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The Hollow Inside

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  116 ratings  ·  51 reviews
A YA debut about a girl caught in a web of betrayal and revenge.

Phoenix and mom Nina have spent years on the road, using their charm and wits to swindle and steal to get by. Now they’ve made it to their ultimate destination, Mom’s hometown of Jasper Hollow. The plan: bring down Ellis Bowman, the man who ruined Nina’s life.

After Phoenix gets caught spying, she spins a convi
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 25th 2021 by Bloomsbury YA
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Average rating 4.41  · 
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i don't know what it says about me that this book, which is about how every human is deeply flawed and lives a life of suffering, was a nonstop funfest to read, but uh.

it was, so.

review to come / 4 stars


secrets and spying and stealing oh my

thanks to the publisher for the ARC, which i am actually reading kinda sorta on time


reading all books with LGBTQ+ rep for pride this month!

book 1: the gravity of us
book 2: the great american whatever
book 3: wild beauty
book 4: the af
Chelsea Bruning
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This novel hooked me from the start and didn't let go. When I wasn't able to read it, I couldn't stop thinking about it. This isn't a reheated version of a story you've read before. The plot is fresh. The characters have depth. The setting has history. The pace is absolutely perfect. Brooke's writing is so visual, the experience of reading this novel is equal to watching a film. There were many parts where my jaw actually dropped. I was caught off guard multiple times by so many surprising twist ...more
Elizabeth Moffett
Mar 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this one! This book captures a tricky mother/daughter relationship, to say the very least. Phoenix had a likability in her as a character, and I think my students would enjoy this read. Definitely a fantastic debut novel for Davis!
Erin Cataldi
Feb 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, 2021
Absolutely stunning - I could not put this young adult debut down!! Phoenix and her mom live an unconventional life - living out of a van and stealing what they need to get by. That's all about to change however; Phoenix's mother, Nina, is taking them back to the place where it all started, Jasper Hollow. It was there that Nina's life was forever ruined so with the help of her seventeen year old daughter - they are going to right some wrongs and make sure everyone knows the truth. No more lies, ...more
May 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
**Review coming soon**
May 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Not your typical YA by any means and I say that with the most positive emphasis. I loved it! This book begins with a sad start and increasingly becomes something of vengeance. And Phoenix is doing it all for her Mom, Nina…who isn’t even her real mom. Nina has had a tough upbringing and some poor choices and a broken heart has led to some unspeakable trauma held in her past that she has vowed to get back at some day. And that someday is now and that someone is Ellis Bowman. So she and Phoenix set ...more
May 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: may-2021
This Book! This book!
I literally was spellbound by the intro: poison can be a person.

Trigger Warning: Murder, kidnapping, manipulation, abuser, grooming, toxic parent & homophobia.

Through this whole book, you get theories and clues that slowly help you piece together what is happening behind the scenes in this town and with this family and Phoenix. Your growing suspicion and doubt about the mom, Nina, is also pulled into question because something about her doesn't seem right, just like how we f
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The interaction of Phoenix with her mom and the Bowmans kept my attention; I couldn’t wait to see what would happen and it didn’t disappoint!
Brooke’s use of descriptive language let me “see” the places and characters as if I were there! Looking forward to reading more from her in the future!

Ruei (Ruei's Reading Corner)
Apr 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, read-in-2021
Phoenix and her mom have spent many years living on the road, stealing things to get by. When they arrive at Jasper Hollow, Phoenix is tasked by her mom to help get revenge on Ellis Bowman, the person who ruined her mother's life many years before.

Everything about Ellis seems completely different from the way he was described to Phoenix. When an opportunity comes for her to enter the Bowman household, she takes it up to carry out their plan.

Things on the surface aren't what they seem. Secrets h
Morgan Laine
Jun 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book was fantastic! It’s one of those books you can’t put down and finish in less than two days!
Feb 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I may be a bit biased since I know the author, but to start off- this YA debut is full of secrets. Phoenix is seventeen and a drifter with her mother, Nina, until Nina decides to return to her hometown of Jasper Hollow and ruin a man named Ellis Bowman. You eventually learn why as the novel progresses, but Phoenix is caught as the scam begins, lies and then ends up in deeper than she ever thought.

