By: Melanie | January 8, 2015 | (57) Comments

Blog Tour: Hellhole

Blog Tour: HellholeHellhole by Gina Damico
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 6th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Humour, YA
Pages: 352
Source: For tour
Goodreads | Purchase

A devil is a bad influence . . .

There was a time when geeky, squeaky-clean Max Kilgore would never lie or steal or even think about murder. Then he accidentally unearths a devil, and Max’s choices are no longer his own. The big red guy has a penchant for couch surfing and junk food—and you should never underestimate evil on a sugar high.

With the help of Lore, a former goth girl who knows a thing or two about the dark side, Max is racing against the clock to get rid of the houseguest from hell before time, and all the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos this side of the fiery abyss, run out.

Thank you Rockstar Book Tours for organising this blog tour!

Discussion Review by Celine and Mel

**This review is spoiler-free**

Max blinked. “You’re…Satan.”
“Well, I’m a Satan. There are six hundred and sixty-six of us not that anyone’s counting. But you people always seem to want to lump us together into one all-powerful, malevolent being, so I like to give my audience what it wants.” He started to sink into a deep bow, but he burped in the middle of it and the moment was ruined. “The name is Burgundy Cluttermuck, devil-at-large. I do bachelorette parties and retirement galas, but no more children’s birthdays.

Mel: Hellhole has got to be one of the funniest novels I’ve ever read. Gina Damica definitely has some kind of set style, which is equal parts humorous and deliciously dark.

Celine: Yes, Hellhole really is Damico’s typical style! She manages to write with such humor and snark, but at the same time she doesn’t shy away from darker topics or making her characters suffer. So while you’ll be laughing your ass off reading this, don’t think this is a fluffy book. It’s decidedly not.

I absolutely loved it. I just don’t think it’s possible to read a Damico book without snort/laughing the whole way through. Aside from her writing style, the characters really help make that happen. In Hellhole we’ve got awkward Max, and he accidentally uncovers the highly annoying but HILARIOUS Burg.

Mel:Yep, if you want funny, Gina Damico is like, the go-to author. She never disappoints! Like you said Celine, THERE IS SO MUCH DEPTH AND DAAAARKNESSSSS. This woman is well known for her books to be fantastically dark in terms of humour AS WELL AS the themes that she addresses.

Quick rundown on the book: Max steals this cat bobble head and accidently unearths one of the 666 devils, Burg. Basically, the only way for Max to ‘get rid of him’ is to find a house (with a hot tub ←that’s an incredibly necessary detail) for Burg to live in. But, finding a decent house that no one else is currently living in is PRETTY HARD to find in one day so Burg has to stay in Max’s basement until then. Amazing banter ensues between the two of them.

“Relax, kid, will ya? I’m not going to hurt you.” He reached for the Cheetos bag, then, remembering that it was empty, frowned. “You got anything else? Combos?”
“What?” Max shouted, horrified. “No!”
“Ugh,” the man groaned. “No one ever has meth.”

Celine: It was just hilarious. However, I also loved that Damico did manage to give some of the characters some awesome growth. Max is awkward and nerdy, but might he also have a dark side? Burg is obviously evil, but could he also be a bit good? I really liked that recurring theme, though obviously the big selling point of this book is its utter hilarity!

“Speaking of which…where are your pants?”
“I’m not a fan of pants.”
“Yeah, well, fourth rule: pants. Pants all the time.”

Mel: Yes Celine, I loved the exploration between good and evil in this book – it was probably one of the most predominant themes. Everyone has a dark and good side, but it’s really up to you to choose which side you embrace and bring out to this world. Speaking of this, Burg totally stole the spotlight here with his villainous and witty ways and spectacular, unforced, humour.

Celine: Oh, and guys? THERE ARE PUNS. Marvellous puns. I myself am a HUGE fan of puns and I just basically snickered every time I saw one. I know we keep mentioning it but this book is just frickin’ hilarious. If you don’t want to read this for the story at least read it for the laughs!

Mel: Yes there were a few puns! Oh, the hilarity. And Burg thought so too 😀

I think we should probably touch on the darker topics in this book, lol. At the start of the book we find out that Max’s mum has chronic heart failure and could die very soon. The reason why Max actually bothers to deal with Burg in the first place is in hopes that he could help save his mum by striking a deal with the devil…but we all know how bad of an idea that is. I personally loved Max and his mum’s relationship. It’s always nice to see mother-son relationships and I loved this one and how easy going it was.

“How was your day?”
“Oh, thrill-a-minute,” she said bitterly, helping herself to a slice and a ring, one in each hand. “What would you like to hear about, the newest Bowflex infomercial? Or the latest shipment of bimbos on The Price is Right? Or – funny story – the time I got up to brush my teeth but all of a sudden felt so weak I dropped my toothbrush in the toilet?”
“You dropped your toothbrush in the toilet?”
“Yeah. Which reminds me – I need you to get my toothbrush out of the toilet.”

Celine: Yes there was an excellent presence of a mother figure! Though it definitely did not dominate the story, there was also a bit of a romance. I didn’t have espcially strong feelings about it either way, but I’m curious how it went for you, Mel 🙂

Mel: The romance was kept quite small and I really appreciated that! I didn’t really find Max’s romance with Lore (the ex-goth girl who helps Max deal with Burg) all that swoon worthy but it was incredibly adorable and not instant love at all. BONUS POINTS RIGHT THERE.

Oooh how did you find Lore as a character?

Celine: Anyone who calls a crowbar Russel Crowebar is a friend of mine.

For real though, I really liked her! She wasn’t the most vivid character for me, but I liked her personality and snark. I also love how determined she was to help Max despite all the problems she had herself. I thought her ‘secret’ was pretty obvious, but the way she slowly opened up about it did show her character growth, I think.

Mel: Yes, I thought I was the only one for a minute! Her secret was wayyyy to obvious as I saw it coming a mile away. That was a shame, but like you, I quite liked Lore. I loved her attitude and her sarcasm! We needed some of that because of how awkward Max is.

Celine: We certainly did! They counteracted each other nicely and that’s exactly what they needed. That said, I really loved how different everyone was. Burg, Max, Lore, their parents… Everyone was so different and that made for really interesting dynamics.

Mel: Right? I loved how different all these characters were unique and refreshingly different from one and another, and that they weren’t simply just a representation of a stereotype (which happens a lot in when you have books set in high schools).

Speaking of characters, out of all of them, I think Audie disappointed me the most. I loved that she and Max had a platonic friendship but she didn’t feel all that necessary in this book, to be honest. I cared least about her, for sure.

Celine: I agree with you! I really liked that their friendship was platonic, but other than that I did not really care a lot for her.

I felt that at one point the plot got a little bit dragged out, though.

Mel: Yeah my other qualm would definitely be how at times the plot just draaaaaaged. It wasn’t too bad because Burg makes up for it with his shadiness and presence in general, hah.

Celine: Hellhole was mostly just funny as hell (sorry). It really was though. Everyone who loves snark, cats, humour or laughing in General will eat this up, I think!

Mel: Yep, THE CATS WERE THE BEST! They’re pure evil, and even Burg the devil knows it.

Celine: If you want to feel happy and laugh while also reading something dark Hellhole is really just the way to go.

Mel: GINA DAMICO is the way to go 😀

~Thank you HMH Books for Young Readers for providing us copies for review!~

4 Stars


Don’t forget Hellhole is also available on Audible! Here is an excerpt.


YA Midnight Reads is not responsible for any lost items.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Message from the Author

Hey there book fans! I’m running a Follow Frenzy giveaway over the course of this blog tour, and the prize is pretty neato: a signed copy of HELLHOLE wherein each chapter will have a little bit of trivia and/or a doodle handwritten by yours truly. (Gina) (Damico) To enter, all you have to do is follow me on one or more of my various social media outlets (TwitterFacebookTumblrInstagramYoutube), then fill out this adorable little form. That’s it! The more things you follow, the more chances you will earn to win. Good luck!

The following two tabs change content below.


Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

Want more posts like this?

Subscribe via email to receive new posts on book reviews, bookish giveaways, discussions and more!

57 Responses to Blog Tour: Hellhole

  1. Bennari says:

    YAY I’ve missed your discussion review posts. First of all, omg that trailer is so funnyyyy!!! I really want to read this book already. I love books with a lot of humour, but also quite a fair bit of depth and you two definitely convinced me here. It’s a shame that the plot dragged a bit for you, but it seems that the characters and everything else made it totally worth it. Cool discussion review/post!!!!1

    • Melanie says:

      Yes, I couldn’t stop giggling when I was watching the book trailer. It was just as amusing as the novel itself. I’m so glad that you wanna read this one now! Thanks, hun xx

  2. Hilary says:

    Ooooh, humour mixed with the devil? That’s a dangerous combination. And I’m all for danger. And I’m really curious about your description about different characters since as you read more and more YA books, some characters blend into the same person and you get bored easily.
    Hilary recently posted…Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie RutkoskiMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Right? Totally dangerous and it works so perfectly. Yeah, these characters didn’t blend together at all. They had distinct personalities and were all really refreshing to read about

  3. Yeah so I added this to my shelves. I want it. Now.
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…From Page to Screen: One PieceMy Profile

  4. Bwahahahahahahahahah those quotes! 😀 Especially the meth one omfg. Burg sounds incredibly funny indeed. I love how he took over the show instead of the main character. And yay for puns! I love puns in books, so I wanna read this one already.

