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Title: After The Woods
Author: Kim Savage
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: February 23, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller, Realistic Fiction, Suspense, Horror
Would you risk your life to save your best friend?
Julia did. When a paroled predator attacked Liv in the woods, Julia fought back and got caught. Liv ran, leaving Julia in the woods for a terrifying 48 hours that she remembers only in flashbacks. One year later, Liv seems bent on self-destruction, starving herself, doing drugs, and hooking up with a violent new boyfriend. A dead girl turns up in those same woods, and Julia’s memories resurface alongside clues unearthed by an ambitious reporter that link the girl to Julia’s abductor. As the devastating truth becomes clear, Julia realizes that after the woods was just the beginning.
I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thanks to the publisher and The Fantastic Flying Book Club.
A year later and still recovering her memories from her kidnapping in the woods, Julia wants closure. Julia’s mother and counselor believe that she should be sheltered from anything that reminders her of her attack. When a body is found in the same woods Julia was in, the police believe there may be a connection to Julia’s perpetrator. While almost everyone believes Julia should stay away, she can’t help but be intrigued. Maybe if she can figure out this case, she can remember her attack and receive the closure she so desperately needs.
Julia was a wonderful protagonist. She did not wait around for others to take care of her; she always did what needed to be done. After all, she saved her best friend’s, Liv, life when she took her place in the woods. In order to get the closure she needs, she goes back into the woods she was kidnapped. That in itself speaks volumes of bravery.
That brings me to Liv. Liv is one of the worst best friends I have ever encountered. She is constantly telling Julia to “get over” what happened in the woods. Oh, want to know what Liv did when Julia took Liv’s place in the woods? She ran. Instead of attempting to help her best friend, she left her. As for some of her other actions, I could understand…to an extent. Liv always seemed to make the most dramatic and unnecessary decisions in order to find her solution.
This book was fast paced from beginning to the end! I couldn’t put this book down. With most mysteries I read, I normally can figure out who did what and what is going on before all the secrets are revealed, but I couldn’t with After The Woods. I had a few assumptions, but I was very surprised at the end.
I was the last person to receive this arc in the traveling arc tour so I had the wonderful pleasure of reading everyone’s notes and seeing everyone’s doodles (which I loved)! I hope more publishers use this idea because it was very neat seeing everyone else’s opinion on the book!
4 out of 5 stars
Chloe Bennet as Julia
Dove Cameron as Liv
Meet The Author
Kim Savage is the author of After The Woods, a debut psychological thriller for young adults coming on Feb 23, 2016 with Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Macmillan. Her second thriller for young adults comes from FSG is 2017. Before writing fiction, she worked as business journalist, pitching stories along the lines of “Stigmatized Properties: When Murder Kills Property Values”. You get the idea.