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After the Woods

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  2,384 ratings  ·  525 reviews
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.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 23rd 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Popular Answered Questions
Kim Savage Yes! After the Woods has no sequel. My next thriller, title TBA, comes out in 2017. Stay tuned!
Kim Savage What a great question. I think the best explanation is this. After the Woods is about a teenage girl trying to acclimate to high school life after she…moreWhat a great question. I think the best explanation is this. After the Woods is about a teenage girl trying to acclimate to high school life after she's had this surreal experience. Everything seems foreign to her, including herself. She doesn't identify with other girls her age, and she capitalizes the word in her mind to differentiate herself from them, as an almost separate species. Does that make sense?

And, did I mention I LOVE that question? Thank you so much for asking!(less)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,384 ratings  ·  525 reviews

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Emily May
May 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I become very still, trying to make myself shapeless so he’ll forget I am a GIRL, because that feels the most dangerous of all.

4 1/2 stars. After the Woods is a really strong debut. It's a taut, psychological thriller that is more about intricate relationships and family secrets than it is a "whodunnit?"

The premise of "two girls go into a wood" sounds all too familiar, and yet this book pulls away from the rest of the pile, standing out as one of the best YA thrillers I've ever read. Mostly
Mar 29, 2016 marked it as did-not-finish
I read about half of this and wasn't enjoying it so I just skipped and read the last chapter to know what happened. ...more
Those that frequent at my blog or read my reviews on Goodreads have probably noticed that YA contemporary is my jam! But while I read a lot of contemporary, the books I pick out usually tend to be more of a romantic nature or coming-of-age stories rather than mysteries and thrillers. I think in fact that this was only the second YA mystery/thriller I've read during 2015. If all YA mysteries/thrillers I've read before would have left me feeling like this, mysteries and thrillers would be the only ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

When they found me alive
the reporters called it

Julia and Liv go into the woods for a jog one evening. But it didn't turn out as they had planned.


They get attacked by a man, he has Liv penned and Julia takes it upon herself to try to help her friend. She gets hurt in the process and her friend runs away....

Not everything is as it seems in this book. I thought the mystery was very good, I couldn't put the book down until
Erin Dunn
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites

I've been dying to get my hands on this baby since I first saw it pop up on Goodreads. From page one of After the Woods I was really invested in the story. It's such a compelling book and the whole time I was desperate to know what actually happened in the woods.

Let me just say that while I loved the book, I didn't like anyone in the book. This isn't a book where you love the characters, this is a book where you get swept up into the story and the mystery
Lala BooksandLala
Mar 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: hard-hitting
Hmmm I don't know about this one. Maybe a 3.5? ...more
“How can something so bright be so cold?”
― Kim Savage, After the Woods

I thought this was going to be a DNF but I finished it tonight. It is a pretty short book.

So this book is YA literature and the plot, which I will not spend a long time on, involves two girls who go jogging in the woods and encounter a deranged killer. When he holds one girl at knife point, the other girl Julia, rushes him, saving her friend. Julia basically takes her friend's place. But her friend, Liv, just..leaves. Runs aw
Initial reaction: I might be the minority opinion on this one, but despite an interesting protagonist and beginning with intriguing details, the presentation of this mystery was severely disorganized and lacking for what it was trying to do. It took tangents that didn't really gel with the overarching story, and somehow I felt all the characters save for Julia were stereotypes. I feel like the ending was obvious and forced.

Full review:

Hoo-boy. :( I'm kind of struggling in the aftermath of read
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars
This must be the year for thrillers and mystery in the young adult genre and I couldn't be happier for it.

Savage's foray into the genre was a hit with her fast paced thriller that will keep you on edge and turning the pages.

Julia has just about everything a good heroine in these type of reads should have. Strong, fierce, loyal, and one heck of a witty sarcastic attitude that is hard not to love, oh yeah, she's also a fighter. Not in the kick butt sense but in the do whatever she has to
May 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
Sadly, this was one of those books that I felt completely disconnected from.

I don't know what it is that hooks a reader. Maybe it's how well they can relate to the characters or if the plot captures their attention and manages to blow any other thought from their mind. Maybe a person liking a book merely depends on their mood at the time of them reading it.