    Amazing discussion review ladies!! x

    Oh and thanks for the awesome giveaways. 🙂

    • Melanie says:

      Right? I’m so glad that you think so, I found the meth one to be particularly amusing as well. Thank you so much girly! And best of luck to you 🙂

  5. Amelia K says:

    I LOVED Croak by Gina Damico and I totally agree with you two. Ms Damico has this certain style which is painfully dark but also fantastically humorous at the same time. It’s basically her signature, except in book form. I’m glad that this one was just as great I’ll be honest though, I saw a few disappointed reviews on goodraeds a while back but I’ll take your word for it *peer pressure*

    • Melanie says:

      Yay, I’m glad that you agree, Amelia! Her books are spectacular and if you’re a fan of her work, then you’ll adore this too. Yeah, some people were disappointed, but if you read this, just go in not expecting Croak. It’s not as good as that one, but enjoyable and very Gina Damico all the same.

  6. I love this joined review, ladies! I’ve just finished the Croak trilogy and it is, without a doubt, one of the best series I’ve ever read. I LOVE Gina’s writing style, as well as her constant humour in her books. I really appreciate it when people keep a sense of humour in their writing. So, naturally, I’m extremely looking forward to reading this!

    By the way, is anyone else thinking of Benedict Cumberbatch when they read Burgundy Cluttermuck, or is that just me?
    Inge @ Bookshelf Reflections recently posted…Review: Jackaby by William RitterMy Profile

  7. PUNS ARE MY THING. You know, it’s been a while since I’ve read a funny book. Or, actually, I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book that’s purely funny . . . hmmm. I should get on that. I’m way too serious in my reading lately!
    Allie @ Little Birdie recently posted…Review: Defy {Sara B. Larson}My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      This is definitely a book you want to read after some seriously heart shattering book. Like, I would read this after All the Bright Places or something.

  8. Definitely sounds like a signature Damico. I like her dark humour, and her affinity to satan. lol.
    Joy // Joyousreads recently posted…Photo Vomit [#12]: Sunshine. Books. Poetry.My Profile

  9. Lily says:

    Girls I need this book in my life. Right about now would be good. I love the sound of this one. And it’s funny? FUNNY? I’m in!
    Lily recently posted…The Law of Moses: ReviewMy Profile

  10. I love when you too get together and chat..this sounds hilarious and I love your exploration into whether each character has a good/bad side. Fantastic ladies!
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Dictatorship of the Dress by Jessica TopperMy Profile

  11. I’ve heard such amazing things about this author ladies, I love someone with a good sense of humor. I think it’s really hard to do humor in written form without the benefit of inflection or facial expression. Love that the romance isn’t of the instant variety either. WOO HOO!!!! Fantastic discussion review:)
    Jenny @ Supernatural Snark recently posted…Ignite Blog Tour + Giveaway: Interview with Sara B. LarsonMy Profile

  12. Oh, good! I loved Gina’s previous series. She’s hilarious, but she also has excellently developed plots and characters, which is a rare combination and one that always works for me. I’m glad you girls liked this, I’m sure I will too.
    Maja (The Nocturnal Library) recently posted…Review: WhenMy Profile

  13. Argh! I am so frustrated. My ARC copy won’t open properly and I really really want to read this one. I am emailing the publisher today. Your review made me even more excited. I need something snarky.
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Review: Cold Shadows (Ellie Jordan #2) by J.L. BryanMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeah my ARC copy wasn’t opening properly either! I downloaded it onto my Bluefire Reader app on my phone, and it kept glitching. I figured it was the crossword puzzle that was taking too long to load. I then just flipped forward like 40 pages and went backwards from there until I reached page one. Maybe you’re having the same issues I had? Anyway, that might work? I hope you enjoy this when you do get around to it, hun!

  14. I’m gonna listen to the audio of this because one of my favorite narrators is doing it. I’ve been wanting to read a book by this author for a long time. I need more fun books!
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…Review & Giveaway: Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher!My Profile

  15. Tanja says:

    I haven’t got to read anything by this author so far but you got me at free style. I don’t get to see that often and when I do it makes my heart to happy flips. Another thing that grabbed me is how funny it seems. Whenever I’m reading something for my college I need something funny to lift me up so I’ll have this on stand by. Great review, ladies 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Top 10 Books Glass Is Looking Forward the Most in 2015My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Thanks, Tanja! Yeah, I am buying myself a hardcopy of this when I get off my book buying ban so I can reread the funny sections when I’m feeling down.

  16. blodeuedd says:

    Haha, nice trailer!
    blodeuedd recently posted…Prelude to a scandal – Delilah MarvelleMy Profile

  17. Lexa Cain says:

    This book sounds like a lot of fun! I loved the part about the devil not wearing pants. Ha! Thanks for the review. 🙂
    Lexa Cain recently posted…Celebrate 2015 and Freebies!My Profile

  18. Lovely review, girls! This isn’t something I would normally read, but I’m pretty intrigued since it sounds hilarious! I also want to read about the mother/son relationship, and about the slow and not-much-there romance. Thanks for sharing!
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…A Deadly Christmas: Elissa SussmanMy Profile

  19. Vi says:

    Ah! Funny and dark is exactly my kind of read. Just by reading the little excerpts you posted and your comments about it makes me really wanna give this a read. I haven’t read anything from this author. Altho it sucks there’s not much of a romance there, I still enjoy a book as long as it keeps me entertained. Great review!
    Vi recently posted…Project BG3: Week 20 – Teething Sucks Monkey Butt!My Profile

  20. THIS IS THE BEST DISCUSSION OF EVER. I need this book. I need it so badly I think I might scream. I LOVE DARK HUMOUR. And this sounds freakishly hilarious as well as ridiculous…plus it’s not fluffy?! Oh stahhhhp everything I WANT TO LOVE THIS BOOK.
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…Beautiful People #5 || Author EditionMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Why thank you Cait! YES YOU WANT IT CAIT, IT IS SO FANTABULOUS AND I HOPE YOU LOVE IT! You should check out Croak as well–it is just as dark and humorous.

  21. I only read one book by this author before – Crane I think? What was it called? – and did not enjoy because I felt the plot dragged and if in this one it did too…BUT I’M CURIOUS! And if you both said it is fun then hell yeah I want to try it! 😀 Wonderful conversation-like review!!
    Lola @ Hit or Miss Books recently posted…Review: Cinder & Ella by Kelly OramMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Haha I think you mean Croak! It’s a shame that that book didn’t work for you, hun. I think you should still give this one a go–admittedly it’s not as good as Croak though, so probably don’t go in with such high expectations? 🙂

  22. I’ve never heard of Gina Damico before now, but after reading your review I can definitely say I am interested!

    I haven’t had much experience with funny books because in general it is really hard to make me laugh (and cry, I’m obviously all kinds of heartless), but I actually laughed at the meth quote up there! So I guess that bodes well – one quote making me laugh.

    It sounds like you both really enjoyed Hellhole, and if I am ever in need of a laugh, I will definitely give it a go 😀
    Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted…2014 FavouritesMy Profile

  23. Love the review! I’d really like to read this because I’m a big fan of humorous novels, and I like that it has some darker elements too.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…A Look Back at Blog WorldMy Profile

  24. Jessica says:

    I’ve heard amazing things about the Croak trilogy (which I’ve been wanting to read for AGES) and Hellhole sounds pretty awesome as well.
    Goths and devils…c’mon, do I really need to go on?
    Plus, by what you guys are saying it has crude/snarky humour, which sounds perfect for me!!

  25. Christy says:

    Hahaha – omg, this sounds like my kind of book! Darkness and humor … definitely two of my favorite things. 😀
    Christy recently posted…Falling Away by Penelope DouglasMy Profile

  26. This seems very interesting and that trailer! Had me laughing out loud cause it looks ridiculous. LOL. I can already see the devil and I getting along. 😉

  27. So I took this one off my GR shelves and I guess I should rethink that? Because I love funny books, esp if they’re from a male pov. Plus this book sounds really unique and dark.
    Thank you for sharing, girls!
    Danielle @ Love at First Page recently posted…Series Review: Article 5My Profile

  28. Well, first of all, who wouldn’t want a book titled Hell Hole on their bookshelves? The humour also sounded like it was my style. Thanks for the fab giveaway. 🙂
    La La in the Library recently posted…TELL ME TUESDAY #27My Profile

  29. Dark humor? Okay this sounds really good. The characters are so funny from the parts you’ve posted. I’m a fan of puns too! I like the sounds of the mother son relationship, but I don’t like the dying mom thing. I’m afraid this one is probably too close to home for me right now. Thanks for warning me. I’ll definitely remember this book though.

    I enjoyed your dual review! 🙂
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn’t Get ToMy Profile

  30. Benish says:

    I haven’t heard of this novel, but it seems intriguing enough – I love novels with humors in them 🙂 Great review!
    Benish recently posted…Frostfire by Amanda Hocking ♥ ReviewMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge