Allison just wanted to be a typical teenager. But with a missing brother, a beastly stalker and the possibility that she's not completely human, her life was anything but typical. Allison Spencer was no stranger to the paranormal. An animal empath, she had the unique capacity to sense the feelings of animals around her - an ability she liked to call "Crittervision." She had never met anyone else with unusual powers and had gotten used to the fact that she was just an eccentric in a world full of normal people. Allison lived an otherwise ordinary life and was looking forward to finishing high school along with her friends and her boyfriend in her hometown of Ocean City, Maryland. But when her older brother, Logan, suddenly disappeared from a small college town near the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, Allison's entire world was turned upside down. Logan still hadn't been found after several months, so Allison's parents decided to move the family to the Hollow of Mont Noir, New York to look for him themselves. In addition to leaving behind her home and her friends and being dumped by her boyfriend, Allison suddenly had to deal with life in a small town, a strange creature that seemed to be stalking her, a new school full of cliques and cattiness, parents who were preoccupied with her missing brother, and an illogical fascination with an outcast boy who didn't talk to anyone at school. As Allison settled into her new home, she began to realize that not everything - and everyone - was what they seemed. She soon learned of the existence of supernatural creatures living side-by-side with humans and was faced with a whole new set of questions - and some shocking answers - about herself and her family.
My first thought about The Hollow of Mont Noir is that Twilight fans will really enjoy this book and I spent the first half trying to figure out why. I felt like I had already read this story or one very similar to it because it had many Twilight-ish moments. That did not stop me from enjoying this book and now looking forward to the second book in the series. Some examples that reminded me of Bella and Edward were the similarities that boy girls move to a new town and fall in love with the "unacceptable", "good looking", "mysterious" and also somewhat new to that town guy. Bella and Allison also both play with the idea of being turned into the same creature that there supernatural boyfriends are. There are a lot more similarities to the stories that you will notice once you read the book.
Even though The Hollow of Mont Noir is similar to Twilight, I still found myself absorbed into Allison's life and her werewolf. I wanted to learn more about her critter-vision and what type of magic she does have but I am guessing that might be in the next book. Though the author could have really played out the critter-vision a lot more through out this book and I really wish she would have. I also thought Allison's parents in the book were actually believable and valuable to the story line. They might be minor characters but every time they were in a scene or Allison was thinking about them they were very real and what I expect parents to be in a situation as they were in. They were grieving and holding on to hope that their only son was still alive. I loved the family dynamic in the book and how strong a family can and can not be.
This book held my attention even during the parts that I felt like I already seen before. It did not bother me because the story is different, the characters are different, and this story is overall enjoyable. It was a little predictable and I guessed throughout the book what would happen with Allison and Riordan, Logan, and other elements in the story. Sometimes I were right and other times I were close. Occasionally I was completely wrong. It is a short and easy read that young readers will enjoy.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.