The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher
Chicken House | Hardcover, 384 pages
Published: January 7th, 2014
Young Adult
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

With a cover that showed so much promise of suspense and mystery, The Killing Woods is one of those books that would not normally make my bookshelves, had it not been for the name ‘Lucy Christopher’ written on its cover. This is one of those instances when I let my predisposed opinion of the author’s work to do the talking for me.

I loved Stolen; it was one of the first YA books that I’ve ever read back when I first discovered the Young Adult genre. Her writing style is what I’ve come to love about Australian authors: stark, lovely – and more often – dark prose.

Sadly, this book was a huge disappointment. Two weeks; it took me two weeks to finish this book. That should give you a clue as to how un-interesting this book had been. I literally had to forced myself to finish it. Let me tell you, if a book starts to feel like reading it was a chore, then you really should just quit while you’re ahead. Anyway, here’s the gist of the book:

Told from alternating point of views, The Killing Woods is the story of Emily Shepherd’s quest to absolve her father of a murder that he admitted of committing. Emily knew her father wasn’t well in the head. He is suffering from PTSD, and he checks out of reality from time to time – especially on stormy days. On the night that Ashlee was murdered, Emily’s father was in one of those hallucinations.

On the other side of the spectrum is Damon, the boyfriend of the murdered girl. He’s trying to piece together what had happened the night of the crime. He woke up without a recollection of what transpired in the woods. When he finally sobered up, he can’t shake the feeling that something’s amiss.

The story sounded like it was going to be an un-put-downable reads but sadly, it was a snooze fest of epic proportion. Emily’s and Damon’s voices – and personalities for that matter – were bland. The plot moved in a snail’s pace. I don’t read much murder/mystery novels, and maybe this is one of the reasons why I didn’t enjoy this book at all. It was void of suspense and the narratives had me wanting to chug Red Bull in copious amounts. Don’t expect romance as well because it was virtually nonexistent. Besides, the story didn’t need it.

Overall, if you’re a fan of slow moving stories (???), this book is probably for you. The three-star-rating is very generous, yes. But come on! This is Lucy Christopher! Printz Award winner? And yes, I chose to overlook the grammar miscues: I should of thought (really?). I wish you better luck if this book is up next on your pile.