Title: The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane
Author: Julia Nobel
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Synopsis: Emmy’s dad disappeared years ago, and with her mother too busy to parent, she’s shipped off to Wellsworth, a prestigious boarding school in England. But right before she leaves, a mysterious box arrives full of medallions and a note reading: These belonged to your father.
Just as she’s settling into life at Wellsworth, Emmy begins to find the strange symbols from the medallions etched into the walls and stumbles upon the school’s super-secret society, The Order of Black Hollow Lane. As Emmy and her friends delve deeper into the mysteries of The Order, she can’t help but wonder—did this secret society have something to do with her dad’s disappearance?
It’s very rare that I give a middle-grade novel five stars(the last middle grade to get this high of a rating for me was Percy Jackson), but this book really surprised me!
I went into it expecting a cheesy middle grade mystery, but man I was wrong! This book was delightfully mature while still remaining age-appropriate. It’s really ageless. I could easily imagine Emmy as 12, 16, or even 18 years old. Definitely enjoyable across age brackets!
Stories about boarding schools really intrigue me, and I think that that element helped this story out even more, especially in terms of making the story not specifically linked to any one age. Sure, there are plenty of adults around and the children are supervised, but there aren’t any parents and I think that element really added to the story.
I really loved the characters in this story as well. Everyone had their own personalities and their own connections to the mystery that was going on. They were all really well crafted and immensely interesting and unique!
The story line for this was full of so many delightful twists and turns! I loved the whole secret society aspect – I thought it kept the story line interesting and intriguing. The mystery of her father kept popping up, and it just grabbed you by the arm and pulled you straight through this book.
The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane was such a quick read as well – it took me less than 48 hours to read, and if I wasn’t so busy, I probably would have had it done in an evening. It was a really easy read, and compared to some of the other novels (especially arcs) that I’ve read lately, this one was like a breath of fresh air!
Overall, this book was a really delightful read, and I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of YA, middle grade, mystery, secret societies, or is just looking for a super fun read!