Recommended for ages 14+
Max Kilgore is a nice guy. He’s working double and triple shifts at his thankless job so he can help support his chronically ill mother. He’s honest. Squeaky clean, even. Except for that time when he accidentally unearthed a demon named Burg. Who’s now living with him. He’s gross, he makes a mess, he doesn’t like wearing pants, and Max finds himself entangled in a series of bad situations and deals that puts him at Burg’s mercy, because Burg knows exactly how to get to him. It’s up to Max to beat Burg at his own game, but can he? With the help of a schoolmate who may just have a little inside information of her own, he’s got everything to lose.
Hellhole is a heck of a book. I went into it, thinking I’d be getting a light, funny story about a demon who shows up on a kid’s couch, but found myself reading a pretty deep book on morality, evil, where the line falls, and is that line crooked or straight? There’s a lot going on in this story. We’ve got a pretty likable character in Max, a guy we want to root for, and a straight-up despicable jerk in Burg, but it’s not that black and white. You know that old saying, “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions”? Keep that in mind as you read this book.
Teens who enjoy a good satire will love this novel. This would be a great book to booktalk in a library or classroom setting, especially with Summer Reading approaching.