Review for Hellhole by Gina Damico

Hellhole by Gina Damico

TITLE: Hellhole
AUTHOR: Gina Damico
NARRATOR: MacLeod Andrews
PUBLICATION DATE: January 6, 2015 / January 6, 2015
PUBLISHER: HMH Books For Young Readers / Audible Studios
PAGES: 352 pages / 9 hours
FORMAT: Audiobook
SOURCE: Review copy via Audible
RATING: 4 bows

Max Kilgore is a geeky goodie-two-shoes and he likes it that way. His idea of fun is trying to beat his previous crossword record and spending Friday nights with his mom mocking romantic comedies. That’s all going fine until he accidentally releases a devil (one of 666 apparently) and is forced into finding him shelter and bringing him food. He enlists Lore, a girl with a reputation as a satanist, to help rid him of his unwanted houseguest before things get really ugly. Can they rise to the task, or will they all burn will Burg (the devil) laughs about it?

I loved this novel almost immediately. Max is such a goodie-goodie that I cannot fathom him doing anything wrong. And then he does something bad and his reaction is even better than I could have imagined. He’s also pretty sweet. Really, Max reminds me just a little of my husband. He has that nerdy exterior which hides an even nerdier interior and he’s so unbelievably sweet that you can’t help but root for him. I mean seriously, this boy is sacrificing every thing to try and keep his mom happy. The mom who is on a never ending waiting list for a heart transplant. The mom who will die if she doesn’t get one. Instead of trying to having a normal teenage social life, Max toils away his time at a local convenience store trying to make enough money to pay all the bills. Instead of spending Friday nights with his best friend, he buys a large pizza and rents an over the top cheesy rom-com, opting to stay in and spend this precious time with his mom. After releasing the devil, his reactions are beyond comical.

That’s what I was really looking forward to with this, the comedy. Gina Damico is famous for her dark humor and this doesn’t disappoint. With every new chapter awaited new jokes and situations that make me laugh out loud. With every outrageous request Burg made or action he took, I was rolling on the floor laugh, happy that I was listening to this on audio because it allow such actions to occur while I continued the novel. Just like Croak, this reminds me a great deal of Dead Like Me. The humor is right on that line.

Something else I loved about this was the lack of a love triangle. This has the perfect set up for that. Max’s best friend is a girl named Audi (I’m sorry if this is not the proper spelling, I listened to this on audio) and that leaves great opportunity for Max to pine over her while she happily spends time with her boyfriend. That did not happen. It’s made very clear from the beginning that they have never had a romantic inclination towards each other. They even kissed once and the results were not good. Instead, Aud is happy with her boyfriend and Max is happy for her. It was a very enjoyable arrangement for all involved, including me. Then, you know, you meet Lore, and it’s obvious she’ll be his love interest anyway. Her sarcasm is something I loved immediately. She’s smart and snarky and clearly hiding a tragic past.

The only character I was questionable on was Burg. One minute he was evil and the next he didn’t seem so bad. I was never quite sure how the relationship with him would end up. There were moments when I thought that maybe he wouldn’t be the bad guy. I won’t spoil whether or not he is. I’ll let you see that for yourself! It’s only real downfall is that the ending wasn’t as perfect as I wanted it to be. The ending is not the picture perfect moment I was wishing for. It does end happily for our main characters, but there are….casualties.

This novel is pretty straight-forward on what you’ll get. It is hilarious fluff about a boy who accidentally sets free a devil. Chaos and hilarity ensue and it’s great. If you are looking for a deeply moving book, this isn’t the one for you. If you are looking for something that makes you laugh so hard you cry, then look no further!

Audio Notes:
Macleod Andrews is a narrating god, I’m just saying. I enjoyed him when I listened to Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry and I was interested in hearing him do something else. I was not disappointed. First off, boy has an epic name. MacLeod? Dude, I don’t know who your parents are, but they are awesome. Plus, he has a pretty great voice and amazing control over it. I’m always fascinated by people’s ability to change their voices because I cannot do that. My voice is my voice is my voice. I can’t make it sound any other way. But MacLeod can and I love him for it. You know what’s cooler than reading about a character startled shriek? Hearing a narrator’s startled shriek! I have nothing but good things to say about him. He has a great voice, perfect pace, and enough talent to make every character voice sound different. Seeing his name attached to any audiobook will have me dying to read it, even if it’s outside my normal reading comfort zone. He’s that good!

****Thank you to Esther Bochner at Audible for providing me with an audio copy in exchange for an honest review****

4 bows
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One thought on “Review for Hellhole by Gina Damico

  1. Pingback: Book Tag Thursday – Opposites Book Tag | Bows & Bullets Reviews

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