ARC review – The Woods

Title: The woods.

Author: RL Toalson.

Format: E-arc.

Publisher: Yellow Jacket.

Page count: 480.

Release day: September 17th 2019.

Genre: Middle grade, Magical realism.

Rating: 3.5 stars.

*Thanks to Edelweiss for providing this ARC!*

What is it about? (Summary from GoodReads)

After a tragic explosion causes Lenora to lose her family, she goes to live with her estranged uncle at his estate. There, Lenora is drawn to the nearby woods and the magic she discovers within them. Can this magic reunite her with her family, or is it more sinister than she realizes?

Twelve-year-old Lenora’s world is turned upside down after an explosion makes her the lone surviving member of her immediate family. She has nowhere to go, until her estranged Uncle Richard shows up and takes her away to live with him in his lonely mansion. Quiet and stern, he spends most of his time in his study conducting research and experimenting. Lenora is able to explore parts of the mansion and its lovely gardens, but Uncle Richard has one rule for her: Stay out of the woods.

Years ago, Lenora’s cousin, Bobby went into Gilgevnah Woods and never came out. Now, Uncle Richard will do anything he can to destroy them. Lenora knows she is meant to stay away, but her grief and loneliness draw her in. 

Upon entering the woods, she finds a world full of enchantment and beauty. Lenora befriends Bela the Scorlaman, keeper of Gilgevnah Woods, who shows her the wonder and the mystery of the place, but also promises to reunite her with her family. Is it too good to be true?

Will Lenora find peace in the magic of Gilgevnah Woods, or will she find something darker?

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My thoughts:

This book starts of quite heavy! With her whole family dying..:(

This was a beautiful story about grief and Lenora trying to deal with all that happened. Her losing all her family on the same day and having to move in with her Uncle, who she has never met before.

My main ‘complaint’ about this book is that it is too long, halfway through the book we enter the woods for the first time. So all the different scenes in this book are really dragged out, and I think there were some ‘unnecessary’ parts in the book.

This was quite a good book, but as I mentioned before, I think it was a bit too slow.. I kept putting it down because it just didn’t keep my attention, so that’s a bit sad because it is good book!

I really liked (maybe this is not the right word?!) seeing her struggle between her grief and wanting to see her family and wanting to support her uncle.

I enjoyed the magical part of this book. The woods sound amazing, but you know something is wrong with it, and you kinda try to figure it out!

This book is sold as Middle Grade, but I would say it’s best for the upper side of middle grade. Because of the length of the book and the heavy topics!

Happy reading!

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