Gilt Hollow by Lorie Langdon – Atmospheric Young Adult Whodunit
STORY | Four years ago, Ashton Keller was accused of murder. Four years ago, all Ashton wanted to be worried about was surviving his first year of high school… and girls. More specifically, his best friend Willow Lamont. Now four years later, Ashton is released from juvenile detention with revenge on the mind little realizing how his conviction altered and damaged Willow and her family.
Prepared for indifference towards everyone he once knew, nearly as soon as Ashton sets foot back in Gilt Hollow, everything changes.
REVIEW | From the moment I read about this novel (likely when its haunting cover was revealed) I knew it was something I’d need to add to my must read list. The premise sounded too gripping to pass up. When I received a copy to review, I was grateful to have the opportunity to discover its intricate mysteries. Inside these page one such quandary lies.
Marketed to the YA genre, the voice of this book compliments the genre wonderfully without being too immature. The attraction of romance is present as are the passionate feelings the leading characters have for one another. Those who like sizzling romance (of the YA variety) will have their wish fulfilled with this novel. Beyond this there is more to this book than the pop culture references and romantic entanglements.
The character arcs were quite good. I appreciated what each of them had to overcome in order to, in some sense, find themselves again. What does this mean? In Ashton’s case it’s simply that he was absent from the lives of those he cared about for a lengthy period of time. In the resulting space in-between, he had mistakenly assumed everyone had written him off which meant he adopted an attitude of self-reliance. Upon his arrival back in Gilt Hollow, he no longer has an honest or accurate concept of what those he left behind went through. Similarly Willow is jaded (following her personal experiences) and withdrawn leaving her vulnerable to spiteful comments and attitudes.
Though they are (for this reader) vitally important, there is more to consider and look at beyond the characters. Driving this story are the questions and mystery surrounding Ashton’s past, and whether or not he’s guilty or capable of murder. The twists and sometimes chilling scenarios are sure to keep you rapidly flipping those pages. Gilt Hollow is an atmospheric young adult whodunit that’s perfect for those who crave an old-fashioned mystery, and as a bonus, it’s perfect reading for the fall season.