enjoyed seeing them interact!

The main issue that I really had with the book was the execution of the concept. In HELLHOLE, Max ends up being forced to house and comply with a devil (yes, an actual devil from Hell itself) because he was responsible for summoning and unearthing it. Chaos as well as comedy ensues because how can you play this one off without some comedy? (Which I enjoy!) The execution and rules that followed were a bit shaky for me. Some rules seemed concrete while others seemed a bit messy and the whole concept seemed a bit far-fetched. I mean, sure, housing a devil is far-fetched to begin with but I love when authors are able to make me forget that something is supernatural and not commonplace (much like Lish McBride’s book, HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER).

The devil character (Burg) also really didn’t appeal to me but I also know that’s a personal preference. I suppose I wanted a more appealing devil to make his offers, temptations, and commands harder to resist. I mean, it’s a book with a male POV so obviously it won’t be a temptation based on attraction (well, it could be. Or could be a female devil as well) but that was sort of what I was hoping for. Even one who acted a bit more normal or used a bit more intimidation to add a fear-factor. Burg was mostly rude, irritating, and frankly just disgusting. I have a low tolerance for “gross humor” so that was kind of hard for me and took away from how much I enjoyed the book.

I loved the purely platonic friendship between Max and his best friend Audi as well as the slow and awkward romance between Max and Lore. The relationships were really well done and I felt like they leaned away from the norms or stereotypes in many ways! I also love a good parent relationship and really enjoyed Max’s bond with his mom. They don’t always have it easy but Max is a great kid and really will do anything to help his mom (hence, the current predicament).

HELLHOLE was fun but there were a few minor things that ended up being kind of large turn-offs. It was a quick and easy read but not quite convincing. I didn’t quite love it as much as I had hoped considering there was a good mix of my favorite things in there! If I hadn’t been listening to one of my favorite narrators, I’m not even sure I would have enjoyed it as much as I did.
Profile Image for Mouthful Of Books.
195 reviews18 followers
April 3, 2018
Bewertung: 3,5 Sterne

Ich bin seit Schulzeiten ein großer Fan von Goethes Faust. Mir gefällt die Idee, dass der Teufel einen Pakt abschließt, den der Mensch einfach nur verlieren kann.

Inhalt: In Hellhole lernen wir Max, süße 17 Jahre alt, kennen, der ab und zu Kleinigkeiten stiehlt. Dies führt dazu, dass Burke, einer der vielen Teufel in der Hölle, bei ihm aufkreuzt und sich einnistet. Max muss schnell eine Bleibe für Burke finden, um ihn loszuwerden und vielleicht das Leben seiner Mutter zu retten. Doch Burke hat seine eigenen Pläne und die stellen für Max -wahrlich- die Hölle dar.

Mir gefiel der Humor, den die Autorin in dieses Buch reingebracht hat. Ein solcher Pakt ist oftmals absurd und benötigt eine gewisse Leichtigkeit, damit der Leser sich amüsieren kann. Das wird hier definitiv erreicht. Als YA-Buch hat es natürlich einige typische Schwächen des Genres. Allerdings konnte mich Damico mit der Liebesgeschichte doch noch überzeugen, da sie sich langsam und freundschaftlich aufbaut.
Max ist ein sympathischer Protagonist mit dem man mitfühlen und mitleiden kann. Seine Beweggründe für den Pakt sind absolut nachvollziehbar. Ich mochte auch Lore, die ihm ordentlich Parole bietet.
Burke war für mich eher weniger greifbar. Zwar durchaus schlau und hinterhältig, aber auch sehr "White Trash".
Die Geschichte an sich wartet mit einigen Wendungen auf, die teilweise vorhersehbar waren und wiederum auch nicht.

Fazit: Wer gerne YA-Romane liest, die intelligent und witzig geschrieben sind oder auch nur gerne Geschichten über den Teufel liest, ist bei Hellhole gut aufgehoben.
Profile Image for PJforaDay.
350 reviews31 followers
Want to read
March 14, 2014
YES!This sounds awesome now where can I find it?
I pay in cupcakes people so do not with hold info or I'll sic my kitty on you.

ETA- 2015?A whole year from now?

Profile Image for Michelle.
252 reviews26 followers
September 7, 2016
An interesting mix of seriousness and humour. A darkly adventurous story. Burg was unpredictable and uncertain. I questioned his motives and wondered if he was deeply good or bad like he was made out to be from the very beginning.

I think my personal rating for this would be three and a half stars but I rounded it up to four because I felt that just three stars wasn't enough but it also wasn't quite a five star book for me. Some parts really made me laugh though and I like some stories with a good mix of humour and evil!
Profile Image for Tammy.
814 reviews135 followers
January 5, 2015
The nitty-gritty: A hilarious, laugh-out-loud “deal with the devil” story that was a blast to read!

“Please call me Burg,” he said with a smile, his beard widening. It wasn’t a well-trimmed beard, but rather the feral, unkempt kind that resulted from a weeklong bender, with Cheetos debris sprinkled throughout. His forehead was tall, his brow cavemanlike. His hair probably had things living in it. And his horns, while white and polished and slightly iridescent, ended in ragged, cracked tips.

In short, he didn’t look like the devil. He looked like the kind of early forties, thrice-divorced alcoholic who owned a grungy car wash and had to become a sperm donor to pay rent.

Before I can begin my review, I have to indulge in a small rant. I was approved for Hellhole on NetGalley, and as sometimes happens, the Kindle version of the book was not available. This meant that I had to dust off my ancient, circa-2010 Nook Color in order to read it. The reason I switched to Kindle a couple of years ago was so that I didn’t have to use my Nook Color, which at the best of times is unreliable and at the worst is downright evil. But I was determined to read Hellhole, and so I struggled with a reader that freezes every fifty pages or so and has to be rebooted a couple of times before I can keep reading. I nearly gave up, but Hellhole was so entertaining, and I really did want to find out how it ended. I guess it’s appropriate then, since Hellhole is the story of a devil, that I was put through some devilish frustration in order to finish it. That alone proves that Damico’s latest is well worth struggling with—errr, reading.

And now that that’s out of my system, on to the review! This was my first Gina Damico book, as I have not yet read her Croaked series. I have, however, been following her blog for a couple of years, and I adore her sarcastic and well-timed humor. Hellhole is just like her blog, except there’s a really good story to go along with all the funny moments.

Max Kilgore is a seventeen-year-old self-deprecating geek who lives in the town of Eastville (or “E’ville” for short!) and loves paleontology. His mother has chronic heart failure and spends her days in bed, waiting for the donor heart that could save her life. Max takes care of his mom, goes to school, and works overtime at the Gas Bag convenience store. But one night, after stealing a sparkly bobble-head cat from the Gas Bag as a gift to his mom, Max inadvertently unleashes a devil, who appears in his basement and refuses to leave until Max finds a house for him to live in.

Burgundy Cluttermuck, or “Burg” for short, is an unkempt devil with a penchant for junk food who refuses to wear pants. And he’s here to stay, unless Max can find him a house with a hot tub. Max agrees to the task, but only on the condition that Burg will “fix” his mom’s heart. But you know how deals with the devil turn out, and this story is no exception. With his new friend Lore to help him navigate the murky waters of trying to get rid of a devil, Max sets out to find a suitable house for Burg.

Aside from the humor, I loved the characters of Max and Lore, who are not your typical perfectly beautiful and talented YA characters. Both are flawed in the best ways, and for that reason they will resonate with both male and female readers. At seventeen, Max has never had a girlfriend, and his first tentative steps into romance are sweet and awkward. Lore is a sarcastic gem who turns out to be much smarter than Max, has birthmarks all over her face, and has hair that “looks like a volcano.” But she’s beautiful to Max, and that’s the important part. She works in a craft store called Just Glue It and wields a crow bar that she’s named “Russell Crowbar,” complete with glued-on googly eyes. Lore has some past experience with devils, as Max discovers, which makes her the perfect partner in crime (and yes, I do mean crime!) to help rid Max of his basement-dwelling problem.

