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Literature / A Hole in the World

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A Hole in the World is a short young-adult fantasy novel by British author Sophie Robbins published in 2011.

Our protagonist, Bianca Western, is a teenager recently come home from a much-loathed stay at a girls' boarding school that ended in arson and expulsion. Reunited with her best friend Scotty and learning to enjoy the company of his friends Cory and Daisy, Bianca finds herself drawn to a mysterious hole in the middle of a stone wall she once entered as a child. Venturing once more into the hole to confront her childhood memories, Bianca finds herself the reluctant rescuer of Princess Alexandra of Calpaea, who is now entirely convinced that Bianca is her Prince Charming.

Basically, it's a traditional fairy-tale about a prince, a princess and a kingdom whose fate will be determined by the power of their love — with a bit of a twist.


This book provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Cloudcuckoolander: Alexandra is one weird, spacy girl with ditzy personality who makes weirdly profound statements.
    Alexandra: Music is surely the most beautiful thing to permeate the air!
  • Double-Meaning Title: Revealed toward the end. There's the literal hole leading to the magical land of Calpaea, and the hole in Bianca's world without Alexandra in it.
  • I Choose to Stay: All the main characters decide to stay in Calpaea at the end.
  • Nice Hat: Alexandra has a pointy pink hat that's apparently impossible to knock off her head.
  • Time Skip: Halfway through the book, there happens a time skip of two and a half years.
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  • Transparent Closet: She hasn't come out but everyone seems to know Alexandra is a lesbian — even her parents.


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