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The Killing Woods

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Emily’s dad is accused of murdering a teenage girl. Emily is sure he is innocent, but what happened that night in the woods behind their house where she used to play as a child? Determined to find out, she seeks out Damon Hillary, the enigmatic boyfriend of the murdered girl. He also knows these woods. Maybe they could help each other. But he’s got secrets of his own about games that are played in the dark.

A new psychological thriller from the award-winning and bestselling author of STOLEN and FLYAWAY.

369 pages, Paperback

First published October 3, 2013

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About the author

Lucy Christopher

11 books2,197 followers
Lucy Christopher was born in Wales but grew up in Australia. She obtained an Undergraduate degree at Melbourne University. She moved to the UK to earn a distinction in a Creative Writing MA from Bath Spa University. The novel she wrote for this class, The Long Flight, was picked up by a publisher under a new name of FLYAWAY.

Lucy’s debut novel, Stolen, was written as part for her PhD degree. Stolen explores her thoughts on the Australian desert through the story about a teenage girl who is kidnapped and taken there.

Lucy is working on another teen novel. When she is not writing, Lucy spends her time daydreaming, emailing friends and horseback riding a mare named Topaz as well as helping to run a kid’s wildlife group at Newport Wetlands.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 664 reviews
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,571 reviews33.9k followers
September 7, 2016
I think it's pretty easy to tell if you're going to like this book fairly early on. I felt a disconnect with the writing style from the very beginning, which unfortunately never went away--and if anything, I got more and more frustrated and bored with both the story and the style.

Story: I never really understood what the Game was that these kids played in the woods. (Intial cap is not mine.) The collars and such seemed so silly to me that I couldn't really wrap my mind around what was going on. It also seemed incredibly obvious that the central mystery was going to be resolved in a certain way, even if the mechanics were variable: that is, that I guess the other game that the victim was playing was also meant to be shocking? It wasn't very well explained/explored in either case.

Style: The story conveniently hinges on one character not being able to explain what happened that night and another character not being able to remember what happened, and waiting hundreds of pages to uncover the facts when the characters are so uninteresting got to be pretty tiresome. It was also annoying that so much of both their narratives consisted of questions to themselves, especially later on in the story when there were more action scenes. People just don't think in such a literal way most of the time, and overusing that device felt obtrusive and unimaginative.

I'd recommend reading the samples on Amazon if you're interested in trying the book. The style presented in the opening chapters doesn't deviate, and there isn't much difference in what you know about the characters from the very beginning. But if you read a lot of thrillers, there probably aren't too many surprises to be found here.

Profile Image for Keertana.
1,126 reviews2,165 followers
January 5, 2014
If Lucy Christopher's name hadn't been printed on the cover of this novel, I wouldn't have believed she wrote it. Granted, the prose is gorgeous, but the emotional complexity, character depth, and general plot originality I've come to expect from the author of Stolen wasn't present in this novel. Not in the least. Admittedly, I didn't expect The Killing Woods to be another Stolen, but I didn't expect to feel so apathetic to it as a whole either.

Told in alternating points of view, Christopher's latest is about a young girl whose father is charged with the murder of her classmate. Where The Killing Woods shines is in its portrayal of the emotions Emily feels, both after her father is accused and during his trial. What makes this situation so black-and-white is the fact that Emily's father has been suffering from PTSD after returning from the war and is often unable to discern from memory and his own reality. Thus, as Emily is left to pick up the pieces of human cruelty - friends abandoning her, questioning if she's a killer too - and confusion - who could have committed the murder? Damon, as the boyfriend of the murdered girl, is both outraged over her death and worried. Just the night before he had been out in the woods with her, high, and doesn't quite remember what happened. If he killed her, he wouldn't even know how he had done it, or why for that matter.

While this premise and set-up is fascinating, the slow unveiling of the murder isn't. Both Damon and Emily remain flat characters, never truly coming alive, and the story itself drags, bogged down by clunky chapters of Damon running through the woods, trying to remember what happened the night his girlfriend died, and Emily perusing her father's bunkers for clues of his guilt. Although the eventual reveal is satisfactory, the book as a whole is dull and forgettable. For fans of Christopher, I am afraid this will wind up being nothing more than a disappointment. And for those new to her work, do yourself a favor and pick up Stolen. It'll blow your mind; promise.

You can read this review and more on my blog, Ivy Book Bindings.
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,717 reviews462 followers
June 29, 2018
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

My feelings are pretty mixed on this book. I have had a copy of this book in my review pile for a very long time so I am thrilled to be able to scratch it from my to be read list but I do wish it had worked a little better for me. I felt like this book was really slow at times and I found it rather easy to set aside. There were parts of the book that I did enjoy but I had quite a few issues with it as well.

I did think that the book started out really strong. Emily's dad brings home a girl that Emily knows from school, Ashlee. Ashlee is dead and Emily's father can't remember what happened so he is charged with the crime. Emily knows her dad and does not think that he is capable of the crime that he has been accused of committing since he has always been a very gentle man.

Damon was Ashlee's boyfriend. He was with her in the woods on the night that she died but he doesn't remember what happened either. Damon, Ashlee, and their friends had been doing drugs that night and Damon's memories from the night don't explain everything that happened. He has a lot of questions about the night and wants to remember how things happened.

I found this book to be pretty predictable. I thought it was pretty obvious from the beginning that someone else was responsible for what had happened to Ashlee. There were long sections of the book where I felt like nothing was really happening and they were no closer to finding out what had happened to Ashlee than they were at the start of the book.

I also found this book to be somewhat confusing. There is a lot of talk regarding the game that Ashlee, Damon, and their friends were playing on the night in question. I tried to understand this game but I was just as confused about the game at the end of the book as I was at the beginning. This game was talked about so many times during the book but I can't figure out what the goal was or how it could be any fun to play. Another confusing thing that happened in the book is that Damon is in a position to give a punishment to Emily at school despite the fact that they are roughly the same age which didn't make any sense to me.

I did like both of the narrators. Fiona Hardingham and Shaun Grindell both did a great job with this book. I thought that they both brought a lot of emotion to the story and made things a lot more exciting at times. I thought that their voices fit the characters of Emily and Damon really well and were very pleasant to listen to. I think that I probably liked this book a bit more because I decided to listen to the audiobook and I would not hesitate to listen to either narrator again in the future.

This wasn't really a book for me but I do think that others might enjoy the story a lot more than I did. I would suggest giving it a try if you think that it sounds like something you might enjoy.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Scholastic - Chicken House via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from the library via Hoopla.

Initial Thoughts
This one falls somewhere between 2 and 3 stars for me. I may round up after I have a little more time to process. It started out fine but there seemed to be long periods of time where nothing really happened. Somewhat predictable ending. I thought that the narration of the audiobook was well done.
Profile Image for ❤Ninja Bunneh❤.
263 reviews173 followers
March 1, 2014
Oh, where to begin.

The Killing Woods sounded creepy, mysterious, interesting. It ended up being none of those.

Emily's father has brought home the body of a dead girl named Ashlee. The man has no recollection of having killed her. Add to this, he has severe PTSD. He's arrested, takes a plea bargain, and heads on off to be incarcerated. Um, WHAT?! The man has a mental disorder and because he confesses (since he cannot remember anything), the police, his lawyer, and even his wife allow this to happen. Where is the fucking evidence? Where is the fucking psychological evaluation? Where is the fucking justice? Nowhere to be fucking found.

Emily tries to keep her life somewhat normal for a gal who's dad just killed a classmate. She heads off to school and the fuckery of this book continues. Suddenly, her best friends from when she was in diapers despise her. They call her a freak, tell her she must be crazy like her dad. These are her best friends. The book completely lost me at this point.

Then we have Damon. The love interest of the murdered Ashlee. Yet, not really. Love? The only impression I got was one of lust. Let alone Ashlee isn't exactly painted in the best light. It's hard to feel sympathy for a bitch. Damon lustboy decides to exact his revenge for losing his love bunny on Emily. He is the prefect of the school and in being that, he's able to hand out punishments. How convenient. Of course he decides to punish Emily for fighting and tells her to meet him in the woods.

What does Emily do?
A) Thinks Damon is fucking crazy and since daddy must be innocent, no fucking way is she going in the damn woods!
B) Thinks Damon may be the killer.
C) Goes into the woods like the stupid moron she is.
D) All of the above.

The answer is D!!!!

She goes to the woods, chases Damon around a bit, they both have some "feeling" and blah blah blah. There's also some shit about a game and dog collars that ends up being a fucking PSA which concludes this journey of wasted time.

1.5 Ninja-Bunnehs-Wearing-Dog-Collars

(Arc received in exchange for an honest review)
589 reviews1,031 followers
November 20, 2013
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

2.5 stars

Thank you Scholastic Australia for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.

If you go down in the woods today,
You're sure of a big surprise.
If you go down in the woods today,
You'd better go in disguise.

I feel somewhat conflicted with The Killing Woods. I have heard the ongoing praise for Stolen: A Letter To My Captor so I simply assumed that Lucy Christopher's latest had to be an exceptional read. Unfortunately, I was mistaken. Either 1) my expectations were unreachably high or 2) I failed to resonate and connect with this novel like others have. Honestly, it's both reasons. I had expectations for a flawlessly narrated novel but then began to struggle to connect with the suddenly average novel. I guess I cannot blame the book. But my thoughts are my thoughts, and I was rather disappointed.

Emily Shepherd doesn't believe it when her ex-soldier father comes home confused with a girl in his arms. A dead girl. Ashlee Parker. While Emily endeavours with the biting fact that her father is locked up in prison, guilty of killing Ashlee Parker, Damon--Ashlee's boyfriend is in more grief than ever. Confused and a ball of fire building inside of Damon, he wants Emily to pay for her father's murder. But did Emily's dad really murder Ashlee? Or was there someone else in the woods that night?

The Killing Woods is narrated by two people; Emily and Damon. Emily is the daughter of the man who was accused of murdering Ashlee Parker. Emily is more than certain that her father did not kill her--but no one will listen until she has proof. Wrapped in desperation, Emily's troubles don't end there. She got in a fight with her best friend. Her school mates look at her weirdly, they're calling her names that aren't true. Taking a completely different viewpoint, Lucy Christopher also takes readers inside Damon Hillary's head. Let's be blunt shall we? He's a heartless idiot. Even a little sadistic. Driven by pure hate. And illogical at times. I understand that Damon is having a tough time finding out that his girlfriend got murdered and he wants pay-back but giving Emily detention in the woods is seriously pointless and lacked sense. I wanted much more logic and Damon's thoughts were too often just clouded with never ending anger and thoughts of sex with Ashlee. Sure, it was part of the plot but it felt too overpowering. In general, I loved Emily, but I hated Damon.

I think what makes me still want to try out Lucy Christopher's other works is how this woman can write. Was this book meant to be scary? Because I felt like putting this down and hiding under the covers after reading descriptions of Darkwood. Perfectly. Creepy. The atmosphere Lucy Christopher created was a nice balance between suspenseful and eerie. We learn about this 'game' Damon used to play when Ashlee was still alive and it gave this book another shiver effect. My only complaint on the writing: the writing felt somewhat too lyrical sometimes, it could have been a little sharper for an even better tension--not to say that the writing was not good enough before--it was already rather extraordinary.

And as a side note: how many convenient coincidences will make a book seem too calculated? And, how long can a phone battery last? Just a few plot holes I felt poke at me during the read.

All in all, a nice attempt of a psychological thriller that could have been so much better with less plot/logic holes and unlikable male protagonist. I don't think this is a book you should judge reviews on, you may as well read it and make your own judgement seeing how varying the ratings have been of the late.
Profile Image for Emily Anne.
226 reviews253 followers
January 19, 2014
Wow. Well, I went into this book expecting a “meh” read after seeing a lot of reviews that called The Killing Woods “just okay”. I am so glad that I still read the book, as I was completely immersed into the creepy tale. And while I know that The Killing Woods won’t work for everybody, I absolutely loved the book.

Lucy Christopher’s writing style was what initially drew me into the book. It’s gritty and compelling in a way that had me gobbling up the words. I am also glad that Emily and Damon, who alternate POVs, had very distinguishable voices.

I read the Killing Woods in one night. I just had to know what happened to Ashlee, and the answer wasn’t one that I predicted. I love when a mystery isn’t easy to solve. I also kept reading because of the predicament of Emily’s father. It is obvious that he needs serious help, as the war he was in a few years ago severely messed with his head. I was so torn about what to think of him. When you have someone who is mentally ill, it is hard to be absolutely positive of what they are and are not capable of.

My favorite scenes were spent in the woods, where Damon often played a deadly game. I won’t tell you much about the game, except that it plays a pivotal role in the book. The game was very dark... and pretty twisted. Also, the scenes were written so well, that I was experiencing the game along with our protagonists.

Finally, I will go into detail about the characters. I thought that they were both well-formed and not your average YA cliches. Emily was easy to like and sympathize with, and I liked how she was determined to prove everyone wrong about her father, but wasn’t always afraid to let any doubt show. Then, we have Damon. He was one of the most interesting characters I have ever read about. I initially thought I wouldn’t like him, until I realized he was just a lost teenager.

Overall, The Killing Woods exceeded my expectations in every way. The characters were dark and troubled and sympathetic, yet I loved the resolution they each got at the end. The setting and writing was breath-takingly disturbing. This book is the perfect halloween read, and great for readers looking for a dark, different read.

*I received an ARC of The Killing Woods for free from Firstreads in exchange for a honest review*

Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,365 followers
November 27, 2013
After having had numerous recommendations for her other novel, Stolen, my first thought upon receiving this novel - in a genre that is incredibly up my alley - was that it was going to rock my socks off. And although my feet are still warm and snugly, I had a great time reading this novel that holds an awesome setting with a creeptastic premise.

The first thing I immediately noticed upon reading this book was how it was very much a show rather than tell type of writing - which I happen to prefer in mysteries. I love being left to my own devices in finding out exactly what came about; thinking up theories, seeing clues, and unraveling the mysteries. I feel like I’m a part of a story rather than the alternative of being told a story to. This is how I felt like when reading The Killing Woods. A girl was murdered, and Emily’s father is being convicted. What do we know about anybody in this novel? About the woods? The ominous “Game”? The whereabout of her father? At first, we know nothing whatsoever!

Let’s start with Emily. I won’t say I got to know her through and through, but what I do know of her I admired. How she stuck to her senses throughout, how she was smart enough to question what needed to be question, not blinded by her father’s confession. And on that note I also admired how she handled the whole shunning and borderline bullying of her peers on the matter. As this novel is told in dual perspectives, we also get Damon’s side of things who happens to be the murder victim’s boyfriend. I found this to be a unique perspective on such a story, and one that came with a lot of emotional conflict from grief to hate to self-blame. I’m not going to lie and say that I liked Damon. I mostly found him bizarre with his unbalanced thoughts that often turned into sexual forays (which, albeit normal for teenage boys, seemed to appear at the strangest of times in between thoughts of self-loathing and anger, or towards the person he supposedly hated). It’s a unique characterization, I admit, he just made me uneasy - and not in a good way.

The Killing Woods is definitely an exciting thriller with a great psychological aspect, not to mention an awesome setting. There’s just something about a creepy story set in the woods, no? Lucy makes it all impressively atmospheric with her simple yet piercing prose. The writing is easily one of my favorite aspects of this novel. Nevertheless, there are some plot aspects that bothered me. My biggest issue lies with the convenient factors scattered throughout which were not all realistic (ei the cell phone bit). Even though these are minor in the grand scheme of things it’s still a hindrance. No matter how eerie, how suspenseful, or how well written; one conveniently dropped clue too many can make quite the difference in the overall assessment of a mystery novel. Also, I’m not sure of the reason for the neighbour (Joe?) to be in this story. He didn’t really offer much for the number of random scenes he was given.

In the end, I will say it’s on the high-end of a 3-star rating and I would not hesitate to recommend it, especially to those who are fans of tension-filled mysteries.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Devin The Book Dragon.
239 reviews98 followers
September 19, 2019
Well, I was expecting a thriller, but this was really just a shitty romance on disguise. This is disappointing because I loved Stolen by Lucy Christopher but this book sucked. I Dnfed this nearly halfway through. Would not recommend.
Profile Image for MK ( MaKayla) ✨.
291 reviews102 followers
January 31, 2023
Only five pages in already there are two uses of f**k and mentions of "pixie dust " . The second chapter is from the POV of Damon ( the dead girls lover ) waking up . The first thing he does is look for the dead girls dog collar clearly having just slept with her the previous night . I don't know what the actual heck is going on ,but this is not the vibe .😒
No thanks .
Profile Image for Louisa.
497 reviews364 followers
October 18, 2013
3.5 stars. This book has the misfortune of following Dangerous Girls in my reading list, and I don't think I gelled with the way the whole mystery was laid out/narrated. Plus I guessed what happened pretty early in. It might be a it's-me-not-you scenario. I'm sure others will enjoy it more than I did, I just grew bored about halfway in.

May have to think about this some more... not that I have time to! Ngl, would still recommend Stolen over this.
Profile Image for grace.
130 reviews1,606 followers
June 12, 2015
3.5! I was a little disappointed with this because Stolen is one of my favorite books, so I expected the same level of greatness from The Killing Woods. I liked the story line, the characters were...different. I wish I got to know Emily a little better, I just felt like I didn't really know her mind set. What I did like was how PTSD was described and how it showed the impact this disorder can have on someone and their family. I liked the mystery, too, but I felt like the end was pretty predictable. However, it was a quick entertaining read and I will continue to buy whatever Lucy Christopher writes!
Profile Image for Vee.
125 reviews41 followers
June 3, 2015
Das Buch war zwischenzeitlich wirklich spannend und hat mich manchmal gegruselt, weil es einfach zeigte, dass jeder Mensch eine böse Seite in sich trägt und sie manchmal eben auch Grenzen überschreiten kann. Dennoch war es eben ein Jugendthriller, der zwar ein Page-turner war, aber ich konnte keine richtige Nähe zu den Charakteren aufbauen. Vielleicht lag es am Schreibstil oder an den Charakteren selbst, ich weiß es nicht genau.
Warum genau das Mädchen gestorben ist hatte ich mir schon früh denken können und ich fand es gut, dass das zum Schluss noch einmal erwähnt worden ist. Auch wer der Mörder ist hat mich zwar nicht wirklich überrascht, aber ich hatte bis zum Schluss eine andere Vermutung gehabt.

Leider muss ich aber anmerken, dass ich es ein bisschen unpassend fand, dass zwischen Damon und Emily immer wieder kurz erwähnt wurde, dass sie sich gerne küssen möchten oder die Nähe des anderen zwar wollten, aber nicht zugelassen haben. Das war einfach too much. Da hätte ich lieber wieder gelesen, dass ihr bester Freund in sie verknallt ist :D

Das Buch kann man auf alle Fälle für zwischendurch lesen und macht mich auch etwas nachdenklich, aber es ist kein Must-Have. (Allerdings sehe ich mich in Zukunft schon in das Buch mal rumblättern, um wieder an die Geschichte zu denken. Es zeigte einem einfach, dass man selbst den Menschen nicht trauen kann, bei denen man denkt, man kenne sie.)
Profile Image for Hannah (The Curiouser & Curiouser).
463 reviews68 followers
December 1, 2019
Wait . . . Wait a second . . .


I've read the two other books by Lucy Christopher and . . . well . . . when I finished Stolen . . .

If anyone needs me, I shall be celebrating the next Christopher novel. By fangirling.



That is all.

Please check out my blog, where I also fangirl: http://obsessivereads.wordpress.com/
Profile Image for Sarah Marie.
1,830 reviews227 followers
July 13, 2015
The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

3.5 stars

Emily’s dad is a war veteran with PTSD and when he brings a dead body home after a night in the woods, he is accused for murder. Emily knows her father didn’t do it, but it seems like no one believes her. Damon Hillary was Ashlee Parker’s boyfriend and he can’t remember what happened the night Ashlee died. The games he and his friends played in the woods are not the only games he starts playing when he starts talking to Emily. I consider myself to be a huge Christopher fan. I love her book, Stolen, to bits and pieces and I think it’s one of the most poetic books I’ve ever read. Christopher had a way with words of invoking different images as well as feelings. Her words captivated me in a way that I still remember being absorbed in to this day (I read Stolen a few years ago). I was so excited to see that she was releasing a new book. A book about murders and games, no less. It sounded perfect and in some ways it was. There were times when I was reading The Killing Woods where I felt like I was trapped in a dangerous psychological game and I felt like a deer running through the woods. I was constantly coming to dead ends and beginning to question every single character’s sanity. It was like reading about characters that would be featured on the Bates Motel. I was horrified, thrilled, and captivated. Which is all great and this book was great, but I could also be easily sucked away from the book because while I could become captivated I could just as easily turn away. It was all a bit confusing and I still don’t know how I feel exactly about this book in terms of the emotions it evoked. It was a great book though. There isn’t a lot for me to complain about but something just felt incomplete.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 4

The main female character is Emily. I can’t decide if I like Emily or not. The more I’ve thought about her, the more I dislike her. Sometimes she was an enjoyable character to read about and she has a great back story and I got to know Emily, but I never felt like I fully knew her. There are some characters that it just seems like their soul is being bared for the reader to see, but Emily always felt closed off slightly distant. She was there in presence, but not much in personality.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 3.75

The main male character is Damon. Sometimes I liked Damon and sometimes I didn’t. He’s nothing but a big raging monster truck. He could be quite scary and I feared about his obvious mental instability. I personally think he’s a lot crazier than Christopher made him out to be. There were times when he was boarding on psychopathic tendencies. These tendencies were just brushed aside after a while and ignored until they would randomly pop up again. Damon was a ticking time bomb and he almost exploded several times.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 1.5

The Villain- I did kind of see that coming. I wasn’t all that surprised, but at the same time I loved the motive. It was something new and I liked it.

Villain Scale: 4

I don’t really have much to say about the other characters because they were all there but then they weren’t. I did like Joe or is it Joey. I think it’s probably Joey. He had potential, but he was just swept under the rug.

Character Scale: 3.75

I was very put off by the Game at first, but as the book progressed I started to like the direction it took. I think maybe what I was missing from The Killing Woods were characters. I adore Gemma and especially, Ty in Stolen and I think that the fact that the characters didn’t make me feel what I felt for some of the writer’s other brilliant characters made this book less captivating. I still really enjoyed The Killing Woods. It’s a great angsty, psychological read and I recommend it. Just don’t go into hoping for characters like Ty and Gemma because you won’t get them.

Plotastic Scale: 3.75

Cover Thoughts: I really like the cover. There’s something about it that is just spooky and it’s very eye-catching.

I received this book from Goodreads Firstreads.

I won this book from the Reads program! OMG! I'm soooooo happy!

Yes! YES! Gimme, gimme now! I need this! Christopher is a literary genius. I need this! March come faster. Please!
Profile Image for Wren .
382 reviews91 followers
November 6, 2017
3.5 stars

This review can also be found at http://fortheloveofbooksreviews.blogs...

Emily's father is accused of killing a teenage girl when he comes home with her dead body one night. Emily's "friends" turn on her, and Damon, the boyfriend of the girl who was killed, is angry at Emily and Emily's father for what happened.

A war veteran with PTSD, her father's lawyers say that he might have had a flashback, killing the girl not on purpose, but in a horrible accident. But Emily is determined to find out the truth, which takes her into the woods where the girl died.

I enjoyed Stolen by Lucy Christopher, so I was excited to see that she wrote a thriller! This book really was nothing like Stolen, but enjoyable in it's own way. However, I was slightly disappointed.

I liked the way that the issue of Emily's father suffering from PTSD was added into the narrative. It made me wonder if he truly was innocent, or if he had killed the girl, either by accident or not. It added to the mystery! I suspected many different people throughout the book, but I must say that the big reveal was truly surprising for me.

I loved the woods. The descriptions of the woods throughout the book made them sound beautiful and creepy and menacing and mysterious all at once! I found myself wanting to visit these woods. Emily's father's bunker in the woods was another interesting location, with a bit of mystery and a possibility of sinister happenings. The setting was truly the strong point of the book, in my opinion.

I feel like sometimes the characters did not act realistically. For example, Emily's "friends" turning on her after her father is suspected of the murder. It's not like she was going around defending murder! She was just hopeful that her father was innocent...wouldn't anyone be? Yet those she trusted became nasty towards her. It seemed very out of place, like an extreme reaction, especially since I'd consider a friend in that predicament as a friends in need of love more than ever. Maybe I'm just too nice or naive.... but that's how I interpreted the characters' actions. Unrealistic.

I also wish that this book had a bit more creepiness in it. There definitely was some, especially with the setting of the woods. But there should have been more clues adding to the mystery. I would have liked more big reveals! More twists and turns!

This was an enjoyable book. However, something was missing.... the characters seemed a bit off, and I wish the author had added a big more creepiness to the story. However, the setting was marvelous.
Profile Image for Sydney (sydneysshelves) West.
748 reviews69 followers
March 2, 2018
I had been really excited about this book for quite awhile. It's been on my shelf for ages. And I'd just finished another amazing YA thriller so my personal hype was high. Sadly this book was just a big bag of disappointment. Here's the breakdown.

CHARACTERS: I hated both of them. Daemon was obnoxious. He punished/bullied Emily for not believing her dad commited the murder of his girlfriend. When he wasting raging about that he was wondering whether he slept with Ashlee on the night she died. He had no depth and I just wanted to throat punch him. Emily was like a petulant child. I mean I get it that he's her dad but I wanted to see more from her reasoning and deduction. She hadn't been to the bunker since his arrest. Like wouldn't you go there first for clues? Plus she did idiotic things like taking Daemon to the bunker and giving him the drawing. MORONIC.

PLOT: Winded and spread out. It basically made no sense. I think the point of the book was the game. And how dangerous the pass out game is. But the books message didn't carry through because the plot was so piecy. Bleh.

Writing: I usually love dual POV but bc I hated the characters I couldn't deal with the writing. It wasn't like hard to understand. And Emily and Daemon were pretty easy to tell apart.

Narration: I listened to the audio of this and Daemon's voice actor was just not good. His voice was too harsh for my liking and made Daemon sound like such a rude and annoying and angrsty kid. I just couldn't deal.

Overall: 2/5 Stars
614 reviews9 followers
November 22, 2013
0 to 80 in seconds! I have rarely read a novel so well crafted that pumps up the suspense from the first page and keeps you riveted as the tale unfolds.

Who killed Ashlee in the woods? Was it Emily’s post traumatic stressed
dad, who had accidentally killed a teenager in war? Or could it have been someone else? Emily’s dad, caught in a flashback, thinks it might have been him and confesses to manslaughter.

But Emily’s not convinced, and as we hear her point of view, and the point of view of dead Ashlee’s boyfriend, we wonder too.

Could a suffering soldier kill again in a nightmarish flashback? Or was it someone else, like her boyfriend – or one of his friends? – because they were also playing a kind of kicked up game of tag – but in this game you needed to grab and take off the dog collar they all wore playing.

Or was another game being played, one with different rules that might lead to death?

Start this book and there’s little chance you’ll want to put it down till the last page.
Profile Image for Abbie.
1,976 reviews582 followers
July 24, 2014
The Killing Woods was better than the authors other book, Stolen: A Letter to My Captor, but it wasn't great.

I felt really sorry for Emily in the beginning.
Everybody was taking her dad's arrest out on her, and it wasn't fair. Even if what everybody was saying was true, and her dad was stalking Ashlee prior to killing her, she still didn't deserve the backlash from it.

This started out okay, but after a couple of chapters it started to go a bit slow.
In the middle, it really started to drag, so i got quite bored.

I'm glad the identity of the killer wasn't as predictable as i thought it would be, but i was more interested in finishing the book than i was about finding out who it was.

Overall, an okay read, but really dragged in the middle.
Profile Image for Katherine.
770 reviews349 followers
June 2, 2014
"The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."-Robert Frost

Setting:Darkwood, England; 2014. It took me forever to figure out that this book was set in England.

Coverly Love?:Yes! It's super shiny, and the image of the girl running through the woods is incredibly haunting.

Plot:Since coming back from the war, Emily Shepard's father has never been the same. Suffering from a severe case of post traumatic stress disorder, he jumps at the slightest of noises, is terrified of thunderstorms, and abhors city life. Instead, he chooses to make a life with his family in a house on the edge of the woods. There, the woods provide a safe haven and place of comfort for the traumatized soldier and his family that is just trying to get him back. Until the day that he takes things to far, and he comes back from a walk in the woods with a dead girl in his arms. With her father accused of murdering her fellow classmate Ashlee Parker, Emily is ostracized and reviled by the entire community of Darkwood. Except her father didn't do it. Someone else killed Ashlee Parker. Not that anyone believes her. Not her former best friends or classmates, and certainly not Ashlee's boyfriend Damon. But those woods hold secrets that no one is willing to reveal, and Emily is willing to do whatever it takes to clear her father's name. Who killed Ashlee? And what really happened that night in the woods?

Lessons learned from this novel: never ever compare an author's work to a previous book. I absolutely adored Lucy Christopher's debut novel Stolen: A Letter to My Captor. It was one of my favorite books from last year, and my friends got tired of me talking about it. I had my hopes up high for this book, since her last one was just brilliant. But this book was a severe letdown, and I mean SEVERE. This plot had no point at all, and went in a million different directions at once. The pacing was uneven at times, and the whole concept of the "Game" the kids were playing made no fucking sense whatsoever. I still don't fully understand what the heck the "Game" was all about. And why the hell did the police not do more to investigate the issue? They were basically a nonexistent presence in the book whatsoever. A bunch of teenagers did better detective work than they did!! The narration style was also a bit off and at times jumbled. The human mind is complicated, but when our disjointed thoughts are written on paper, it becomes even more confusing for us to understand.

This novel was supposed to be more than just a murder mystery. This book was supposed to deal with PTSD and it's aftereffects. In my personal opinion, the author did a very poor job portraying PTSD accurately. I'm no expert by any means, but I have had relatives who have suffered from PTSD. My father has a mild form of PTSD, where he gets occasional nightmares about his wartime experiences. But an uncle of mine who served in Vietnam had an extreme form of PTSD. According to his wife, he'd have horrific nightmares about his time in combat, would go on random rampages at night. He would sleepwalk and think that the enemy was coming, and he would literally attack himself, hitting and scratching at his skin. He would see visions that he could not get out of his head. He developed a crippling drug addiction that would ruin his marriage and cause severe physical and mental deformities to his unborn child. Unfortunately for him, he committed suicide in the late 70s. So trust me, I do know what mild and severe PTSD looks like. I felt that the author could have done wonders with a serious issue, but instead she chose to just touch upon the issue instead of fully diving into it.

Characters:One thing Lucy Christopher does well is write strong female protagonists that don't take crap from anyone. Emily Shephard joins Gemma, the main female character from Stolen, in those ranks. Desperate and determined to prove her father innocent for a crime he didn't commit, Emily is willing to go into the unforgiving forest terrain and into the bunker she and her father loved to go into in order to help prove his innocence. Emily is wild, unpredictable, and fiercely strong in her beliefs. She refuses to let anyone intimidate or undermine her, even those who were closest to the victim herself. For the most part she had a level head, but her emotions could get the better of her. Christopher handled her narration style beautifully, and Emily was a wonderfully formed character.

Damon... not so much. Instead, Christopher provides us with jumbling thoughts of a hormonal teenage boy. Damon's thoughts and emotions were all over the place. He would think about Ashlee, sex, that fateful night, and Emily all in the same sentence. It went something like this...

I think oranges are tasty Bigfoot is our distant ancestor unicorn shit is rainbow colored I have something in my eye.

Say Wha????

I felt that he was an underdeveloped character with a limited range of emotion. I don't care that he had a sob story for the ages. In fact, I would wager that he was even MORE mentally unbalanced than Emily's PTSD soldier father. There was something not quite right about him, but unlike Ty from Stolen, he never became sympathetic. I think most of the problem when it came to him was, in fact, the jumbled narration style.

The rest of the characters are also unusually flat. Emily's father, while disturbed, was never looked into carefully, her mother was an alcoholic. Emily's friends were wankers, and Damon's friends were nothing more than immature teenagers who were thoroughly convinced that they were adults.

Pros:The images in the woods were haunting, as well as the descriptions of the drawings Emily's father drew.

Cons:I wish the author had delved more into the psychological effects of PTSD more. She merely touched upon them. And since that was supposed to play a big part in the novel, it was very underwhelming. The character development could have used some work, and the narration style of Damon was choppy and uneven. And maybe this is just me, but it took me FOREVER to figure out that this book was set in England. I knew it wasn't set in Australia (last time I checked, it doesn't snow there), so I thought that it was maybe set in Wales. But then I realized that it was set in England. Seriously, would it have hurt the author to tell us where the book took place?

Another thing that really bugged me? The "Game". I have absolutely no effin' clue what it's about. Here's what I've gotten out of it; it's apparently a high stakes form of the children's game "Tag, you're it". Each participant has a tag necklace of some sort, and you have to try and retrieve the tag from that person, along with doing some other risky maneuver. One of these Games is taken too far though.

The thing that most disappointed me the most was the resolution of the murder mystery. The explanation was so simple. THAT'S IT? After all this hype about the woods and the dramatic events that happened within them, you mean to tell me that . This is the second book I've read this year involving something apparently mysterious happening in the woods where the ending was disappointing :cough cough: Tana French's In the Woods :cough cough:.

Love Triangle?:Nope!

Insta-Love?:Yes; Damon and Emily fall in love right at the end of the novel. We were given no warning to their feelings, though. They hated each other through the entire thing!!

A Little Romance?:Ashlee and Damon were dating at the time of her death, and apparently they had a testy relationship. I think both of the were just too immature to have a real romance, and it wouldn't have lasted a long time if she hadn't been killed. But towards the end of the novel, Damon and Emily (who have hated each other since the novel began), all of the sudden fall in love. I didn't see that coming at all. And being the killjoy that I am, I don't see them lasting long either.

Conclusion:A letdown from her terrific debut novel, the jumbled narration style, skimming of an important topic, a ridiculous "Game" premises and a massively disappointing conclusion to the murder mystery don't work in this book's failure. The mystery was cheesy and juvenile, and the most of the characters were severely underdeveloped. Not recommended for hardcore mystery lovers; the ending will crestfallen.

