The Killing Woods, by Lucy Christopher
Published On: January 7, 2014, by Chicken House
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery/Murder/Thriller
Fatal attraction, primal fear, survival in the forest: From the author of the Printz Honor Book STOLEN, the highly anticipated thriller about deadly games played in the dark.
Ashlee Parker is dead, and Emily Shepherd's dad is accused of the crime. A former soldier suffering from PTSD, he emerges from the woods carrying the girl's broken body. "Gone," he says, then retreats into silence.
What really happened that wild night? Emily knows in her bones that her father is innocent -- isn't he? Before he's convicted, she's got to find out the truth. Does Damon Hilary, Ashlee's charismatic boyfriend, have the answers? Or is he only playing games with her -- the kinds of games that can kill?
The funny thing in this situation is that I extremely have held off of writing this review. It's honestly been more than two weeks since I finished this, and I've found that I keep on moving it, haha. It's not that I'm speechless or wordless, it's just that this was so different and stranger than what I expected.
If I saw that I was going to read this book before Stolen one year ago, I wouldn't have believed it. I've heard so many positive things on Stolen, and I've been dying to pick it up ever since. And then, I found this and borrowed it from the library.
Now, from what I believe, this is probably the most unique mystery/murder story that I've read about for a long time now. Lucy Christopher has decided to deal with such sudden concepts all together (especially PTSD). After reading, I definitely can say that I came aware of my surroundings more and news stories that had to do with these subjects.
This story was good. Now, I'm using the simple word: good, especially because it was just okay. Nothing special happened that made me want to rip my hair out, out of happiness or plain anger. This just was a simple story with a good concept that wasn't taken too far, as it should've been paid more attention to.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO? That actually was the main question that I kept asking myself while reading. Now, you may be thinking: You, miss, are pretty absurd for asking yourself these odd questions—but don't blame me, if you read this, you'll find the need to question yourself and the story. What would you do if someone in your family is blamed for something they say they didn't do?
I'd die of sadness and depression. In a way, I do feel like giving Emily Shepherd a pretty large high-five here. She was strong for her own self, and she did take this situation in a mature matter. But in a way, she was used to this feeling since her father has had PTSD, which strikes families in many horrible ways. It can totally collapse a family, right? Emily's dad is accused of killing a girl who was literally perfect. At least, there was a guy who cared about her, right? He tried to get back at Emily. And then, games begun...
The concept was great, but as I began reading, I felt all "meh" and didn't really care to go on reading. To be honest, I almost DNF-ed it, until the middle got better. There were a few heart-racing moments, and I totally wanted to find out what would happen by the end. Overall, the actual plot and storyline was nothing special.
Emily was a little weak, but I guess if you put yourself in her situation, you'd understand. It is probably so difficult to be in her situation—imagining that what if's and all of that. But you can't lie and say that she wasn't a boring person. If we put in Tris from Divergent, then that would surely be something all right. :)
Now you're asking: was there romance? I really don't know how to classify it. Sure, there were a few hints, but I mostly saw it as fake and abuse.
This book mainly focused on the crime's effects. There was a lot of confusion since there weren't a lot of details, but this simply was just too simple for my liking. If you enjoy a lot of action and awesomeness, then run away. This was a half-half read of good and bad, for me.