What She Found in the Woods by Josephine Angelini
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am a lover of thrillers; it doesn’t matter if they are YA or adult or if I’ve seen the trope before. I’ve read all of Josephine Angelini’s YA fantasy books and loved them so when I saw that she was writing a YA thriller? Yes. Please.!
What She Found in the Woods has everything I look for in a thriller. Suspense, mystery, red herrings, unreliable narrator, lies and manipulation. Magdalena is a girl with a dark shameful past but this is all revealed slowly and cleverly through Magda’s journal entries and her real-life revelations. After spending the last 9 months in a mental hospital, Magda is released to her shallow grandparents in the Pacific Northwest. She spends the majority of her free time in the surrounding forest at a spot that is calming to her. This is where she meets Bo, a wild and beautiful boy that she feels an immediate attraction to. But Bo has secrets, too.
The pacing was perfect, moving along with clever plot twists and reveals, never really giving anything away until the end. The guessing throughout of other characters agenda’s or motivations is one of my favorite things about thrillers. I was never quite sure who Magda should trust or if she was trustworthy herself, even though I was really drawn to her as a character.
There are some delicate social issues within the book; drugs and drug dependency, mental illness and the stigma that goes with it. The lack of support from friends and loved ones in these settings or the manipulation of someone who is in just such a situation, is soul-crushing.
This is a four-star read for me and I think that anyone who enjoys the genre will definitely enjoy What She Found in the Woods.
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