Read This!:Since all of my real life friends are tired of hearing me talk about this book, I get to bug you all!! Stolen: A Letter to My Captor is a terrifyingly creepy and masterful novel. And if you like murder mysteries with (gasp) actual police work, I recommend Tana French's works. She's bloody brilliant.
Profile Image for Carolina GO.
287 reviews41 followers
June 10, 2019

Ay, pues he disfrutado un montón este libro. Y no digo que sea el mejor del mundo y que no tiene errores pero es que me apetecía tanto una lectura ligera, con misterio pero también con toques juveniles.

Emily es un personaje normal, tampoco desespera ni mucho menos. Damon fue mi personaje favorito, tuvo pensamientos medio extraños pero a pesar de eso disfruté leerlo.

El final puede llegar a ser predecible, pero llega a ser interesante, porque he visto mucho ese acto en redes sociales y me causa un poco de incomodidad.

En fin, me gustó mucho y ya.
Profile Image for rubywednesday.
848 reviews58 followers
November 16, 2013
When I saw this in the book shop I was all OMG NEW BOOK BY THE WRITER OF Stolen: A Letter to My Captor MUST PURCHASE IMMEDIATELY.

And that was a mistake. Maybe I should have listened to my gut when the gimmicky thing on the back cover bugged me. This was nowhere as intriguing and delicately executed as Stolen. It was clunky and unrealistic and generally disappointing.

The general tone and concept (ie main characters not really remembering/acknowledging major, sad things) reminded me a little of Hurtexcept this has slightly more sensitivity, or Charm & Strange but nowhere near as good or evocative. It takes a very skilled writer to pull that kind of thing off and I soon realised that Lucy Christopher, despite displaying enormous talent in Stolen, just couldn't do it.

Here's the premise : Emily's Dad is accused of killing a pretty girl in the woods behind there house (FYI: the victims looks and sexuality were presented as something really important here.) She thinks he didn't do it. And if he did, he didn't mean to, he in the midst of a PTSD flashback. Damon is the dead girls boyfriend. He doesn't know what happened.

This is thrown at the reader at rapid fire speed in alternating POV's of no more than a couple of pages and already I was annoyed. It was all downhill from there.


-the writing just didn't flow well. All the lyrical, purple stuff about the woods was kind of pretty but totally unrealistic for the characters. MAYBE Emily cared about the woods and nature and for sure the author was trying to be symbolic but when Damon, who's POV sometimes consisted of things like 'I didn't do nothing' in ways that did not in any way feel like natural dialect, tried it it was just silly
-They lived in an army town which was a kind of interesting setting. But no-one in the whole place had any sympathy or understanding to a PTSD sufferer. I call BS
-Damon spends much of the book wondering if he actually had sex with Ashlee the night she died. I'm pretty sure, considering she was murdered and all, her body would have been examined for signs of sexual trauma and they'd at least know if she had intercourse. He was questioned. There was a court case. Somebody would have brought it up.
-There are weird vibes when Ashlee's character and her sexuality were mentioned. There just were.
-Damon was an ass.He was weird and mean and not in that tortured bad boy way. He was just plain unlikeable. He took Emily to the woods to mis-treat her. Blech. (Sidenote : In what schools are prefects allowed to dole out physical detentions and recommend suspensions?)
-Too many plot issues were revealed through the most convenient of devices - Emily overhear's important conversations in lane behind her house. A large part of the mystery is revealed by them finding videos on Ashlee's mobile phone. Which has been sitting in some cliffs for at least month. Because batteries totally last that long on broken phones. Or any phone. Since Damon had a smart phone and it's 2013, we can assume Ashlee did to. Most phones barely last a day. And wouldn't the police have tried to trace it?
-When the mystery of Ashlee's death is finally revealed in the laziest way possible, it felt cheap and gross like one of those ripped from the headlines episodes of SVU. It felt like all the talk of her being idk...a tease? manipulative? was all set up to lessen the tragedy of her death. Context is important and the author failed to make her anything more than one-dimensional. Even through Damon's eyes, the person who knew her best, there wasn't an ounce understanding.

In some aspects, I can appreciate that the author attempted to be sensitive but overall it left a sour taste in my mouth. By the time the mystery of how Ashlee died came to light, I was long past caring. I wanted to bang the characters heads together and give Emily a personality injection. Her neighbour whose name I can't remember was the real hero and even he was borderline creepy.
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,312 reviews51 followers
December 29, 2014

The funny thing in this situation is that I extremely have held off of writing this review. It's honestly been more than two weeks since I finished this, and I've found that I keep on moving it, haha. It's not that I'm speechless or wordless, it's just that this was so different and stranger than what I expected.

If I saw that I was going to read this book before Stolen one year ago, I wouldn't have believed it. I've heard so many positive things on Stolen, and I've been dying to pick it up ever since. And then, I found this and borrowed it from the library.

Now, from what I believe, this is probably the most unique mystery/murder story that I've read about for a long time now. Lucy Christopher has decided to deal with such sudden concepts all together (especially PTSD). After reading, I definitely can say that I came aware of my surroundings more and news stories that had to do with these subjects.

This story was good. Now, I'm using the simple word: good, especially because it was just okay. Nothing special happened that made me want to rip my hair out, out of happiness or plain anger. This just was a simple story with a good concept that wasn't taken too far, as it should've been paid more attention to.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO? That actually was the main question that I kept asking myself while reading. Now, you may be thinking: You, miss, are pretty absurd for asking yourself these odd questions—but don't blame me, if you read this, you'll find the need to question yourself and the story. What would you do if someone in your family is blamed for something they say they didn't do?

I'd die of sadness and depression. In a way, I do feel like giving Emily Shepherd a pretty large high-five here. She was strong for her own self, and she did take this situation in a mature matter. But in a way, she was used to this feeling since her father has had PTSD, which strikes families in many horrible ways. It can totally collapse a family, right? Emily's dad is accused of killing a girl who was literally perfect. At least, there was a guy who cared about her, right? He tried to get back at Emily. And then, games begun...

The concept was great, but as I began reading, I felt all "meh" and didn't really care to go on reading. To be honest, I almost DNF-ed it, until the middle got better. There were a few heart-racing moments, and I totally wanted to find out what would happen by the end. Overall, the actual plot and storyline was nothing special.

Emily was a little weak, but I guess if you put yourself in her situation, you'd understand. It is probably so difficult to be in her situation—imagining that what if's and all of that. But you can't lie and say that she wasn't a boring person. If we put in Tris from Divergent, then that would surely be something all right. :)

Now you're asking: was there romance? I really don't know how to classify it. Sure, there were a few hints, but I mostly saw it as fake and abuse.

This book mainly focused on the crime's effects. There was a lot of confusion since there weren't a lot of details, but this simply was just too simple for my liking. If you enjoy a lot of action and awesomeness, then run away. This was a half-half read of good and bad, for me.

This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more reviews!

Profile Image for starryeyedjen.
1,640 reviews1,232 followers
August 6, 2014
Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review!

This review, and others like it, can be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

I had some seriously high expectations for my second Lucy Christopher novel after the gut-punch that was Stolen .  From other reader reactions, though, I knew to lower expectations a bit, that this would not hit me right in the feels like her previous novel.  And while that may be true, I still really enjoyed this novel, and I attribute that to the fact that I embarked upon this story with reasonable expectations...and also because I went the audiobook route.

Fiona Hardingham is a fabulous narrator.  She also portrayed Puck in the audiobook version of Maggie Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races , which is still probably my favorite audiobook to date.  So, when I saw that she was voicing the character of Emily in The Killing Woods, I knew I had a winner of an audiobook ahead of me.  I don't think I've ever experienced Shaun Grindell's narration before, but he really brought his A-game as the voice of Damon Hillary.  I got a Jonah Griggs-vibe from him, if that helps.  :)

Both of these characters' lives have, in one way or another, been affected by war.  They live in an army town, and both of their fathers served...would be serving still if one hadn't been honorably discharged and the other hadn't been killed in action.  And maybe under different circumstances, they could have bonded over this shared grief.

But when your father's been charged with murder, no one's likely to give you the benefit of the doubt.  And doubt is everywhere in this story.  Emily starts to doubt her father's innocence.  Damon starts to doubt whether his memories from that night can be trusted.  He even begins to wonder at his own innocence. I even started to doubt whether Damon was a reliable narrator anymore.

If I'm being completely honest, it didn't take me very long into the story to figure out who the real guilty party was.  But it was still terribly intriguing to watch the puzzle pieces fit into place, to watch the characters come a bit unglued as it happened.  Lucy Christopher is a master at capturing the setting of her story, and some of my favorite parts in this novel were of Emily and Damon's time spent traipsing through the dark woods. Christopher managed to make those woods both alluring and beautiful but also creepy and dangerous.

My favorite kinds of psychological thrillers are those told by an unreliable narrator, and so that's probably a big part of why I enjoyed this novel so much.  I can't say for sure that I would have loved the story as much if I hadn't listened to the audio because those narrators did make the story that much more fantastic. But I think that if you've enjoyed Christopher's previous books, there's a good chance that you'll like this one, too.  It doesn't pack the emotion of Stolen but the writing is still just as brilliant.

GIF it to me straight:
Profile Image for Rayne.
862 reviews287 followers
August 7, 2015
2.5 stars

What a waste of a perfectly good story. The first 50 pages or so are very engrossing, but then the mystery, the characters and the story itself fall through the cracks that being overly ambitious left in this book. The book should've settled in just one of the two POVs. There was no need for both of them, and the shifting between the two hurt the suspense in the novel for no purpose whatsoever. I understand the allure of both characters for both of them were interesting enough to warrant attention to their stories, but by choosing both, neither got the development they needed. Emily remained a fairly static character that contributed nothing to the narrative and Damon's increasing psychological unrest felt manufactured and forced. Neither ever truthfully contributed to the tension in the novel with their unraveling psyches, and to force some blossoming attraction between them added nothing to the novel and was far too strained, even though it was barely developed in the story.

The novel loses momentum far too soon, decelerating abruptly and slowing down to a repetitive crawl. No effort whatsoever was made into hiding the actual culprits and secondary characters were brought back into existence and then quickly forgotten whenever it was necessary. Emily and Damon made for some pretty boring leads, even though they started the novel as the complete opposite. The rest of the characters aren't even worth mentioning for they left no impression whatsoever. The only semi-interesting character in the novel was the dead girl as she was presented through memories and flashbacks, but I hated the way in which she was characterized. The only remarkable character in the entire narrative and she was given barely any characterization at all, just enough to subtly demonized to the point that it felt like the story itself was saying, not only that she was partially responsible, but that she deserved what happened to her. And that's it for female characters. The other three female characters besides the MC are a backstabbing ex-best friend, a random Muslim girl (only character of color in the entire novel) that has one line in the entire novel, and the MC's drunk mother. Yay for female representation. Not that the male representation fares any better as they are all equally flat and uninspiring, but at least a bit more effort and numbers were given to them.

Deliberately short of details to prolong a predictable mystery, an overwritten story that still left characters vastly underdeveloped, and an emotionally bereft narrative make The Killing Woods a very underwhelming book that truly had the potential for so much more.
Profile Image for Jeann (Happy Indulgence) .
1,006 reviews3,574 followers
January 11, 2014
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

Creepy, dark stories are certainly ones that I enjoy, for the way they can scare you from a few well written passages. The Killing Woods is written around a deep, dark forest where a dangerous game is played within it which leads to an unexpected murder of a popular girl, Ashlee.

The suspect of the murder is a war veteran who walks into his home carrying the dead body. He suffers from hallucinations and PTSD (yes, my 3rd PTSD book this month!) and has no recollection of committing the murder but blames it on his visions. Narrated by the veteran’s daughter, and the boyfriend of the victim, The Killing Woods delivers a haunting, atmospheric tale full of twists and dark secrets. This is the part of the story that was done well, describing the secrets that the woods hold from hidden evidence, to a bunker filled with disturbing images, and the dangerous suicide rock where people can fall to their deaths.

Emily is set out to find out the truth when her father admits to manslaughter, and she’s subjected to bullying from everyone including her friends. I questioned some of her actions, like why she would hang around the woods at night following a murder, why she would go after Damon’s friends and why she had this perverse attraction to Damon, and the story didn’t explore some of these tangents. Luckily there’s no romance story here because there is no place for it here, given who the narrators are.

Damon on the other hand, was difficult to connect to. His perspective is filled with angst, as he was taking drugs the night his girlfriend died, so he has trouble recollecting his memories. Amongst all the guilt, confusion and angst are sexual thoughts about Ashlee which were really weird to read about as they are intermixed with his darker emotions. Damon also obsesses about “The Game” a lot which he and his friends play in the woods, and we constantly hear about it throughout the book.

The Killing Woods explores some of the darker parts of life, like murder, suicide, psychological trauma, drug abuse and sex, so it’s definitely not for younger readers or the faint hearted. I think the book could do with a bit of tightening up, and the author’s note at the end admits that she first created the forest and the rest came after it. This shows in the story, it’s pulled off in an inconsistent, repetitive manner with an unlikable male character.
Profile Image for Emma.
224 reviews38 followers
March 11, 2014
The similarities between these novels is that they are YA Mystery/Thriller. Unlike Fracture, I was very much more hesitant to read this. It was recommended me to me several times and I read some highly appraised reviews. This one had hype written all over it. So I didn't read it straight away, I read it when I felt comfortable and wasn't forced too because of the hype and the release date. I knew what I was getting into and for me that lowers my overall rating of this book.

When Emily Shepard's dad returns from Afghanistan he is subjected to reliving his memories, reliving his flashbacks. He had been classed unfit for duty, so when he returns one night with a body of a girl in his hands, they think he killed her, they think he's crazy. But Emily doesn't believe the word or rumours on the street, not will she succumb to them even if her mum has. She is determined to fight for her, even if it takes her a very dark and dangerous path. At first Emily was a different and challenging character to contend with. I found her quite a strong and profound character despite having her moments of weakness.

However, alongside Emily's story was Damon Hilary's, Ashlee Parker's aka the victim's boyfriend. I admired Damon's side of the story, I saw a very distinct contrast between the main character's even though this tragic death brings all the more together. Damon is the key and that's why I enjoyed his side a lot more. His loss of memory on the night of Ashlee's death makes it that much more thrilling and intriguing. Although its 'the Game' presents an even more desirable nature to the mystery of The Killing Woods.

At first I found Lucy's writing quite daring and not all something I would find myself reading. But once the two perspectives begun to entwine together that was when I started to really started to feel part of the chase, the person between both stories try to figure them out. Although what was really inspiring was the ending, it was tied together in a neat little knot with know unanswered questions. Just knowing that everything will be ok...

Despite the hype, I thought that Lucy Christopher created a very moving, chilling atmospheric and adrenaline fueled psychological thriller.

Rating - 3.5/4
Profile Image for Sam Valladolid.
212 reviews109 followers
July 1, 2014

Me gusto mas de lo que imaginaba. Este libro lo compre en un arrebato, la portada me llamo la atención y la sinopsis era muy tentadora así que no lo dude, simplemente lo compré. Llegando a casa decidi buscar reseñas y/o comentarios en goodreads acerca de el y ¿Que sucedió? Que leí tantos comentarios de lectores decepcionados que estaba a punto de regresar el libro... pero le di una oportunidad.

Tan bajas eran mis expectativas que terminó por gustarme la historia mas de lo que imaginaba. Es un libro que se me mantuvo intrigada todo el tiempo. Si, lo se, es la típica historia estilo Scooby Doo acerca de ¿Quien será el asesino?. El final es predecible y en general el libro no tiene nada que sea muy destacable pero si algo me gustó fue el estilo de la autora. Su prosa es magnífica.

Los protagonistas carecen de originalidad, personalmente siento que Lucy Christopher no supo manejar perfectamente las emociones, de hecho, había muchos momentos en que no creía nada de lo que sentían y despues de un rato se volvía todo muy repetivo. Hubo momentos en el que se volvieron completamente desesperantes. Damon solo repetía "Si Ashlee estuviera aquí" "Recuerdo cuando Ashelee y yo..." Mientras que Emily solo repetía "Si mi padre estuviera aquí" "Recuerdo cuando mi padre y yo ...". Si chicos, en el libro se repiten estas frases una y otra y otra vez. Es una lástima pues realmente el libro pudo ser mucho mejor.

No es una lectura para cualquiera, puede resultar tediosa y aburrida. Hay mucho mejores thrillers y si eres de los que leen muchos libros de suspenso casi apostaría que no te gustará.

Personalmente me ha encantado la descripción del lugar donde ocurren los hechos. El Bosque. Me gustó mucho leer cada vez que Emily se refería al bosque como su hogar, casi podia oler el suve aroma a pino y tierra mojada. Me gustó transportarme a ese bosque tan humedo, silencioso, rocoso, y misterioso. Creo que es un grandioso libro para leer en una tarde nublada.

Bueno, en general no es un gran libro, pero es bueno para pasar tardes de aburrimiento. No se hagan ilusiones con la historia, no tiene nada maravilloso ni muy interesante pero el simple hecho de tener la curiosidad del misterio que rodea la muerte de Ashlee hace que den ganas de acabarlo.

Profile Image for Kristen.
167 reviews77 followers
December 28, 2014
I received this book as a first-reads. Thank you!
4/5 stars

The Skinny:

Emily’s dad suffers from PTSD and is prone to intense flashbacks, which makes the fact that he carried a dead girl’s body out of the woods near their house seem even more suspicious. Emily, convinced of her dad’s innocence, sets out to discover the truth. Along the way her path continually crosses that of Damon Hillary, the murdered girl’s boyfriend. Emily furiously tries unraveling what happened, but everyone has their secrets, including the woods she has grown to love.

The review:

Emily and Damon were the two main characters, and boy did I feel for them. At times, it seemed as if their thoughts/problems were running parallel to one another. Emily was trying to prove her dad innocent, but in doing so, had to deal with the whispers of doubt starting to obstruct her view. All the while Emily recounts the good times with her dad, which made me feel so sad for her. Damon was also trying to figure out what happened, but was trying to piece together a very different type of puzzle; he was trying to recall the events of “that night” from a memory fragmented by drugs and alcohol. At a certain point it seemed that both Emily and Damon were walking along a precipice, and that their frantic thoughts were going to drive them both over the edge. Being able to witness the anguish that both characters dealt with due to their tormented thoughts drew me into the story. At the end I was flipping pages like a madwoman, because I desperately wanted to see Emily and Damon beat “the demons” of doubt and uncertainty.


This book worked for me because I felt for Emily and Damon. I bought into their characters, and their uncertainties, which kept me invested in the story. Someone who couldn’t connect with the characters might not enjoy this book that much, but I could, and I friggin loved it.
Profile Image for Heather *sad DNF queen*.
Author 19 books461 followers
January 29, 2014
I really wanted to love this book. The synopsis sounded SO GOOD. I also really liked Stolen, so I was looking forward to reading this. Something went wrong for me in this book, though not terribly so. It was just a little . . . rushed? Not in-depth enough?

The thoughts of the characters were strong, but not their relationships to each other. I always sort of dread alternating viewpoints, and it wasn't very exciting here. Although I did find the thoughts of both characters interesting, I kind of wish the author had chosen one character to tell the story and found another way to move the plot forward without relying on two narrators.

I liked the dichotomy of Damon being sort of dangerous and sexually experienced and Emily being innocent by contrast. Unfortunately, the characterizations of the two main characters didn't go much further than that. I felt there was nothing to them outside of their reactions to the situation. Also I'm not sure why Damon sometimes spoke/thought like he had a sloppy education (using 'don't' when it should have been 'doesn't', etc).

The romance wasn't really a romance, but Damon and Emily's connection seemed to happen for no good reason. There just wasn't enough meaningful interaction between them, unless their feelings were driven by simple teenage lust, which is possible considering there was no talk or thoughts of love. Damon's thoughts of violence toward Emily were surprisingly interesting (thankfully, he never acted on those), but I would have liked for their relationship to be fleshed out some more.

I think this book should have been much more amazing, but I feel rather indifferent to it.

An ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review.
Profile Image for Kirsty .
3,223 reviews329 followers
January 27, 2015
A really compelling read which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Killing Woods is the latest offering from Lucy Christopher, an author whose debut novel Stolen I loved, and quite honestly I have been desperate to get my hands on a copy for a while now. I'm glad to report it lived up my increasingly high expectations.

I won't say too much as the story because I don't want to spoil it at all but I will say it kept me guessing throughout and I loved how the story twisted and turned as it progressed. I loved the main character Emily and was fascinated with her story as her world fell down around her. It was really telling when you looked at the role the press played in making the situation she was dealing with so much worse.

A fascinating novel about trust and loyal and believing in your own convictions.
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