Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on January 6, 2015
Genres: Humor, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
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.
~ Okay, there was a tv series called Reaper that I love. It was canceled, but still I love it. My love does not die so quickly, people. Also, a series called Dead Like Me. Another awesome series canceled before it’s time. Anyway, there’s definitely a dark humor in both the television series. The characters were quirky, the dialogue witty, sarcastic and pitch perfect, and the characters were not the shiny happy people featured in most shows. I feel like Hellhole is the offspring of Reaper and Dead Like Me. The entire time I was reading it I was aware that it was just plain awesome. Morbid and a bit gross at times? Hell yeah, but for every gross out, there was a bit that had me laughing loud enough to earn me concerned glances if I happened to be reading in public.
~ Max is… a huge nerd. But it can’t really be helped, he has no time to socialize in between school, working to pay bills, and taking care of his terminally ill mother. When he can’t sleep, he digs for dinosaurs. He brings him mom weird tchotchkes to make her laugh, and his act of stealing one summons up a demon.
~ Hmm, demons are a lot like drunken, evil slackers who never move out of their parent’s basements.
~ Once you accidentally call a demon up from Hell, it’s hell getting them to move out. Burg is quite happy to play Max’s X-box and munch on stolen snack cakes.
~ Max seeks out Lore for help, figuring she might know a thing or two about demons. Weirdly enough, she agrees to help him. 😉
~ To be honest, despite the fact that he’s evil, I kind of liked Burg. Sure, he’s as likely to kill your loved ones as he is to burp, but he’s good with the one liners. Plus, he can make himself look like Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything, so I could overlook the whole soulless thing.
~ So many funny touches in this novel- like Lore’s job at Just Glue It, where she’s forced to wear crafty shirts, or Max and his mom throwing their Friday night Petty Pizza Pity Parties, where they eat pizza and rip apart romantic comedies. Or Lore’s crowbar- Russell Crowebar. Or Burg’s fear of cats.
~ Have you ever read a book you didn’t know you needed to read? Hellhole is one of those books. I didn’t know I needed it, and author Gina Damico, in my life, but I do. I can’t recommend this enough!
Max- our main character, works and takes care of his ailing mother. Accidentally unleashes a demon.
Audie- Max’s best friend, despite the fact that she’s gorgeous and popular and dates a star athlete. Has a thing for Slim Jims.
Burgandy ‘Burg’ Cluttermuck- One of 666 Satans, and Max’s personal nightmare. Likes junk food and video games.
Lore- former goth girl and alleged Satan worshiper, tough, secretive, snarky and kick-ass-ish.
Ruckus- a cat. He must be worshiped and adored.
Stavroula Papadopoulos- Max’s adorable and cranky boss.
Max’s Mom- I forgot to write down her name, but the woman is awesome, plus she loves John Cusack.
Wall- Audie’s football playing boyfriend, kind of a sweet lug.
Principal Gregory and Chief Gregory- Audie’s mom and dad, which further complicates Max’s demon infested life.
Paul- fellow dinosaur fan.
Verm- full name Vermillion Whackersham. Booze hound demon.
O’Connell- rich old hermit who built half the town.
When Lore and Max break into all the rich, foreclosed homes. Their banter is cute, and like the rest of the book, extremely funny.
Stop the Clock:
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes to laugh. Damico has a buttload of talent and wit, and I can’t wait to get to her book Croak, which is currently on my tbr pile. Life’s too short not to read books by this author!
Hellhole gets a Midnight Book rating of: