Winterwood – Published 2019
“Be careful of the dark, dark wood…
Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.
Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.
But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.
For as long as there have been fairy tales, we have been warned to fear what lies within the dark, dark woods and in Winterwood, New York Times bestselling author Shea Ernshaw, shows us why.
From New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep comes a haunting romance perfect for fans of Practical Magic,where dark fairy tales and enchanted folklore collide after a boy, believed to be missing, emerges from the magical woods—and falls in love with the witch determined to unravel his secrets.” – Goodreads
WHAT I LIKED
I haven’t been interested in a fantasy in so long, and I don’t know why. YA Fantasy, for me, is kind of like spaghetti. It rarely ever sounds good, but it’s never gross, and I never regret having it. And once I have it, I’m like, “Why don’t we eat this more often?”
Complete transparency: I read this book because the cover was beautiful and the outer edges of the pages were bright blue. Everytime I looked at my shelf it caught my attention, and I am so glad it did. I didn’t even realize until I opened it that it was written by the same author that wrote The Wicked Deep, which I adored!
I love books where the characters are secluded from the rest of the world, and Nora’s really isolated from pretty much everyone, except an old man that lives near the lake, her wolf/dog and anyone she encounters in the woods. The snow, the woods, the closed roads, the frozen lake, the lack of electricity and the bitter cold temperatures make this a perfect winter read.
In addition to the cold, dark setting, the writing and plot was haunting and addictive. Once I got started with this book I finished it in two sittings and had to start another one immediately after, which I don’t normally do, because I was worried I’d go to bed thinking about it, and therefore have bad dreams. It was written so beautifully and had everything from thrill, to love, and to horror.
WHAT I DID NOT LIKE
A lot of people said the story is predictable, but I think that’s just us older readers of YA who may have seen a certain movie in which we were totally blindsided by the ending. Lemme know if you catch my drift on that one…
There was one gaping hole in the story for me, but, in the scheme of things, it’s not really that important. What ever happened with her mother? Did she come back? Did she stay away forever?