The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski
Expected publication by Feiwel & Friends on August 1, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
After her father goes missing in the woods that they protect, Winter tries to seek the truth in what happened, why the wood is changing, and what it all has to do with the arrival of a mysterious stranger in this thrilling YA debut.
When Winter’s dad goes missing during his nightly patrol of the wood, it falls to her to patrol the time portals and protect the travelers who slip through them. Winter can’t help but think there’s more to her dad’s disappearance than she’s being told.
She soon finds a young man traveling in the wood named Henry who knows more than he should. He believes if they can work together to find his missing parents, they could discover the truth about Winter’s dad.
The wood is poisoned, changing into something sinister—torturing travelers lost in it. Winter must put her trust in Henry in order to find the truth and those they’ve lost.
Bobulski’s eerie debut is filled with friendship, family, and the responsibilities we choose and those we do not.
I didn’t really know a lot about The Wood before reading it, and while it wasn’t quite what I was expecting, I really enjoyed it.
Winter’s dad is gone, and she is now tasked as the Guardian of her section of The Wood. The Wood is a place with portals to lots of different times and places, and sometimes people stumble through these passages. When that happens, Winter needs to find them and make sure they return from where they came from.
I loved Winter. She is strong and smart and definitely knows how to hold her own. She does what she thinks is right, even if it means breaking the rules.
The other characters were great, too. Henry was adorable and determined. Winter’s Mother was fighting her own inner battle while watching her daughter enter the place that took her husband away from her. Uncle Joe was…. well… no spoilers, right?! All of the characters were dimensional and interesting, and each one added something important to the book.
The plot of this book was enticing, and it drew me in immediately. There was deception and mystery. There were relationships formed and relationships broken.
Although the story wasn’t quite as dark and eerie as expected, it definitely did have some spooky elements in it. The wood is creepy and crawly, and I would not want to be caught in there after dark. I also loved the magical elements in the book, and the idea of the Wood connecting all the different places and times.
I felt like this book could have used an epilogue, or another chapter to kind of close everything out. After reading the last line, I felt myself asking “Was that really it?” and turning the page back and forth a few times just to be sure. That being said, the ending I got was still a great one.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a not-to-spooky book with magic, time travel, and mystery. Wow, that was weirdly specific. Okay, let me try this again: I would recommend this book to anyone who loves slightly-spooky YA, mystery, and/or finding new and exciting worlds to explore.
I am going to give The Wood four out of five hearts!
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
* An ARC of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own