A spooky novel just in time for Halloween! This story follows 3 women and their experience in a haunted forest! I was worried it would be too scary (I really don’t like horror) but it was more creepy and suspenseful than anything else. There’s definitely more focus on the story itself than scare tactics so I really appreciated that!
Everyone in Arnn – a small farming town with more legends than residents – knows the story of Witchwood Hollow: if you venture into the whispering forest, the witch will trap your soul among the shadowed trees.
After losing her parents in a horrific terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, fifteen-year-old Honoria and her older brother escape New York City to Arnn. In the lure of that perpetual darkness, Honoria finds hope, when she should be afraid. Perhaps the witch can reunite her with her lost parents. Awakening the witch, however, brings more than salvation from mourning, for Honoria discovers a past of missing children and broken promises.
To save the citizens of Arnn from becoming the witch’s next victims, she must find the truth behind the woman’s madness.
How deep into Witchwood Hollow does Honoria dare venture? Goodreads
The book is told from three different perspectives and in three different times. All of them take place in the same town of Arnn and the town’s cursed woods. While I enjoyed having each of these perspectives, and they’re definitely needed to tell the story, I felt very differently about each of the characters. Honoria was my favourite, perhaps because she is in the present time so I can most closely relate to her, but I think she was just the strongest character. She felt a lot like a “real teen” and it was really easy to follow her POV.
I also liked Honoria’s interactions with the other characters. There is the set-up for a potential love interest and I’ve seen some people concerned that this might follow another one of the overdone love-triangle storylines. This is not the case for this book. While there are some conflicts that come up because of who’s involved with who, it’s all done really respectfully, both by the author and the characters involved, and I really like that the friendships Mierek created were able to handle these difficulties so well!
Unfortunately, I didn’t like the other characters as much. Albertine especially really got on my nerves. She came off as very whiny so I was relieved when I finished her chapters and got back to the other characters. There were moments where she shined but she didn’t feel as strongly written as the others in this book.
There were also some aspects of the book that made it a little more difficult for me to understand. The best part of these interwoven perspectives is that the year and month of each entry is given so you won’t get confused in the timeline ordering. However, I had some issue with the dialogue of some of the characters. For Albertine, she begins in England but aside from the literal dialogue that said “I’m in England!” (not word-for-word :P) I wasn’t able to pick up on that from the dialogue or the description of her chapters. For Lady Clifford, the oldest character in this book, her dialogue felt incredibly awkward and formal. I understand that her dialogue was altered to try to match the period but it didn’t work well. It just felt like it was marked as different but not actually representative of the way people during that time would speak.
I did really like this book but a lot had to do with the majority of the book being in Honoria’s perspective! Still, the story was incredibly interesting and suspenseful, and really difficult to put down once you get wrapped up in the mystery. I think what made it stand out so well was that ending. It is really powerful and so unexpected! But it does cement the story and it’s a way to come full-circle.
This likely isn’t a book that will scare you but it’ll certainly keep you on edge! Do you have any Halloween-themed books you’re reading right now!
Hope you all get your candy-fill this holiday!
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review