Review: Beetle and the Hollowbones by Aliza Layne

Beetle and the Hollowbones by Aliza Layne

Beetle and the Hollowbones
Aliza Layne
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Published August 4, 2020

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Goodreads

About Beetle and the Hollowbones

In the eerie town of ‘Allows, some people get to be magical sorceresses, while other people have their spirits trapped in the mall for all ghastly eternity.

Then there’s twelve-year-old goblin-witch Beetle, who’s caught in between. She’d rather skip being homeschooled completely and spend time with her best friend, Blob Glost. But the mall is getting boring, and B.G. is cursed to haunt it, tethered there by some unseen force. And now Beetle’s old best friend, Kat, is back in town for a sorcery apprenticeship with her Aunt Hollowbone. Kat is everything Beetle wants to be: beautiful, cool, great at magic, and kind of famous online. Beetle’s quickly being left in the dust.

But Kat’s mentor has set her own vile scheme in motion. If Blob Ghost doesn’t escape the mall soon, their afterlife might be coming to a very sticky end. Now, Beetle has less than a week to rescue her best ghost, encourage Kat to stand up for herself, and confront the magic she’s been avoiding for far too long. And hopefully ride a broom without crashing.

Beetle and the Hollowbones on Goodreads

My Review

Graphic novels are still a pretty new thing for me, but most of the ones I’ve read have been really cool, and Beetle and the Hollowbones is no exception. I really enjoyed Beetle– she’s awkward and quirky, loyal and brave. I didn’t realize reading it that she was supposed to be twelve, and I thought she seemed a lot older than that– maybe fifteen or sixteen, is what I had guessed?

The story world reminded me a little bit of The Nightmare Before Christmas, where things are all sort of dark and populated with sticky or undead magical creatures, and Halloween seems perpetually just around the corner.

I enjoyed Beetle’s journey to save her best blob pal and the sparks that reuniting with her childhood best friend caused. Beetle’s expressions and reactions to things often had me giggling.

All in all, I thought Beetle and the Hollowbones was a really entertaining and totally fun read. I’m so glad I was finally able to read it.

Beetle and the Hollowbones on Amazon

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 10 up.

The story is populated with magical and undead creatures. Beetle has a crush on another girl.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content
Kiss between two girls.

Spiritual Content
Most characters have or are learning magic. Undead characters must bind their soul to an object, like a heart, to stay alive.

Violent Content
One scene shows some depictions of verbal and physical cruelty toward a child.

Drug Content

Note: I received a free copy of BEETLE AND THE HOLLOWBONES in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support running this blog.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

2 Responses to Review: Beetle and the Hollowbones by Aliza Layne

  1. Mehsi says:

    Fabulous review, I have heard a lot about this book and your review got me more excited for it, especially because you say it reminded you a bit of The Nightmare of Christmas which is one of my favourite movies! Happy to read you enjoyed the book!