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.
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.Audible Audio
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 struggled a bit with the whole 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.
Check out this audio sample to see how outstanding Mr. Andrew's narration is: