Thursday, January 16, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

Pages: 369
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: January 7, 2014
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Emily’s dad is accused of murdering a teenage girl. Emily is sure he is innocent, but what happened that night in the woods behind their house where she used to play as a child? Determined to find out, she seeks out Damon Hillary the enigmatic boyfriend of the murdered girl. He also knows these woods. Maybe they could help each other. But he’s got secrets of his own about games that are played in the dark.  A new psychological thriller from the award-winning and bestselling author of STOLEN and FLYAWAY."

Emily Shepherd lives in a military town and her father, a veteran, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.  One night Emily is looking out her window into the dark woods and sees her dad carrying what appears to be a dead animal out of the woods; however, upon closer inspection, she realizes that it's not a dead animal, but instead, a dead body.  It turns out that it's the corpse of Ashlee Parker, a popular girl from Emily's school.  Emily's father is arrested and on trial for murder.   To Emily's surprise, he has pleaded guilty.  Emily knows her dad is innocent though, because she has a strong suspicion that there were other people in the woods that night.  As it turns out, Ashlee's boyfriend, Damon, and his friends were in the woods that night and Damon wakes up hungover with no clue where Ashlee is or what happened to her.  Of course, Damon blames Emily's father for Ashlee's death, but Emily knows there is more to this than meets the eye.  Lucy Christopher's The Killing Woods is an edge of your seat psychological thriller that kept me flipping the pages late into the night.

I really felt for Emily in The Killing Woods. She was so sure of her father's innocence and in turn, it made her an outcast at school and in her neighborhood. She recognizes that her father suffers tremendously from PTSD, but she knows deep down that he didn't kill Ashlee. It was really interesting to figure out how Ashlee was going to prove his innocence and slowly she pieced the puzzle together.  I love when mysteries come together like that and Emily was the kind of character that I love rooting for.

The narration alternates between Emily and Damon, which I thought was done very well in The Killing Woods.  It was also very interesting to hear Damon's perspective on the events of the evening and to try and figure out what exactly he and his friend were doing in the woods that night.  Slowly, like Emily, the readers were able to piece together the puzzle and find out what "games" he and his friends play.

The setting was pretty fantastic in The Killing Woods. I don't normally like scary books, but I do enjoy psychological thrillers. The setting of the woods and the military town added to the novel's creepy factor. The woods became a character in itself and Christopher did a great job bringing it all to life and making the atmosphere extremely eerie. After reading The Killing Woods, I can now see why Christopher is an award winning author.

If mysteries and psychological thrillers are your thing, then I recommend The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher. Want to learn more? Then check out the book trailer or watch a video of Lucy Christopher reading chapter one.  


I am very excited to host a giveaway for two copies of the book to two lucky US readers. The deadline is January 31, 2014 and please refer to my giveaway rules. Good luck and thank you to Scholastic for allowing me to host the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


14 comments:

  1. I hadn't heard of this before but I like suspense novels and this one sounds very creepy especially with the setting.

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    1. It was VERY suspenseful and the setting was really eerie. I had never read anything before that takes place in a military town and Christopher did a good job making it super creepy! Thanks for visiting, Christina.

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  2. I'm in the midst of reading this book. I'm loving it for the most part but I'm daunted by how slow things are progressing right now.

    Great review and giveaway, Christina!

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    1. Yes, things are a little slow in the beginning, but it starts to pick up once starts putting the puzzles pieces together. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for visiting!

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  3. Glad you enjoyed this one, Christina. I found it so creepy and atmospheric and it kept me guessing right until the end!

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    1. Me too! Aren't you proud I read something slightly creepy? haha. I am branching out and I am glad I did…this one was very suspenseful! Thanks for visiting, Leanna!

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    2. I'm so proud of you! You are very brave! ;)

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  4. Oh, I've really been looking forward to this one, and I've heard some great things about it! This is totally my type of book, Christina! Thank you for the giveaway :)

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    1. I think you would really like it, Melissa! Thanks for visiting.

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  5. It's been a while since I've read a good psychological thriller Christina, I think I'm definitely due for one! I love the sound of this book, these types of stories are actually some of the few where I don't flip ahead and read the end first. I like being surprised and trying to piece the story together. With most other books, I go straight to the last page. I can't help it:)

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    1. OMG. You crack me up…I can't believe you read the ending first for some books…crazy! :) I think you'd like this one though, Jenny. Thanks for visiting!

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  6. This sounds like a fabulous thriller. I love it when authors manage to bring an eerie setting to life. Great review! And thank you for the giveaway :)

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    1. Christopher is a fantastic author--I was proud of myself for reading such an eerie read. :) You're welcome and thanks for visiting, Lea!

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