Friday, June 29, 2018

Review - The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher
Narrated by Fiona Hardingham and Shaun Grindell
Publisher: Scholastic - Chicken House / Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Date Read: May 29, 2018
Length: 384 pages / 9 hours 25 minutes
Source: NetGalley / Library via Hoopla
★★☆☆☆
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?
My Review

My feelings are pretty mixed on this book.  I have had a copy of this book in my review pile for a very long time so I am thrilled to be able to scratch it from my to be read list but I do wish it had worked a little better for me.  I felt like this book was really slow at times and I found it rather easy to set aside.  There were parts of the book that I did enjoy but I had quite a few issues with it as well.

I did think that the book started out really strong.  Emily's dad brings home a girl that Emily knows from school, Ashlee.  Ashlee is dead and Emily's father can't remember what happened so he is charged with the crime.  Emily knows her dad and does not think that he is capable of the crime that he has been accused of committing since he has always been a very gentle man.

Damon was Ashlee's boyfriend.  He was with her in the woods on the night that she died but he doesn't remember what happened either.  Damon, Ashlee, and their friends had been doing drugs that night and Damon's memories from the night don't explain everything that happened.  He has a lot of questions about the night and wants to remember how things happened.

I found this book to be pretty predictable.  I thought it was pretty obvious from the beginning that someone else was responsible for what had happened to Ashlee.  There were long sections of the book where I felt like nothing was really happening and they were no closer to finding out what had happened to Ashlee than they were at the start of the book.

I also found this book to be somewhat confusing.  There is a lot of talk regarding the game that Ashlee, Damon, and their friends were playing on the night in question.  I tried to understand this game but I was just as confused about the game at the end of the book as I was at the beginning.  This game was talked about so many times during the book but I can't figure out what the goal was or how it could be any fun to play.  Another confusing thing that happened in the book is that Damon is in a position to give a punishment to Emily at school despite the fact that they are roughly the same age which didn't make any sense to me.

I did like both of the narrators.  Fiona Hardingham and Shaun Grindell both did a great job with this book.  I thought that they both brought a lot of emotion to the story and made things a lot more exciting at times.  I thought that their voices fit the characters of Emily and Damon really well and were very pleasant to listen to.  I think that I probably liked this book a bit more because I decided to listen to the audiobook and I would not hesitate to listen to either narrator again in the future.

This wasn't really a book for me but I do think that others might enjoy the story a lot more than I did.  I would suggest giving it a try if you think that it sounds like something you might enjoy.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Scholastic - Chicken House via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from the library via Hoopla.


About the Author

LUCY CHRISTOPHER'S novel STOLEN was named a Printz Honor Book by the ALA and received England's Branford Boase award and Australia's golden Inky for best debut. In a starred review, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY called it *"an emotionally raw thriller...a haunting account of captivity and the power of relationships."* She is also the author of FLYAWAY, a novel for younger readers. Lucy lives in Monmouth, Wales, where she is currently finishing her third book, THE KILLING WOODS, a psychological thriller for teens.

Author Link:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

27 comments:

  1. after reading your review, I don't think i'm going to be very into the whole thing either. It did sounded cool though

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  2. So sorry this one did not work for you.

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  3. Sorry this one wasn't a better read. I'm glad I saw your review because if I just saw that book, I could see me grabbing it. Oh well, better luck next book :)

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    1. It sounded good but didn't work for me.

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  4. I hate when poor explanations leave me confused and yes, in a mystery I don't mind a little slow time as interviews and details get brought out, but then it needs to keep moving as those facts are acted on. Oh well, at least its off your list. :)

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    1. I needed this one to move a whole lot faster than it did. I am very happy to mark it from my list, Sophia Rose :)

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  5. Sorry that this wasn't a great read for you. It sounded like it had some good potential too.

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    Replies
    1. I do think that a lot of readers will like this one more than I did.

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  6. Sorry to hear you didn't like it more but it does sound like an interesting mystery.

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    Replies
    1. I think some readers will like it a lot more than I did.

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  7. ouch sorry this was both predictable and confusing ;/ I can see why this book did not work for you. It sounds like the author had a good concept just not the execution.

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    1. I think that I was probably not the right reader for this one.

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  8. I'm glad it is finished even though it wasn't good for you. I do enjoy Fiona Hardingham. Anne - Books of My Heart

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    1. I think that this was the first time that I have had the chance to listen to Fiona Hardingham and I really did enjoy her narration. I think that the narrators are the reason that I kept listening to this one.

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  9. Ooh spooky cover- love it! Sorry it was disappointing though- that's too bad. It sounds like the game was supposed to be an integral part of the story, but the author just didn't pull it off as well as she might have. Glad the narrators at least were good though.

    Nice review Carole!

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    1. I really did enjoy the work of the narrators and I do agree that the cover is great. The book just never completely grabbed me but it may work much better for other readers.

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  10. Thrillers, in general, I think, are not for me. I've said before, I enjoy them much more on screen than I do on the page. I'm sorry this one was a miss for you, Carole.

    Great review!

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    1. I do love a good thriller but this one just seemed to be stuck in one place for quite a while. There were parts of the book that were better for me though.

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  11. What a shame it wasn't as good as it could have been.

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  12. I think I'll pass on this one. I think all the things that bothered you would leave me feeling a bit befuddled and I don't care for that!

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    1. It wasn't really for me but I do think some readers will really like it.

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  13. I do not like books that confuse me. I'm confused enough in general :) Thanks for the honest review.

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  14. Seeing as how the author's British, I'm guessing Damon was a Prefect, which would allow him to punish other students depending on the school's rules on that kinda thing.

    What type of game? Like, the type with a board and dice? Or the type where you summon ghosts/tell the future? Or the type where you go to the woods and see who can take the most drugs, or set fires, or jump up off really high cliffs for no logical reason, because teenagers?

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