Review of The Killing Woods

Posted February 4, 2014 by Stormi in Book Reviews, Review Archive / 2 Comments

Review of The Killing Woods

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher
Genres: Crime, Romantic Suspense, YA
Published by Scholastic Press on January 7th
Pages: 389
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

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Ashlee Parker is dead, and Emily Shepherd's dad is accused of the crime. A former soldier suffering from PTSD, he emerges from the woods carrying the girl's broken body. "Gone," he says, then retreats into silence.

What really happened that wild night? Emily knows in her bones that her father is innocent -- isn't he? Before he's convicted, she's got to find out the truth. Does Damon Hilary, Ashlee's charismatic boyfriend, have the answers? Or is he only playing games with her -- the kinds of games that can kill?

The Killing Game is my first book by this author and I thought it to be sort of a chaotic mess.  In the end there is an important lesson to be learned but it was getting to the end that felt a little erratic.

The book is in the two POV’s and both of the characters are a mess because of the death of Ashlee. Emily’s father is being accused of murder because he comes out the woods with Ashlee’s body. He has PTSD from his time in the military and they think he was having one of his flashbacks when he killed her. Emily is now an outcast at school, but she also doesn’t believe her father  could be a killer and sets out to prove it.

Damon was Ashlee’s boyfriend and he is a real mess. He wakes up and can’t remember what happened the night before because of the drugs. He thinks he remembers walking Ashlee to the short track but he really can’t remember. He believes that Emily’s father killed his girlfriend and he wants to make his daughter pay.

Both Damon and Emily are so confused in what they believe is the truth and the more each of them try to figure things out the more chaotic it gets. Emily makes Damon think that he could have had more to do with what happened to Ashlee than he first believes, but then Emily also starts thinking that maybe her father did do it. Back and forth it’s a very chaotic and intense ride.

Ashlee wasn’t the girl that Damon thought she was, she wanted to play the Game but she was playing it in a whole different way and you start to figure out what she was doing towards the end. I had pretty much guessed who the killer was and just waited to see if I was right. Though the reason behind it I wasn’t sure of until the end.

The strange sort of way the author puts Damon and Emily together as potential love interest was just  a little to weird for me. Unless you think of it as strange teenage hormones because I didn’t get it. Emily hates Damon but wants to kiss him. Damon hates Emily but wants to put his hands on her?? Just to freaky for me.

Even though at times it could be intense I just found the pacing to be slow and a bit repetitive.  I was curious enough about what happened to keep going but I think I was just expecting a different story line or something.

The selections below were taken from the eArc and could possible be changed in the final copy.

I know… she’s saying. I know what you want. There’s a whispery, chilling feeling around my neck. I see a million damp brown leaves…her pink collar…my arms clasping it all to me.
Your’re not the only one I play with…
Emily’s words are back now too, everything she’d said on the Leap: There was someone else…Dad just found Ashlee that night, he was trying to help.


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2 responses to “Review of The Killing Woods

  1. Ooh, I saw this book somewhere but lost it before I could get it on my TBR. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much as you expected. I’ve definitely had the experience of expecting one story and getting something different.

  2. I used to work at Whsmiths and I saw this book around around all of the time.

    I hate it when a book at the thing where you want to find out what happens but the pacing is terrible. That is when it becomes a chore to read something!

    Great review! 🙂 xx

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