5 Reasons Why HELLWORLD Disappointed Me

Hellworld Photo

Genre: Horror, Paranormal

Series: None

Rating: 1 STAR


Five years ago, Abby Booth’s mom, co-host of a ghost hunting reality show, went missing while filming in a ‘haunted’ cave in Arizona.

Since then, Abby’s life has all but fallen to pieces, most notably because of her dad’s deep depression and how they’ve drifted further and further apart.

But now, at seventeen, Abby has decided that things will change. She plans to go to the same cave where her mom and the crew went missing and to find out, once and for all, what happened there.

With the help of the co-host’s son Charlie and two of his friends, Abby sets off on a quest for answers…but what the group ends up finding, what they stumble across in that dark, primordial cave in Arizona, is nothing they could have ever imagined.

Abby was investigating a possible haunting… she never expected that there could be something worse.


If you saw my Anticipated Spring Releases post, you’ll know I was excited for this book! I love a good YA horror novel, so I was ready to dive into it and fall completely in love with it. Unfortunately, that did not happen. At all.

1. The characters were boring. So, we have our main character, Abby, who really wants to find her mom. Charlie, who’s basically just the love interest and there to look hot. Maybe he did something else in this book, but if he did, I don’t remember. Selby, who’s there to serve as a mechanism of girl hate – because we need more of that. And Alex, who I actually really liked…and, oh, never mind, he’s dead (you figure this out within the first chapter, so no spoilers). Basically flat characters fitting an equally flat book.

2. It didn’t know what it wanted to be. At first, I thought it was a horror, because that’s how it’s marked. Then, somewhere in the middle, it transformed into some post-apocalyptic novel with a mix of paranormal elements. And not to forget the fact that this also somehow managed to combine sci-fi AND Biblical mythology all at once. Did it work? Not necessarily. It just seemed like the book went all over the place and that there wasn’t really a clear direction.

3. The romance was ridiculous and unnecessary. And, yet again, we have a YA novel that shoves in a romance THAT IS NOT NEEDED. AT ALL. And it was a terrible one to boot. Basically, Abby hasn’t seen Charlie in YEARS, and had a crush on him back in elementary school, and for some reason, she’s still swooning over him in the present. And even though Charlie has a girlfriend, apparently a couple of hours together causes him to CHEAT ON HER by making out with Abby. Because insta-love is real, apparently. Please wait while I roll my eyes.

4. There were too many plot conveniences. Seriously, there was this one chapter near the end that was actually ridiculous and managed to happen right after the characters were stuck and couldn’t figure anything out. So, out of the blue, the thing they were looking for mysteriously appears for them. In the middle of the apocalypse. Really?

5. WTF was that ending? Seriously, what was it? We have the most random plot twist in the history of ever. And then the book just…ends. And that’s it. No explanation of the plot twist, no implications of what might happen in the future, no answers to anything that happened. Nada. I mean, maybe it’s supposed to be an open ending, but it’s not done well.

Overall, this book was just really disappointing. Nothing is more annoying than another lackluster YA horror, especially since they come so few and far in between, but this one was just…bleh. Pick up Gretchen McNeil’s Ten instead, or The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich.

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14 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why HELLWORLD Disappointed Me

  1. THAT ROMANCE THO. I didn’t even read it and I am CRINGING at your explanation of the insta-love. Really, people??? I hate insta-love, gosh.

    Oh, I HATE plot conveniences! As a writer too, I try not to make everything seem easy for the characters, or coincidental, because I know when I read that, I’m just like “What???”

    Great review, Mikaela! I enjoyed hearing what disappointed you (lol that sounds weird), and sorry this didn’t live up to your expectations!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ugh really?? Not every book needs a romance!!! Especially in a book marked as horror. When I think horror, I don’t think anyone would stop and say “his eyes are like an ocean and he smells like pine”. Just saying!! 😂 A book that doesn’t include a romance is actually a selling point for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I WANT TO SCREAM THIS AT PUBLISHERS EVERYWHERE. I’ve read only two YA thrillers where the romance worked, and only one YA thriller with no romance (which was beautiful and a rare unicorn). And, yeah, same! 😄


    • Thank you! And yeah, the insta-love was horrible, but then stacked upon cheating. Ugh. And Selby never seemed to even care that her boyfriend cheated on her, and neither of them felt guilty about the whole thing which made it more annoying. 😬

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds AWFUL. That romance plot is just pathetic. Insta-love is not realistic and sad. This novel sounds like a roller coaster of bad. I am sorry it disappointed you. 😦
    If you want a YA Thriller I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga is good. 🙂 I think it has three books now?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Noooo I’m cringing really hard at this book right now. Insta-love? NO THANK YOU. NO.
    And I HATE it when there are plot twists just for the sake of “throwing the reader off” when there is no realistic BACKSTORY.
    Horrible that you didn’t enjoy this, but hopefully you’ll read better books in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

    • SAME NO THANK YOU. When they kissed out of nowhere with zero chemistry, I was RAGING. Ugh. 😩

      SAME I HATE THAT. It could literally be the most nonsensical plot twist in the world, but as long as there’s evidence, I don’t care. But no evidence at all. Nope.

      Thank you; hopefully I can get back to reading! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I honestly don’t know! I love horror, but I can barely find a good one. There are still more coming out later this year, so fingers crossed that they’re better! 😄

      Liked by 1 person

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