There’s a lot happening in this book, but it’s written so that it’s balanced versus overwhelming. P
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Harrowing and excellent.
Joanna Bennett
Mar 11, 2021 rated it really liked it

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!

What a story this was!

The blurb talks about a mom and daughter on a mission for the truth. It also talks about the murkiness of right and wrong. Oh how truly little I knew going into this book and what I would feel!

Phoenix and her mom are drifters. They find what they need through stealing or doing odd jobs here and there for people. It is far from a life of luxury but it’s how they have been managing for many
May 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: other-reviews
THE HOLLOW INSIDE is a shocking and riveting YA thriller. Phoenix and her mother Nina have been living out of their car around the country, just trying to survive. Someone broke Nina a long time ago, and now they have gone back to Nina's hometown to make him pay and set right the wrongs done to her when she was young. Arriving in the small town of Jasper Hollow, things are not what Phoenix expected. When their plans begin to go awry, Phoenix must think on her feet, and she is soon entwined in th ...more
Mar 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
The Hollow Inside is completely addictive but I also kind of wanted to read it between my fingers while covering my eyes as there is a near constant feeling of impending dread. Revenges, lies, betrayal, longing - a mystery thriller with so much heart.

I was so caught up in the world and so torn between waning to rescue Phoenix from the woman she calls mother and rescue Nina, both from herself and from the pain of her past. On one hand I was totally, one hundred percent behind the notion of reveng
Starr ❇✌❇
I received an ARC from Edelweiss
TW: statutory rape, homophobia, gun violence, fatal car accident, (view spoiler)

Phoenix and her mom, Nina, have been together since they fled her father in the middle of the night. They may not b blood related, but Phoenix would do anything for her- and she's willing to prove it. Back in Nina's hometown, she's close to getting the revenge she always hoped for, and Phoenix can be the one to make it happen. Brou
Angel Martin
First of all, this cover! It's absolutely gorgeous and caught my attention right away. This is a perfect example to excuse judging books by their covers; it had a beautiful cover, and it was a brilliant book. I've had my eye on this one for a while, so I was beyond excited to be accepted on the blog tour for it. It also turns out that the author lives in the same state, which I found exciting as well considering I'm trying to read more books by Kentucky authors.

I don't think I've ever read a YA
Jun 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: new-books-2021
So I didn't have time to write a review after I finished this book last night but wow. If you are thinking that you aren't much of a YA fan but like a thriller, this is a good book to try. There's a mystery from the past and a reckoning due for wrongs done to Nina Holand, the daughter of a pastor in a small town in Ohio. Nina was betrayed by people she trusted and left town broken.

Years later she returns for revenge with help from "Phoenix", her former boyfriend's daughter that she tricked to g
Jun 06, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fiction, 2021, lgbtq, reviewed
The Face on the Milk Carton meets Twice Taken—with a much darker twist.

Phoenix has spent her life on the run with her (let's call her a) stepmother, Nina: drifting from place to place, staying under the radar, lying and stealing to survive. But now they have a chance for something more: to take down the man who destroyed Nina's life years ago. It's only when Phoenix is deep in it, too deep to get out, that she starts to understand that things are not always black and white.

I loved that this was
Darren Vogt
Feb 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, mystery-thriller
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read an ARC of this excellent YA thriller!

Phoenix and her mom, Nina, live on the road, stealing what they need to survive, until one day, Nina decides that they are going back to her childhood home so she can get revenge on a man who she claims ruined her life. Phoenix has always gone along with her mom's schemes, and now she is at the forefront, trying to get close to this man to find some evidence of wrongdoing so Nina c
Mary Rogers
May 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Hollow Inside came out two days ago but I finished it well within 24 hours. YES,it was that gripping. The first line is “Mom asks me to rob the house at the bottom of the hill.” Wait. What?