I also loved over-the-top Burg, who is just about as lovable as a black widow spider. He’s got some interesting quirks, including the fact that he will only eat food that has been stolen. Burg did start to get on my nerves after a while, since he has a terrible habit of singing TV commercial jingles and using charming phrases like “screw the pooch.” But I supposed that’s the point of a devil, to drive a person crazy!

Damico uses cats in an unusual way, and Max’s cat Ruckus plays an important part in beating the devil. I also loved a twist near the end that has to do with Max’s mom—but I don’t want to spoil anything for you. Damico fills her story with lots of clever twists and turns, and of course, the snappy and very funny dialogue that keeps this story humming. Teens, especially those that don’t easily fit in with the popular crowd, will surely connect with Max and Lore. Lots of fun and heartfelt too, Hellhole is a must read.

Believe it or not, no Nook Colors were destroyed during the writing of this review.

Big thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, for supplying a review copy! Above quote was taken from an uncorrected proof and may differ in the final version of the book.

This review first appeared on Books, Bones & Buffy.
Profile Image for Rayne.
852 reviews288 followers
January 25, 2015
Can you hear that? That's the sound of my heart breaking into a million, tiny pieces because... ugh, I can barely stand to type it... I, Rayne, really, really, really didn't like this book. This book in particular, Hellhole. A Gina Damico book. The author who wrote one of my favorite series, Croak. I was pretty damn near to hate with this one. That's right. I almost completely hated a Gina Damico book.

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I honestly expected to love this one, but this one fell so short from every single one of my expectations. It's not that I expected this book to be like Croak and its sequels, but, truth be told, I did expect for the novel to carry some of the same details that made Damico's debut series a instant favorite of mine. Sure, the book was a whole was not terrible, and it was sort of entertaining at times, but it was missing a certain spark that the Croak series had in excess. I'm well aware that when a series has such an impact on a reader, whatever the author does next, more often than not, will probably pale by comparison, but I honestly felt like Hellhole, as a whole, was a mediocre story all-around.

There were no strangely compelling and charming characters. Nowhere near enough laugh out loud moments, witty lines, scorching snark, awesome comebacks, or clever, amusing dialogues. No weird but extremely addictive plot, and certainly no breathtaking originality. Everything about this book was just okay. In fact, this one feels a lot more like a debut novel than Croak ever did. Most of the time, I was bored, wishing the book would just end already, and the rest of the time I was trying to force myself into liking this novel, into finding something engaging or amusing about it. As my rating should reflect, I did not. I did enjoy Max's relationship with his mother, for it was touching and authentic, and the dynamic between him and Lore, but that was about it. Nothing else about this novel registered in my radar at all.

The writing was so juvenile. Whereas I enjoyed it immensely in Croak because it was so amusing and funny, here it fell flat for me most of the time. The humor, so witty and sharp and morbid and quick in former Damico works, was essentially a string of internet memes in this novel: Bacon: best food ever! Pants: who likes to wear them, ammirite? Cats: cunning creatures of evil who will rise one day as our overlords! Go to any meme site and you'll see basically all of the jokes from this novel splattered all over your screen. Where the morbid, witty, snarky humor from Croak went, I have no idea. The closest thing to a laugh that this book drew out of me was a snort and it came courtesy of Lore about twice in the whole novel. Max himself was an walking, talking Bad Luck Brian meme, and Burg was basically an internet dweller all the way through. He even put on a fedora at some point to drive the point home. I didn't find these two funny. Quite frankly, I thought they were bland and when they were not bland, they were simply obnoxious. And not hilarious-obnoxious like the characters in Croak were prone to be on occasion, but rather a very unfunny and annoying type of obnoxious that made me consider dropping the book a couple of times.

