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.

  • I am significantly less excited for this book now haha (but I appreciate the honest review!) I too loved Stolen and was so excited for this book, expecting to love it just because it's Lucy Christopher. But I am not a huge reader of murder/mystery stories and if this one is painfully slow…. I picked it up at ALA so I'll still give it a go at some point but doubtfully anytime soon.

    Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

  • The Killing Woods was a massive disappointment for me as well! I think it would have been a fairly decent book if it were Christopher's debut but as her sophomore piece, it fell seriously short. Especially because Stolen was just…phenomenal! Our feelings on this one basically align perfectly – beautifully written, dear!

  • It is always such a let down when you love an author, and are looking forward to a book by that author, and then are disappointed. Sorry to hear this one didn't work out for you. It is really had for me to stick with a book that's pacing is slow, and characters are bland. Hopefully, her next book will be a lot better πŸ™‚ Great Review! Very thorough!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  • I thought I was interested in this one, but maaaaaybe not. I can't really imagine loving a murder mystery without much suspense. I really enjoyed Stolen though! πŸ™ Hopefully her next book is more your speed. πŸ™‚

  • Aw. I'm really sorry that you didn't really enjoy this book Joy. But thank you for being honest πŸ˜€ I won't read this book. And aw. No romance? Sad face, lol πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing. <3

  • If it takes me a long time to read a book, it means the same to me, that it was a chore to read. Also, it irks me when authors make lots of grammar mistakes. “I should of” is unforgivable. I might not pick this up because slooowwww isn't my thing. Kudos for finishing the book!

  • Oh I've heard of this one… But seeing as it took you two weeks I can't imagine how slow this book is! I actually commend you for finishing it πŸ˜›
    Hope your next read will be better!

  • oh no I am sorry this one did not live up to the expectations, especially if it's by an author you have enjoyed before, that is a shame πŸ™ 2 weeks on one book? yeah I can see how that can feel like a chore.

  • Slows stories? No thank you. I've checked Stolen out a bunch of times but I've never actually read it. I think I'll give that one a try, just because this doesn't sound too interesting. Thanks for the review!

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

  • I don't know why we torture ourselves sometimes and force ourselves to finish a book that just isn't doing it for us. I think I'm more inclined to do it when I paid money for it. Anyway, I'll pass on this, but definitely want to read Stolen.

  • oh yes… 2 weeks is a lot for me too… I didn't know this one but is Stolen in the same series? I was wondering…Because it doesn't ring a bell either.

  • I think I'll pass. I can't read books that are boring because I always end up with the case of the reading slump. I haven't read Stolen yet but it has been on my reading list since forever!!

  • It seems a lot of people have been rating this semi-low though I haven't actually read a review til yours. I'm already a slow reader so something that drags that much cannot work for me. Thanks for the heads up!

  • Yeah, this wasn't really up my alley either. The characters were unlikable and it was kind of bland. The only thing that kept me reading was the dark, atmospheric forest and its mysteries but that's not nearly enough to convince anyone to pick the book up.

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence