HELLHOLE by Gina Damico
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 12 - 18
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A dark comedy follows the misadventures of a boy trying to get rid of the devil that has moved into his basement.

Yes, Max starts the book by doing something bad: He steals a silly toy for his sick mom. Then he indulges his paleontology obsession by digging a hole on the hill that looms over his town, only to open a huge, apparently bottomless crater. Sadly, it seems that Max’s decision to embrace the criminal life is enough to bring the powers of hell down upon his head—or rather, into his basement. Upon returning home from his excavation efforts, he finds an actual devil named Burg happily snacking on junk food and declaring himself a permanent resident in Max’s home. Seeing a possible advantage in his new supernatural housemate, Max makes a deal: the constantly wisecracking Burg will cure his mom’s critical heart disease if he can find Burg a free mansion with a hot tub. Lore, a girl who understands Max’s dilemma only too well, teams up with him to try to appease Burg before he starts killing people. Damico, who explored the lives of teenage grim reapers in her Croak trilogy, writes with wry wit and constant dark humor. She mixes in a bit of possible romance, as Max wonders if he has any chance with the vastly different Lore, also to great comic effect.

Hilarious—all the way through. (Fantasy. 12-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 6th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-544-30710-0
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: HMH Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2014


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