The book failed to hook me from beginning to end. I was not invested in the characters, I did not care about the drama, their plights and their relationships, and the story did not interested me at all. I thought the ending was silly and nonsensical, and though I actually kinda digged the epilogue, it failed to make a dent in the gigantic wall of disappointment I've built around my heart at that point.

This is not the type of review I expected to write for this book, or any Damico book for that matter. You win some, you lose some, I guess. I do look forward to seeing what else she will publish. I loved the hell out of her first three books, and one weak book is not enough to take that away, but I do wish this one had at least lived up to some of my expectations or had at least been amusing and entertaining enough for me. The book simply did not click with me.
Profile Image for harlequin {Stephanie}.
592 reviews28 followers
January 18, 2015
Started out enjoying this. The writing was too juvenile for my taste, but it was mildy entertaining. Plus, the mother and son relationship was very moving.

Something, somewhere went terrible awry. Enjoyment turned to annoyance and downhill and so on.

The turning point was why the devil appears. Max, our mc, stole a bobblehead cat for his mother. Apparently, devils just pop out of hell to haunt you if you pull dumbass crimes. This might be plausible except only 666 exist. With all the godawful criminals running amuck in this world why would this ever be likely. I was hoping the bobblehead would be cursed, clichéd, but more believable.

Got that out there. The characters, however unique were not interesting and the book felt drawn out. Like the editor didn't do a proper job or the book was a required number of pages.

I had great hopes of at least giving this two stars for the touching relationship between max and his mom. The author slaughtered this without care. We go for long stretches of time where he doesn't even have a phone for her to call for help. He explodes his frustration and resentments on her, while drunk, and doesn't even bother to check if she's still breathing for over half a day. Having just recently gone through a circumstance with my own mother it feels cheap. It also pissed me off.

This book was unrealistic and sloppy. Max whines about being broke and unable to pay medical bills. If you have organ failure you are automatically qualified for ss which gets you in the front door of most anything medical related. save for the transplant itself, so she would still have been dying. Also, hospice can come in handy for at home treatments if qualified and they pay 100% of treatment.

I am not quite sure who i would recommend this to. I have read croak, enjoyed it, not the be all end all of books, but i don't remember it leaving a bad taste in my mouth.
Profile Image for Heidi.
1,395 reviews152 followers
January 21, 2015
Four stars: A hilarious and snarky tale about making a deal with a devil.

Max wipes the sweat from his palms and glances nervously at the security camera. It's now or never. Quickly, Max swipes the glittery cat statue and shoves it in his shirt. Later, he presents the cat to his sick mother as a gift. His mom looks paler and sicker than she did this morning, but the gaudy cat seems to please her. Little does Max know, this petty crime will soon land him in more trouble than he can ever imagine. It all starts the next day when he comes home and finds a red horned devil scarfing down Fire Hot Cheetos in his basement. Turns out, Max's crime called up the devil. Now Max has to make a bargain with the devil in order to make him go away. Will Max survive his encounter with the devil?
What I Liked:
*Hellhole was hilarious and all kinds of fun. If you are looking for a quick, funny read, I highly suggest picking this one up.
*The characters are terrific. Max is an awkward, smart, shy teenage boy who is desperately trying to balance the heavy load of caring for his ailing mother, work, and school. He is the epitome of socially awkward. I couldn't help but laugh at some of his remarks, especially when he tries to talk to girls. Yet, he is lovable and endearing. I loved Max. Next up is Burg, the devil. Burg is hilarious. His snarky commentary and antics made me laugh out loud. He kept me entertained throughout. Lore, the girl who helps Max, is the perfect round out to the cast. She is also awkward and a bit of a social outcast. Her brand of humor matches well with Max. I loved watching these three in action.
*The plot is engaging and entertaining. It was fun to watch Max dig himself deeper and deeper into to trouble as the book played out. You know you can't make a deal with a devil and expect everything to run smoothly without problems. *I thought all the antics were funny, and I was constantly rooting for Max to win.
*The humor is terrific. If you love snark and funny situations, you will enjoy this one. This book definitely made me laugh.
*The ending is fast and furious. I appreciated that it draws to a satisfactory close with no cliffhangers or unanswered questions. This appears to be a stand alone. So even though I would love more of Max, Lore and Burg, it is nice to pick up a stand alone.
*The romance is terrific. It is a slow burner, and it takes root in a friendship. It finally blossoms at the end. I appreciated that the romance fit the characters and it took the entire book to develop. I also liked that it wasn't the main focus of the story.
*Finally, I had the pleasure of listening to the audiobook, and I can't tell you enough how terrific the narrator, MacLeod Andrews is. His impersonation of Burg totally makes the book. I also thought his rendition of Max was spot on. He totally nails the awkward teenager. I absolutely recommend this on audiobook if you get the chance. I guarantee that I will be hunting down something narrated by Mr. Andrews in the future. He is fantastic.
And The Not So Much:
*The ending moved incredibly fast in comparison to the rest of the book. It was so rapid fire that I had to go back and re listen to a few parts to make sure that I understood everything. I wish that the pace was in line with the rest of the book, and that there had been a bit more at the end. I wanted to know so much more about Max's mom and the aftermath of everything that happened. I was curious to see what happened with the house and the owner. The finale was a bit lacking.
*I struggled a bit with the whole concept of everything Burg ate had to be stolen. He seemed to have a ready array of cheesy flavored snacks at his disposal. Where was he getting them? Max wasn't going out and stealing on a daily basis? This little issue niggled me a bit. Did it have to do something with Paul?
*I didn't completely buy the reason Burg appears to Max. It was a weak reason, and I thought that part of the story needed more explanation.
*This book is for mature readers as there is adult language and drinking.
Hellhole was an amusing and entertaining read. I enjoyed watching hapless Max dig himself deeper and deeper into trouble as he makes a bargain with the devil. If you like terrific characters and lots of snark and hilarious antics, I recommend this book. The audiobook is outstanding.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
Posted@Rainy Day Ramblings.

Profile Image for Kristin .
1,150 reviews168 followers
December 7, 2014
Max has a rough life right now. His mom is in desperate need of a heart transplant and thus, Max is the one running the house. It's just him and his mom so there aren't a lot of things to deal with except for juggling high school and his job, as well as trying (unsuccessfully) to pay the bills. He's in over his head, but he will never admit that to his bed-ridden mother. Which is how he ends up with Satan in his house. Max sees this hideous glitter cat figurine at his work and steals it knowing the monstrosity will cheer up his mom. However, what he doesn't know is that in committing this bad deed, he has opened a portal for a demon to come through. Soon Max finds himself in deep water when the demon starts making demands.

Let me start out by saying that this book is for MATURE young adults. There is a lot of swearing in here. A lot. So keep that in mind if you are going to be gifting this book to someone.

I LOVE Damico's Croak trilogy. The characters in that were so sarcastically funny but kick-ass at the same time. I ate the series up as quick as I could. So imagine my delight when I saw that she was coming out with another book that revolves around Satan, who is a bit of a slob, coming to earth. My excitement wasn't fulfilled though and here's why.

Max is the "hero" of the story... only he isn't a hero at all. He isn't someone who stand up for anything. He gives Burg (Satan) rules for living with him and I thought, "Yes! This kid has some balls"... but they were just words. Burg broke his rules time and time again and nothing came of it. Max would just cower and agree to whatever Burg said. Max was also greedy. Instead of getting rid of the problem (Burg) he kept pushing Burg for what HE wanted. Now granted he wanted Burg to heal his mother, but everyone knows you don't make a deal with the devil. Yet, every time Burg changed the rules, Max would bend to his will in the hopes that if he pleased Burg, Burg would heal his mother. I just wish Max had a backbone. He was too wimpy of a main character for me.

Burg stole the show for me. Sure, he was the bad guy but he played it so well. He was enjoying life on the surface and knew that he had a spineless kid for a minion. So he used Max. He basically made Max his bitch. "I want hot pockets! I want a house! I want a hot tub! I want.. I want... I want...!", and Max made sure that Burg was happy no matter what he asked for. So, if you have someone like that at your beck and call, why not keep asking? Why not push the envelope? Surely, if the kid is in this for his own reasons, he can do better than a tent for a "house". He can get you a mansion. By "get" I mean "steal", because Burg cannot accept anything, be it food or material items, unless it's stolen. So pretty much you just snap your fingers and your little human will steal whatever you want. Yeah... Burg had it made. So throughout the whole book he was having a blast in Max's basement eating stolen junk food, watching stolen cable, while ordering Max to get things for him.

Obviously, the moral of the story is to not make a deal with the devil. In the end, Max's "deal" caused more pain and suffering which didn't end well for everyone. So, was it really worth it? In all honestly, I'd have been totally on board if the author killed off Max. I was not a fan of his character at all. I don't even know if he learned anything in the end. I will still continue to read Damico's work but sadly this one just didn't do it for me. I am someone who likes strong main characters, I like them to stand up for what they want, take charge if need be, and Max is not that kind of character. He is the polar opposite and that really didn't work for me. This is definitely one of those books that people will either love or not and it's all based on Max.

Favorite quote...
"Thus far in life, Max had had limited experienced with the opposite gender, but he was almost positive that your hair looks like either a volcano or one of those circular curtains in a hospital room was now one of the things girls likes to hear."
Profile Image for pstreads.
264 reviews62 followers
June 12, 2015
I was trying to keep my cool by not bursting out in giggles while in public. Absolutely hilarious!
Profile Image for Julie.
275 reviews53 followers
February 12, 2015
For more reviews, visit Books and Insomnia .
Hellhole follows seventeen-year-old Max Kilgore, (who's not as cool as his name sounds) crossword puzzle geek and typically awkward teenager. Max's daily routine consists of working shifts at the Gas Bag, playing video games with his best friend Audie, beating his own crossword puzzle record, digging for dinosaur fossils and taking care of his sick mother. It doesn't usually involve stealing hideous bobble heads. It certainly doesn't involve unearthing demons. So when the demon Burg appears at Max's basement, Max has to enlist the help of a former goth girl to get rid of his uninvited houseguest before the stakes get too high.

Hellhole is a deliciously funny tale that combined paranormal and dark comedy. This book made me crack up a lot with the snarky characters and witty dialogue. Max's awkwardness + Lore's sass + Burg's evilness = RIOT. The characters are rich and colorful and Burg, especially, is very interesting. One second he's evil and nasty, the next second he's nice and funny. You know he's a demon but he's a very unpredictable one. Max's character development is quite subtle, but it has a definite weight to it. The things Burg did? You don't get back from those things unchanged. Max definitely emerged as a different person after all those things he saw and did.

While Hellhole is humorous and entertaining, this book also tackles some serious theme. It raises important questions about life and relationships. This book will make you ask yourself just how far you would go to save the life of someone you love. What’s really interesting is that there’s no black and white here. When the line between right and wrong gets blurry, you choose what’s best for the people you care for, right? And that’s what Max did – he chose to save his mother’s life, regardless of the consequences. His decisions may be questionable, but his intentions are relatable.

The plot is well-written and the build-up is steady, though the pacing is somewhat slow. As I've said, there are a lot of funny scenes but when things got serious, man, they really got serious. The dark parts balance out the humorous ones and I think the combination works effectively. Hellhole isn't perfect but it's definitely worth a try.

Purchase this book from: Amazon | The Book Depository
Profile Image for Stephanie • Ideally Inspired.
435 reviews980 followers
January 13, 2015
This review was originally posted on my blog: No BS Book Reviews

Check out the post, along with a hilarious author interview here

I absolutely enjoyed reading this book! I loved it because it's so different from everything else out there. I mean, a book about a geeky kid who unearths a devil? I mean, that synopsis just screams: "SHENANIGANS!"

And oh, there were plenty of those.

I'll just cut to the chase, I absolutely adored these characters. The premise drew me in, but the characters and the dialogue is what kept me hooked. I laughed out loud almost the whole time, and the story was extremely entertaining to read.

One of the funniest moments in the book that I enjoyed reading was the moment when Max is introduced to Burg, the devil he unearths:

"Oh. I'm Satan. ... Well I'm a Satan. There are six hundred and sixty-six of us, not that anyone's counting. ... The name is Burgundy Cluttermuck, devil-at-large. I do bachelorette parties and retirement galas, but NO MORE children's birthdays."

As if that ^ wasn't funny enough, then this:

“Please call me Burg,” he said with a smile, his beard widening. It wasn’t a well-trimmed beard, but rather the feral, unkempt kind that resulted from a weeklong bender, with Cheetos debris sprinkled throughout. His forehead was tall, his brow cavemanlike. His hair probably had things living in it. And his horns, while white and polished and slightly iridescent, ended in ragged, cracked tips.
In short, he didn’t look like the devil. He looked like the kind of early forties, thrice-divorced alcoholic who owned a grungy car wash and had to become a sperm donor to pay rent.

This book kinda had a dark comedy element to it, which I also loved. Bottom line: Hellhole was a delightful and humorous read, and I would recommend this to anyone looking for playful plot, with compelling characters. This was a refreshing change from some of the mundane, and overused YA plot-lines that I've seen floating around.

4 Stars!

**An Advance Reader Copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**
Profile Image for Katie.
121 reviews3 followers
January 6, 2015
When I first read the summary, I thought this was the book for me. However, it ended up being a big disappointment. I didn't find it particularly funny or clever. There are a lot of jokes and humor, but it came across to me more like a sitcom. A sitcom I don't like. That's okay, though. There are lots of sitcoms I don't like that other people love. To each their own.

Still, I didn't feel there was much depth to the story. Or the characters. The story drags on too long because, ultimately, not much happens. Truthfully, I don't really understand any of it. Max is petrified of the devil one minute, breaking laws and hurting people to meet his demands, then dragging the devil around the house and laying down the law the next minute. Dude, you didn't find an E.T. That's Satan. He doesn't have to do what you say.

Ultimately, I was annoyed because there were no rules. It felt like things were just tacked on as the story went. But there's nothing devilish and sly about simply reneging on a deal over and over again. Really, Burg isn't a terrifying demon from hell so much as a lazy, magical douchebag. And why involve Max at all if you have all that power? I thought he was just in charge of salty snacks or something. What's all this coming from hell and making an inept teenager do your bidding? Seems like Satan could be a lot more productive if he left the teenager's basement and got his own damn food and shelter. Any why would Lore like Max? What was there to like? And why wouldn't Max just go to one of Audie's games? Why won't you go support your friend just once, Max? What was Burg's endgame, exactly? Did Audie die? If so, that seemed kinda glossed-over. The more I think about it, the more I think it kind of sucks. But I finished it so it couldn't have been that bad. I guess.
Profile Image for Sheyenne.
172 reviews
November 13, 2014

So I'm going to try not to spoil anything since this is an advanced copy ... but knowing me I might. You've been warned.

Summary: Max Kilgore is that socially awkward kid who would rather stay in and play cross word puzzles than go out and embarrass himself. He always does his work, takes care of his mom, and is scared to death of doing anything bad ... but things get bad when he meets Burg aka the devil!

Characters/Story: Max kind of reminds me of myself (just a little bit). Like myself I'm scared to death of doing the wrong thing and getting caught and I can be awkward. But unlike Burg I don't go around digging at night and get myself in situations with the devil. And as scary as Max was I'm surprised he got through it. It would have been better if he just went alone with their first deal but he had to go and be greedy. He did have a good reason too but if he'd went alone with the first deal who wouldn't have to go through all the other things he went through. Which comes to the lesson of this story (I think) stop being greedy!

There's only one thing about Burg that I can say that sums up his story line ... he's the devil and he should not be trusted. But gullible Max who just wants his mom to get better does. Good thing he meets Lore. She's been through a situation like this and she decided to help Max. Which is a good thing because if she didn't Max would have been long gone.

Writing: I don't really like reading stories from first-person pov but that story wasn't bad so I could look pass it. The writing was really good and you can tell that Damico actually took her time to write this story. There were no grammar problems and the story was very easy and fun to read.

Overall: I enjoyed this story ... it wasn't one of my favorites but it wasn't a waste of time. This is my first story from this author but it certainty won't be my last!

Profile Image for Nina O'Daniels.
849 reviews11 followers
November 30, 2016
You kind of get what you expect from a book titled Hellhole, written by the hilarious Gina Damico. Funny, slightly irreverent, dark, morally and ethically challenging, but full of heart. Nerdy but lovable Max is a good kid- he goes to work to help pay the bills, gets decent grades at school, and takes care of his mom who is slowly dying of congenital heart failure. What he never does is sneak around, lie, put people in danger, steal, accidentally (kind of) commit murder, or skip out on work- that is until one day Max does the unthinkable and steals a silly cat trinket for his mom. Riddled with guilt as soon as he makes the decision to do it, Max can’t sleep that night and goes to his happy place, Ugly Hill. He digs and digs until he’s exhausted and unknowingly digs a literal hole to hell and soon Max finds himself face to face with a devil (just one, there are 665 more of them). Berg, the devil himself, prefers his outfits sans pants, snack food that is stolen, has a strange reverence for Max’s cat, and makes a deal with Max. If Max can get him a house preferably with a hot tub and all the snack food he can shove down his pie hole, then Berg will help save his mom. Knowing it probably is too good to be true, Max accepts his offer and soon discovers that devils are sneaky things, especially when it comes to the fine print of negotiations and contracts. Needing some help with this, he enlists the help of Lore, someone who knows a little bit about what he is dealing with and can help with more of the gray areas of the law. As the reader would expect, this deal with Berg has its loopholes and problems. And, although there are many laughable moments, there are just as many that smack you in the face with the realization that Max is in some serious trouble.

Fun, quick, dark comedy with Macleod Andrews as the audio narrator (you cannot go wrong with him reading), recommend this for those who like a little quirkiness with their paranormal and who can laugh even when they shouldn’t.
Profile Image for Kitty.
211 reviews80 followers
June 5, 2014
So I was talking with my boss about all these galleys I was taking, when she said "Hey! They're all over THIS one as The Next Big Thing"! And I looked at it and said "hmmm" in my best non committal tone, before trying to walk away. As I scootched in the opposite direction her tone of voice radically altered - dropping several octaves and loosing any pretense of sociability "Please. Take. This".

So I took it.

And I ran.

My review of Hellhole is as follows :

I thought it went on for too long. It was filled with a ton of cuss words - like, who am I supposed to sell this to? Older teens I suppose. The jokes were boring as home made sin and twice as ugly. There was a ton of potential here - and yet all of it was wasted. The cover leaves much to be desired.

Over all this isn't a book that I think will be marking any great landmarks in teen fiction. I can guarantee that you will forget it as soon as you sit it down. If you're cool with blowing your $17.99 on a book that will have no lasting consequence or value in your personal life, then I'll be happy to sell it to you.
Profile Image for Heather Brown.
655 reviews11 followers
October 31, 2014
Not amusing enough to counter its poor message. Boy makes poor choices, things get out of hand and he makes worse choices, boys wishes come true AND boy gets girl - both because of his bad ideas and choices. No thanks. Yes, the demon is a jerk and yes, the boy knows he did bad stuff that he didn't want or mean to do. His salvation from the demon is more of a deus ex machina than anything to do with the boy's character development.
Profile Image for Celine.
240 reviews127 followers
June 24, 2017
Not as good as Croak, but it has all the snark and it's just hella funny.
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