YA Review: The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

Killing Woods Jacket Cover

find it on Goodreads

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.


I have to confess: I was a tad disappointed with this. Why? I’m still figuring it out… I think it was the amount of fluff in the writing. I just wanted to get to the point. WHO IS THE DANG KILLER?! TELL ME.

Since we’re talking about it already: writing? It’s very dreamy and detailed…which sometimes I really like. But this time? It frustrated me. I skimmed to get to the interesting bits. I felt a lot of the chapters were killing (pardon the pun) time.

But on the other hand, the plot was spectacular! Seriously, it’s not everyday that a plot takes me by surprise! I’d heard everyone saying “I never guessed the killer!” so of course I thought, “Pfft, I’ll guess straight away.” I didn’t. (I suspected everyone, but that hardly counts because I was on my guard.) I was interested and flawed and surprised.

It’s a dark book and pretty creepy. But it’s realistic. It’s such a thumping reality check that I found myself slowly freaking out on my bed. This. stuff. happens. And I can’t even explain to you what “this stuff” is because SPOILERS.

Characters? It’s dual narrated between Emily (the daughter of the accused murderer) and Damon (the boyfriend of the murdered girl, Ashlee). I loved Emily! She was sweet and sad and very easy to connect to. I disliked Damon. He was realistic and I admired him for acting human instead of like an unfeeling brute. But I didn’t like him. He was so cruel to Emily! Sure her dad was “accused”. But Emily didn’t do anything. So why torment her? I wanted to sock him. But at the same time, I totally understood his reactions to what he was going through. Logical and realistic. Points for the author. I think she wrote and handled the balance of death and trauma and grief very very well.

In reality, it should be a 4-star read. I was going to give it the 4! I was! Buuuut, to be strictly honest with myself, I wasn’t 100% involved. I felt the beginning was far too slow and I was bored. The ending rocked, though. One minute we’re at school — the next? WE KNOW WHO THE REAL KILLER IS.

Intense story line, slow writing, and a really freaky conclusion. Wow.

AOaR_3star (3)

Cait’s TBR is slightly taller than her. This is a worry. Besides eating through her books, she’s neck-deep in book edits and dreaming of lasagna (as you do). Find her on twitter and her crazy blog.


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