Disclaimer: I read the advance reading copy of Hellhole. Undoubtedly there will be minor differences between the version I read and the published version. The published version will be released on January 6, 2015.
Warning: If you're uncomfortable with the devil/Satan being portrayed in a book, I would suggest not reading this book. One of the main characters is a Satan So, there's that. Yes, a singular Satan as apparently there's a lot of them.
I've previously read CROAK, SCORCH, and ROGUE by Gina Damico. I think she's slowly becoming an author I've started to watch for new books. Excellent.
An amazon summary, "A devil is a bad influence . . .
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.
Gina Damico, author of the Croak series, once again delivers all the horror, hilarity, and high-stakes drama that any kid in high school or hell could ever handle." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
Well done amazon summary, well done. We'll call that good for a summary.
As with all of Gina Damico's books, the humor in this was stellar.
The action carried the plot along while having good moments where characters were really developed.
There were a lot of one liners I'd like to try to memorize from this book in case the instance would ever come up where I could chirp it out.
This was also a book that I couldn't put down very easily and go accomplish life maintenance tasks.
....have you sensed the big hesitation?
The big BUT that's been lingering?
With the way this book ends, I find it very, very messed up. There isn't really a clear message rhyme/reason or even clean up to the entire disastrous situation that has unfolded.
A lot of laws were broken, friendships tried (and potentially broken), and there are so many questions I have now that I've properly 'sat back' and thought about the book in its entirety.
I imagine if there's a sequel, some of these questions would be answered, but with the way the book leaves off, I imagine there will not be a sequel.
So here's a very boiled down version of the main issue I have with the book.
Law X is broken, hurts person Y in the process, main plot point comes back to haunt narrator (Max), and next Law is broken in an attempt to solve plot point. The consequences/ramifications of breaking the law is never really brought up, and Max doesn't really do anything to make amends with person Y that has been hurt in the process. He does try to make amends with some of the authority figures in his life to continue uninhibited with his life as best as he can, but he doesn't really address some huge issues.
Some of the quirks about the characters/town seemed natural, where others seemed to be dropped into the book because they were a neat idea, but never really played into the story that well.
So, on one hand, I adored the humor and where the book was going.
On the other hand, I don't think Max's overall reaction to the series of events was entirely plausible/likely in the world setting it was presented.