After the Woods never had me interested in what was going to happen next - which is funny, considering it's a mystery novel.

The plot opens w
Mar 01, 2016 rated it did not like it

I sit here reviewing this storyline and the poor editing and I'm simply blown away at the high reviews.

This poor author was never given guidance, and while it had potential to be good, no one said to her "get your shit together, tighten it up."

This book was a mess. Storyline was all over the place. It was as though the author wanted to hit all the boxes in her book. Mystery, check. Betrayal, check. Suspense, check. Romance, check. Abuse, check. But here's the thing, they were thrown
Jeff Zentner
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Imagine beginning a walk in a fog-enshrouded November forest at dusk. As the light fails you, you walk deeper and deeper in, picking your way along as branches tug at your sleeves and roots seem to reach up to trip you. It's quiet in the way of places with no memory; where people go in and sometimes never come out. But you press on because it's beautiful and because your desire to see what lies around the next bend overcomes the dread lurking at your mind's margins.

That's pretty much what readi
Almost one year ago, Julia spent two days in the woods, fleeing from a man who first attacked her best friend, Liv, and then held Julia hostage after she broke her ankle saving Liv. As the anniversary of “the Shiverton Abduction” approaches, Julia struggles with PTSD, lost memories, and another mystery -- why is Liv acting so weird?
I read this book mainly because it’s set in a state park located less than a kilometer from my house. A park I’ve spent a lot of time in, and hiked every trail of a
Sara (sarawithoutanH)
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
I really enjoyed this book. The first half is especially good. I really liked the main character, although she tried her best to be unlikable. I predicted the resolution fairly early on, but it's not often that a thriller shocks me. I also have really low expectations for YA thrillers, so this left me pleasantly surprised.

While it was a very enjoyable reading experience, you might notice I only rated this 3-stars. This was a for a few reasons:

1. The romance was COMPLETELY unnecessary. If it ha
Sarah Ahiers
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an arc of this book in return for a fair review.

This. Book. Was great.

I mean, I would have picked it up for the gorgeous cover alone, but even if it had no cover, I would have been intrigued.

A year ago Julia was kidnapped by a man she and her friend literally ran into while jogging in the woods. Julia saved her friend Liv, who ran away, leaving Julia alone to face her abductor. But Julia was a survivor and escaped.
The people around Julia want her to get her life back on track. Liv wa
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

It is not often that I pick up a book and read it without setting it down. After the Woods is an incredibly fast-paced book that really surprises and keeps the reader guessing. It is definitely not a horror novel, for those who are hesitant to give it a go. There is also a super heroic (literally) and brave main character that the reader will just fall in love with, making After the Woods an enjoyable and thrilling read.

After the Woods is so fast-paced and genuinel
Jen Brooks
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read an early version of this book as a member of the Freshman Fifteens. After the Woods is about a pair of best friends who go into the woods one day . . . and only one comes out. The story is a psychological thriller exploring the relationship of these two girls--the one who was originally targeted and the one who sacrificed herself to save her friend. As the narrative unfolds, the reader sees the consequences both girls face because of that day while simultaneously divulging pieces of what ...more
Dec 16, 2015 rated it liked it
This was interesting. The first half of this I was really enjoying because it just wasn't what I was expecting at all. The trope of two girls go into the woods and only one comes out is very common so when it went in a different direction I was intrigued and excited.

Then...I read the last 50%.

I'm not quite sure what happened. The story was all over the place for me. I lost the connection to the main character because by the half way point I feel like the characters still weren't fleshed out eno
S.M. Parker
Dec 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Do you like your psychological thrillers dark? Compelling? Complicated? Then read the first harrowing scene in After the Woods and try to put it down. (spoiler alert: you won’t be able to). Savage’s debut tells a tale of the warped lengths a person will go to in order to discover (or hide) their true self. Her characters are haunted and hunted, and she’ll keep you guessing about the real enemy right up until the end. AFTER THE WOODS is only the beginning of a journey that will take you to Before ...more
Aug 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
I'm not entirely sure what to think about this one.

I loved Julia. She's an awesome MC and I loved being in her head. I loved the way she spouted statistics and how she worked to find the truth of what happened and why.

The setting was quite creepy and the woods being used in the way they were was quite effective. There were also some great secondary characters who felt like they weren't really fleshed out. That was also a great way at showing how Julia was a bit ostracized.

My main complaint is
Nemo (The Moonlight Library)
A year ago, Julia Spunk sacrificed herself to save her best friend from a paroled predator in the woods. Now a girl’s body has been found, and Julia’s new therapist is upending memories she’d suppressed of her terrifying 48 hour ordeal. But Julia’s more interested in the downward spiral her BFF Liv has gotten herself into, dating an abusive boy and starving herself. How is it all linked?


So the basic plot, without giving away too many spoilers, is that Julia and Liv were attacked in the woods
Jen Ryland
At first I wasn't sure about this one, but I ended up really enjoying it. Not the typical "girl in peril" book, this is the story of the aftermath of a girl's trauma and deals with PTSD, friendship, and family issues. Julia's narration had a snarky dry humor that reminded me of Libby Day in Dark Places.Even though I'm usually skeptical of the inclusion of romance in books like this, there was one and it worked for me.

Full review to come.

Read more of my reviews on YA Romantics or follow me on Blo
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Grade: A-
4.5 stars

Sometimes I read a book that's so compelling, I start and can't stop until I'm finished. The sign of an even better novel is when I keep stopping, because that story is so mesmerizing I can't bear the thought of finishing. AFTER THE WOODS grabbed me by the throat as I fell in love with Julia, who saved her best friend Liv from a madman only to have been captured for two harrowing days before escaping herself.

But AFTER THE WOODS is so much more than a story of survival. Debut wr
I thought this was damn good, and I might actually end up bumping it up to a five. Great voice, compelling story, really solid debut.
Review to come.
rin ( ̄ヘ ̄)	 read/watch mo dao zu shi
Being kidnapped has always been my phobia. For example, when I was 5 y.o. I ran away screaming from my neighbour. The old kind lady just offered me a candy, and I thought that she was going to kidnap me, because my mom told me not to talk to strangers. So this woman was confused and I was terrified lol. At the same time, I find books about it oddly..fascinating? So when I had came across this one and read a blurb, I decided to read the book immediately.

The book is about two girls, Julia and Liv,
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
So I agree with others when they said they consumed this book in one sitting. Along a lovely beach today, I laid in the sun and completely devoured this story. The first half was just amazing. The writing really drew me in, the character was funny and sarcastic and she'd been through such a major trauma that it was fascinating to see who she was on the other side of it.

Adding in the drama of Liv and the reporters and police issues and this was really working up to be an amazing thriller.

Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Definitey enjoyed this book, if not I wouldn't have stayed up waaay to late and read over 150 pages not noticing the time flying. Now that I've finished the book I realize I should have been asleep like 4 hours ago. But I'm sure my fellow bookworms can relate. Some books are hard to put down!

Anyways, this is a book I have to think about before I can properly rate and review it. I need to gather my thoughts after some sleep.

Review coming up!
Ashley Blake
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Hoo boy, this book is one wild, atmospheric, voice-y ride. I loved Julia from page one, with all her grit, vulnerability, and drive. I loved Savage's language, all at once lyrical and teen and perfectly dramatic. This is one for thriller-lovers! ...more
Victoria Coe
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Smart, well-written, completely absorbing!
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, february-2016
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight
After the Woods was actually different than I thought it would be, but I assure you it's in a good way. It's very psychologically and character driven, while still maintaining the mystery aspect.

Since it's aptly titled, After the Woods takes place, you know, after Julia was kidnapped in the woods (see what they did there?), we know she's physically okay in this moment. But as you'd imag
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KIM SAVAGE is the author of three critically acclaimed young adult novels, After the Woods (Kirkus, Booklist starred), Beautiful Broken Girls (Kirkus star, Kirkus 10 Best YA of 2017), and In Her Skin (YALSA Best YA 2019), all with Farrar, Straus, Giroux/Macmillan. Her novels have been published in Spain, Brazil, and Turkey, and have been optioned for TV. Kim presents at conferences and book festiv ...more

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