What follows is a well paced story that unfolds the histories of several people in a small town. As we all know, if you want anonymity, you better head to Chicago or New York. Because in a small town, what you purchased at the hardware store will be news by noon. While this can be irritating in real life
Apr 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A Captivating Thriller With Something for Everyone

Such a hard book to review without spoilers! With so many twists and turns, Davis keeps you constantly on your toes in this exciting debut. I normally don’t read too many thrillers, but this really has something for everyone!

By far the centerpiece of this story is the complicated relationships Phoenix has with everyone she encounters. Nothing can ever be simple for her, which makes it all the more compelling to read. Just as she trusts no one, n
May 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cover-love
Phoenix has spent her life living between the back of a van and tents in the open outdoors. She steals for food and survival, while her mother uses and her quick wit and charm to swindle. Everything Phoenix has learned to get by in the world she learned from her mother, and everything has led up to this very moment.

Jasper Hollow is a quiet little town. The kind of town that you would see on tv, where everyone goes to church on Sundays and even has annual festivals. Jasper Hollow, however, is wh
Janet Burns
Jun 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to encourage readers of all ages to read this book. It was recommended to me from a dear friend whom had just finished reading it and thought I might enjoy it. The book captured my interest right from the start which usually doesn't happen for me. I can tell after just a few pages if it is something that I would want to continue to read. And this book was that and more. I found it to be a easy read and the chapters were just the right amount of pages if you only had enough time to squee ...more
Apr 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
What an astounding thriller for teens. Simply astounding. This plot keeps you guessing the whole time, the relatively small cast of characters gives ample room for decent character development, and the ending is neatly tidied without feeling forced. I love seeing books set in southern Ohio because that’s my home turf (my hometown and my local newspaper are both mentioned) and I feel like she lent a local’s hand to shaping not just the Hocking Hills terrain, but the ethos of the area as well. The ...more
May 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Phoenix and her stepmom Nina have spent years on the road, stealing and swindling to get by. Their final destination is Nina's hometown of Jasper Hollow. She wants to bring down the man who she feels ruined her life, Ellis Bowman.

Phoenix manages to get an "in" with the Bowman family and finds that it's hard to know exactly who's telling the truth.

I thought this book was great. It was fast-paced but the mystery unfolded slowly. I like the flashbacks of Nina's past as well. There were a couple of
Sarah Miller
Apr 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
You automatically know a book will be good when it starts out with a mother asking her child to rob a house!

This book had me hooked from the start. I loved how much the back story was developed, and how it played into all the current events of the story. I fell in love with characters I started out thinking I wouldn't like, and ended up not liking characters that I initially thought were likeable. There were lots of little plot twists along the way, which kept me glued to the pages, wondering w
The Book Worm Bookstore
Jun 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Any book that starts out with a mother telling her daughter to rob a house is going to be good. You can just feel it.

Brooke Davis has masterfully crafted an intense back story that affects the present in a profound way. You would never know, by reading this book, that this is her debut novel.

Full of humor and darkness; loyalty and betrayal; family and loneliness, this book elicits a myriad of emotions from both the characters, and you as the reader. Be prepared to fall for the characters you t
Jun 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Phoenix is on the run with her mom Nina. Phoenix believed Nina when she told her Phoenix's father beat her and wanted to take Phoenix away from her because she's not her biological mom. Now after years on the run Phoenix and Nina are returning to Jasper Hollow, the town Nina grew up in so Nina can get revenge on the man who ruined her life. This story is addicting. The plot, the characters, the setting which was a character within itself. Nina is a horrible person. Never thinking of Phoenix and ...more
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Brooke Lauren Davis is the author of THE HOLLOW INSIDE (Bloomsbury YA, spring 2021), and she never quite knows what to say when people ask her where she’s from. An unruly child in suburban Virginia, a surly teenager in rural Ohio, and a bewildered college student in small-town Indiana, she’s now a hopelessly book-obsessed adult in Louisville, Kentucky. She loves stories of all kinds, from plays, t ...more

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