What She Found in the Woods is an addictive and all-consuming thriller with a twist from the internationally bestselling author of the Starcrossed series, Josephine Angelini.
Synopsis from Goodreads
Thank you to Net Galley and Macmillan Children's Books for sending me a copy of What She Found in the Woods in exchange for an honest review.
I'm a huge fan of Josephine Angelini's Starcrossed trilogy, so I was excited to learn about her upcoming standalone novel. This time she's given us a contemporary story about a teen struggling to understand fact from fiction as this small town deals with a troubling drug addiction and a rising death toll. With the past and present intertwining, this was a really interesting story to dive into.
Slow and Steady Interweaving of Past and Present
I love the mystery of Magdalena’s history and how it slowly unravels for us! There’s so much we do t know about her and Angelini has done a great job of bringing us in Lena’s journey of self-realization. She’s so numb to the world because of the meds that she’s on, so figuring out why she’s on them is a big draw, as is reading about her reaction too and relationship with Bo, the only person who makes her feel something. There are some moments that we really question Lena’s sanity and trustworthiness as a narrator, but I loved reading this from her point of view.
Loved Bo and Magda
Bo and his family are so interesting that I wish we had more time with them to learn about them! Beyond that, I really enjoyed his and Magda's relationship and reading about them getting to know each other. This is a boy who has never kissed anyone entering a relationship with a girl who has had more boyfriends that she can count; the dynamic could have been off, but Angelini does a great job having these character engage and learn to trust each other in an organic way. I just though they were so cute!
Not A Huge Mystery Build Up
I realized after reading that one element of the story that I didn't connect with as much was the creepy realization that someone is watching Magda when she's in the woods. I would have loved some insight into the watcher's thoughts as he studies and stalks her; it would have added that extra element of creepy to the story. That said, that's clearly a personal preference and I don't think that the single point of view was a bad call -- Madga already has a lot in her head that readers have to juggle!
Overall, this was an interesting story and I completely dove into it. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down! I'm thrilled that Angelini has written another book and I would highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of her writing, who enjoys light YA mysteries or YA contemporary fiction, or anyone looking for an interesting fall read. What She Found In the Woods comes out September 3rd!
FINAL RATING: 3.5/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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