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3.45  ·  Rating details ·  316 ratings  ·  75 reviews
Five years ago, Abby Booth’s mom, co-host of a ghost hunting reality show, went missing while filming in a ‘haunted’ cave in Arizona.

Since then, Abby’s life has all but fallen to pieces, most notably because of her dad’s deep depression and how they’ve drifted further and further apart.

But now, at seventeen, Abby has decided that things will change. She plans to go to the
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by Simon Pulse
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Madam Pince I'm guessing stand-alone. The ending seemed pretty final, though you definitely do something with it as a series.…moreI'm guessing stand-alone. The ending seemed pretty final, though you definitely do something with it as a series.(less)

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Average rating 3.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  316 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, for-review
HELLWORLD is riveting, action-packed and unexpected. It teases answers to a mystery as the chapters alternate between the present and the past. It builds suspense as readers learn more about what Abby, Charlie, Selby, and Alex uncovered in the cave in their search for Abby’s mom.

From the very first lines the story grabs, talking of darkness and danger and fear, and something that went very, very wrong. It goes beyond the typical dark-things-that-lurk-in-dark-caves brand of scary story. It tells
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a fun ride of a book. Didn’t really know what to expect going in so when shit hit the fan I was pleasantly surprised with how it went down.

I actually really enjoyed bouncing back and forth between past and present timelines. A lot of the time that frustrates me to know end but the pacing worked really well in this case. The chapters were short enough to not make me feel withdrawn every time the plot jumped in time and it kept me engaged the whole way through.

Definitely a fun one sitti
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: goodreads-2018
An awesome ride!!! I loved the suspense and excitement of this story!
Melissa Chung
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think this was my second buddy read of the year. The first being White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi '. I purchased Hellworld back in 2017, it was on my most anticipated reads list and anything that has hell in the title is surely going to be great right? I've never read Tom Leveen before and I hadn't read a YA book in a while, so going into this one I was excited and nervous. I shouldn't have been it ended up being really good. Solid 4 stars.

Hellworld is about a girl named Abby Booth who lost her mother five years ago in a
Nov 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
3.5 stars. I would have given this 4 if the layout was different.

The content in this book was great and I enjoyed it however I was not a fan of the Then and Now layout. The Then was only 3 weeks in the past so I was often confused as to what was going on. I think it would have read better if it just started 3 weeks ago and ran straight through to the end.

"Children," he says, and somehow, it actually sounds paternal rather than patronizing, "you might want to start adjusting yourselves to the idea that the rest of your lives will be spent in Hell."

Five years ago, Abby's mother, a co-host of a ghost-hunting reality show that relied on heavy skepticism, went missing while filming in a supposedly haunted cave. Now on the verge of turning seventeen, Abby has barely managed to hold her life together. When she finds a book written by her mother's c
Jessica (a GREAT read)
Oct 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’ve been wanting to read Tom Leveen’s Hellworld for ages! I remember hearing that it was a super creepy read that was just chilling and it definitely had that, but it was far different from expected. This book was crazy weird and it definitely kept me turning the pages, but man, that ending!

The story begins in chaos, quite literally. Something big just happened and now Abby, her friend Charlie, and his girlfriend Selby are trying to escape a cave when Selby has a serious injury and needs medica
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review

While this was a kind of fun read, the characters and certain situations were problematic and confusing. I found myself stopping a lot to ask myself WHY the characters were making such stupid choices.

"We're safe here."
"I want to go into a dangerous place, even though I've been assured that everything is fine."
"We're safe here."
"Yeah no i get that, but I want to leave."
"Shut up,
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Original review @

I was sent an ARC by the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Hellworld was a very different from my usual reads; I was looking for a good YA horror book and Tom Leveen delivered! I have never enjoyed a horror YA book as much as this one. Abby's mom has gone missing and ever since the investigators stopped the search, she has felt that her mom is still alive. When she finds some evidence that makes her feel like she may b
In my starting status update I believe I said something about Buzzfeed Unsolved and Ghost Adventures. But. Um. Yeah, that? That was me being a judge-by-blurb stupidbrain and, upon finishing this trip around the sun with Tom Leveen (if you like zombies at all, allow me to use this space to recommend Sick)-

I will revisit this nightmare for a full review.
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
Horror, in any capacity, is not my thing. I don't watch scary movies, I've never read a Stephen King book, and bumps in the night make me incredibly nervous. I'm a big wuss, which makes it especially surprising I would pick up this book. I've loved Tom Leveen's books in the past, so I decided to give this one, despite its horror premise, a shot.

I was hooked from the first chapter. The writing is excellent and turned out to be less horror-y than I expected. I really enjoyed the back and forth of
Dec 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Personal Response:
I thought that the book Hellworld by Tom Leveen was a decent story. This was a book where the point of view stayed the same but the time, present or past, switched back and forth. The author did an okay job of keeping the confusion between the tense changes to a minimum, although especially towards the beginning of the book I had trouble with the tense changes. The character of Doctor Riley was somewhat difficult for me to perceive as well. Mainly on what his place was in the s
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a quick and easy read. This caught my eye because of the setting in AZ. I love reading books by authors who write about my home state.

This definitely was not what I expected. I thought I'd be reading a supernatural story (afterlife type of stuff) but this is actually a sci-fi thriller for teens. I can picture a cheesy but successful Michael Bay movie made from this type of story.

In summary, it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't outstanding. 3 of 5 stars.
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: i-own, put-down
I tried really hard to get into this but it wasn't doing anything for me. Maybe I'll try again someday? ...more
Oct 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
DNF no one cares
Marco Subias
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
The first chapter opens with an action scene. This can be difficult for writers to pull off well, as readers don’t yet know the characters and have no emotional investment in them. Chapter one is good, but two is better, and the story really takes off in chapter three.

