Thursday, February 13, 2014

Review: Lucy Christopher's 'The Killing Woods'

The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher
Publication Date: January 7th, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Publisher: Scholastic
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Buy Links: Paperback | Kindle | Nook


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.

My Review:

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I went into this book very excitedly for a number of reasons. First of all I have heard amazing things about Lucy Christopher, but have yet to read anything by her. Secondly, I feel like I never read mysteries anymore even though I am a huge fan of the genre. I have also not come across too many young adult mysteries so I couldn't wait to see what this book had to offer. Sadly I wasn't too impressed. The mystery itself was kind of blah for me. And the writing, which I expected to be remarkable based on what I have heard about Lucy Christopher was just kind of sub-par.

This is the story of both Emily and Damon. Emily's father comes home confused with the body of a dead girl named Ashlee Parker. Her father is put away in prison for the murder of Ashlee which is incredibly difficult for Emily and she isn't convinced that her father is guilty. Ashlee's boyfriend, Damon, is incredibly torn up by the loss of his girlfriend and in a bad place mentally. He wants Emily to pay for what he believes her father did to Ashlee. But more than anything they both want to find out the truth as to whether Emily's father actually killed Ashlee or if there was someone else there that night that committed the terrible crime.

First of all I really didn't like Damon. The story is told from both of their points of view and I felt for Emily and was able to connect to her and feel for her, but I pretty much just hated Damon the whole time. I'm not sure why the story needed to be told from both of their points of view. I felt like this was really Emily's story and Damon's point of view did nothing for me. I think I might have liked this book a lot more without having to be inside of Damon's head.

As far as the mystery goes I don't want to say too much and give anything away, but it wasn't great and it wasn't terrible. The ending wasn't predictable which is a big plus. I hate it when I don't even feel the need to finish a book because I'm pretty positive what's going to happen. That was not the case with this story. But the mystery wasn't really all that Earth shattering or interesting either. I could have gone for some more twists and turns in the story. I was not riveted by the plot and I wish I would have been. It really took me quite a while to finish this book mainly because I just wasn't all that interested.

As far as the writing goes in this book I wasn't too impressed. To be fair I went in with incredibly high expectations. It would be hard to live up to my sky high expectations, but I was just so excited to finally read a book written by Lucy Christopher. If I would have never heard of Christopher or read such great things about her I probably wouldn't be so harsh about the writing. It really wasn't terrible. I just really wanted it to be amazing. I also think the whole Damon point of view thing just rubbed me the wrong way.

I am giving this book 3 out of 5 stars. I'm trying to be fair with my rating because if I based the rating off of my expectations going into the book it would be much lower. But this book really wasn't terrible. It just wasn't all I hoped it'd be. The two main problems for me were Damon's point of view and the lack of excitement in the plot. I did really enjoy Emily as a character though and ultimately the mystery and ending of the book surprised me and kept me guessing. Like I said this book wasn't exactly a page turner for me, but I know a lot of people really loved it and I'm sure many more will love it too. It just wasn't for me.

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