Thursday, February 20, 2014

REVIEW--The Killing Woods

Good morning, readers and fashionistas!

This month, I picked up Lucy Christopher's newest book, The Killing Woods.  It was just published in January, so I was excited to get my hands on it early (I think I was the first from my library, actually, to check it out!).  I think the gloomy weather here in Indiana has had me in a murder mystery mood, so this was a good choice...let's get started!

  • Standalone novel
  • Mystery
The Gist:
Emily's father recently returned from serving in the army.  But he's not the same.  While serving overseas, he accidentally shot and killed a civilian whom he thought was an opposing soldier.  Devastated and traumatized, he now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and often lives in flashbacks.  When he returns home one night carrying Ashlee, a classmate of Emily's who is now dead, everyone assumes that he killed her during a flashback.  He now sits in jail and says very little, which makes Emily even more determined to prove his innocence.  But Damon, Ashlee's boyfriend, wants to prove his guilt more than ever and soon finds himself crossing paths with Emily.

What I Liked:
  • The double point of view.  The chapters alternate between Emily and Damon, so readers get to see both sides of the "case."  I found myself preferring Damon's side of the story since he is trying to uncover memories he's lost about the night Ashlee died.
  • The premise of the book.  A dad with PTSD, a murder mystery--it had me very intrigued.
What I Didn't Love:
  • This book had very little action.  It was so much thought--Emily thinking about her dad's innocence, Damon thinking about his lost memories...but VERY little action.  I wanted clue-hunting, high anxiety scenes, light-bulb moments.  Nope.  A lot of thinking.
  • Emily introduces some of her school friends (well, not really friends anymore now that they think her dad is a murderer) in the first chapter or so, but then they disappear and never appear again.  I wanted more drama between them (that would have provided more action!).
  • The whole premise of The Game (a game that Damon and his friends play) was just bizarre to me, and the fact that Emily's dad could have witnessed it so intimately seemed far-fetched.
  • Emily's mom was just another weak adult character in a YA book.
  • I guessed the ending ahead of time (not every detail, but most).
My favorite quote: "I want to hate her...but if I hate Mum too, I'm running out of people to love."
This book actually took me a few weeks to get through, so I'm afraid I have to give it a low rating...eek!...1 star.

I'll be back with an outfit based on Ashlee and The Game...stay tuned to see it!

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