I liked the way the author employs the geography of Nevada and Arizona as a backdrop. I really enjoyed the author’s ability to develop relationships over the course of the story, especially with all the action going on. For those o
I read this ARC via Edelweiss.

Five years ago, Abby's mom, the skeptical host of a paranormal investigation show, disappeared in a cave in the desert. Since then, Abby's been trying to make ends meet as her father slides deep into depression. When she finally gets around to cleaning out her mother's things, she discovers a book that changes everything - the notes, from her mom's colleague, indicate that they may have unleashed something. Abby contacts Charlie, the colleague's son, and pull togeth
Aug 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
I really looked forward to this one.

It really tried to be a hell-ish read but all it left me with is a feeling of boredom and exasperation.

When I first saw this book I thought "Oh, Hellworld? Sounds interesting!" I liked the idea of being in a cave deep underground and feeling trapped in the dark. Yeah. No, I don't mean that literally. I like to feel the fear of the IDEA of being trapped. Reading that type of thing really freaks me out because it would freak me out in a real situation. Just lik
Tabatha Shipley
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Young Adult Horror

Abby's mother has been missing, presumed dead, for five years. Now new evidence has surfaced and Abby wants to embark on a quest to see if they can find more information. But the new evidence suggests something supernatural, and Abby isn't at all a believer. Together with Charlie, whose father also disappeared, and his girlfriend Shelby, the teens will take on something you won't want to miss.

Why Should You Read It?
The suspense is well done. The story is highly cre
Katlynmae Chatfield
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This Novel was rather interesting. I really likes how it was written, each chapter has a title saying 'Then' or 'Now', so you read about what happened in this so called cave and what's happening now on solid ground. It was very interesting and it really made you want to keep reading! I wanted desperately to find out what really happened to the Parents and Alex and how Selby got stabbed. I also thought it was interesting how they brought Noah and the Arc into this story, it was actually kinda cre ...more
Domini Phillips-Perkins ~Bookish Friends Reviews~
Abby's mom disappeared five years ago while recording for her paranormal show The Spectral Spectrum. Now as Abby tries to move on for both her father's and her own sakes she discovers a book that raise more questions into her mother's disappearance.
With the help of Charlie, who's father also disappeared, his girlfriend Selby and friend Eric, they head into the wilderness to find the cave where it all happened.
Hellworld's story moves along at a brisk pace keeping readers intrigued and sometime
Angel Hench
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
What happens when four teenagers go looking for their lost parents and accidentally open a...portal to hell? Hellworld marries religion, mythology and science into an entertaining read about monsters, possession (or zombies, well, something along those lines) and the possible end of the world. Leveen explores history and philosophy and faith stories all told within the context of reality show stars who've disappeared. There's also some really smart ideas about how much we feckless humans don't k ...more
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tbr-books
This book was very captivating. I loved how it jumped back and forth from the present and the time period of three weeks prior to it happening and going forward from there. The whole story was an unraveling mystery and the ending had a huge plot twist that was super surprising. Needless to say, I cannot wait for the next book!!
Craig Hoots
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An enjoyable, quick read with suspense and at first predictable plot twists, that get turned on their head to keep you guessing! I enjoyed the unique "then" and "now" viewpoints that bring the book to a critical point! ...more
Jessi (Novel Heartbeat)
Oct 14, 2016 marked it as to-read
Shelves: horror-october
"what they stumble across in that dark, primordial cave in Arizona, is nothing they could have ever imaged."

Aug 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
DNF at 50%. The combination of timeline switching and not feeling any connection to the characters was too much
James Jr.
Feb 23, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read the description of the book at a Barnes and Noble one day and had it on my list of books to read ever since. I was surprised at how unlike the description the book actually is. The characters are bland and not developed, in fact I found myself annoyed with them the majority of the book. There were only a few small scenes where they had redeeming qualities, but those were overcast by the teenage stereotype actions that would come shortly afterward.

The book has a lot of promise on the surfa
May 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
A quick read. The before and after chapters are distracting and suck out any tension. I would have rather read it in a linear sequence to build up the horror and tension than knowing what happens and then reading about what I already know. There are a wide variety of beliefs presented by each character and every one of them is grating. Both religious belief and atheism are presented equally annoyingly. I think the intention is to provide a balanced viewpoint on the idea of spirituality but the s ...more
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a fun read, and I appreciated how the alternating timelines structure wasn't just a gimmick, but was woven into the fabric of the narrative. You wouldn't want to read this book in chronological order any more than you'd watch Memento that way.

It was hard to like Selby. But that almost seems intentional (and although she might have been a little flat of a character, there certainly are strident know-it-all atheist teens like that, so she's not unrealistic), as the alternation between see
Mar 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: l
I liked this fine, but I don't think it's going to leave an impression on me. Leveen does the back and forth "Now" and "Then" sections really well, though. He manages to keep the tensions high throughout the book. There is a major “too hard to believe” coincidence that happens towards the end that kind of pulls you out of the story and it feels like Leveen realized that nothing had really happened in the “Now” sections of the book and he needed to add something before the book was over. While no ...more
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Tom Leveen is the author of nine novels with imprints of Random House, Simon & Schuster, Abrams, and more. He has written with Todd McFarlane on SPAWN, the comic book series, and released five independent books.

Recently an early literacy specialist with Phoenix Public Library, Tom has nine years of previous library work experience. He also has 22 years of theatre experience as an actor and direct

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“We’re all afraid to die. So we pretend there’s something else out there for us to make ourselves feel better. Only, there’s not. We’re all alone.” 0 likes
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