In The Woods by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel
Publication Date: July 16, 2019
Summary From NetGalley:
It should have been just another quiet night on the farm when Logan witnessed the attack, but it wasn’t.
Something is in the woods.
Hundreds of miles away, Chrystal’s plans for summer in Manhattan are abruptly upended when her dad reads tabloid coverage of some kind of grisly incident in Oklahoma. When they arrive to investigate, they find a witness: a surprisingly good-looking farm boy.
As townsfolk start disappearing and the attacks get ever closer, Logan and Chrystal will have to find out the truth about whatever’s hiding in the woods…before they become targets themselves.
ARC provided by MacMillan Tor/Forge via NetGalley for an honest review.
This will be a hard review to write. I liked the book, I thought it was pretty good but there were some things that just fell a little flat for me. From the cover and the summary, you get the feeling that this is a straight up thriller mystery, but there is a supernatural element to what is going on. This might trip up some readers, but it is an interesting twist to this type of story.
I really liked Logan. He is a quiet country boy who likes to hunt and shoot guns, but he also writes poetry. At the start of the story he is feeling a bit lonely because his best friend has a girl friend that he is spending all of his time with. Once the killings start and Chrystal comes into his life, he really steps up and does what he needs to in order to protect his family and town. He grows a lot in this story and it was nice to see the duality in his personality, soft and gentle, yet when strong when it was needed.
Chrystal was a bit harder to like. She seemed to be the opposite of Logan, she likes the city and being around people. She finds country life hard to take and doesn’t get the gun thing at all, even when she sees the need for them. She is smart though and is able to defend herself when she gets in to some tough situations. She also has a softer side, but we generally only see this when she is interacting with her dad.
I loved both sets of parents in this story. Usually in YA parents are either absent or total jerks. Chrystal’s dad was so eccentric. I loved that he was a kindergarten teacher, who also liked to investigate sightings of Bigfoot and werewolves. He was so adorable. He could maybe have been a bit more attentive of Chrystal and maybe explained some important things to her, but I loved him anyways. Logan’s parents were also great. They were both very protective of their family and did what needed to get done. His mom ended up being a total badass at one point which was awesome.
The plot is where things get a little bit disappointing for me. It was interesting enough to keep me engaged, but the twists didn’t always make sense and there were still some things at the end that could have been explained a bit better. But the supernatural aspect of the story was fascinating, and not something that I had encountered before. The plot was also fast moving and compelling enough that I had a hard time putting it down. The writing was also a little bit stilted, and there were sections that didn’t flow together well.
Despite its flaws this is a really interesting supernatural thriller. I would recommend it as something good to read this summer.