Author: Chelsea Bobulski
Rated T for teen time traveling and strange angst in the deep dark wood
Beware the wood.
Winter never asked to be the guardian of the wood and its many portals, but after her father died she didn’t have any choice. She patrols the wood and tends to those who come through the portals, making sure they get home. It seems lately that something strange is happening in the wood. There’s a darkness seeping into it, poisoning it, but she doesn’t know what to do.
When Henry comes through a time portal, Winter struggles to try to get him back to where he belongs. She prolongs it when he tells her he can help her solve why the wood is being poisoned and adds that he wants to help her find out what happened to her father.
This book was pretty strange from the get-go. History, time portals, and a girl just trying to have a normal teenage life. I’ve seen stranger mash-ups, but this one makes the list too. The rules of the wood: don’t stray from the path, be out before sundown…adds to the weirdness. I just don’t know…it didn’t really click for me. The story came across as too bland. There wasn’t anything exciting about it except for the push and pull between Winter and cute time-guy, Henry.
Winter and Henry were the epicenter of this book in every way in my opinion. They overshadowed everything else, even the big bad of the book that’s trying to take control of the wood. Their interactions and sparking connection was just more interesting. And I hate to say a thing like that because the entire book should grip me. Alas, it did not.
The magic of the book: time portals and vicious creatures in the shadows, was creative and original. I’ve never read anything like this. It’s always interesting to see how shadows and the things that creep in them are like in different stories. The wood itself is magic and it’s kept even to me/us, the reader, a mystery. I think I would’ve been more into the book if it wasn’t left in such a mystery bubble.
I did find the imagery to be a little underwhelming. It all felt like what Winter saw and came across and dealt with because the POV is first person, was all so-so, bland, and not a big deal. So, it wasn’t a big deal for me.
This wasn’t what I thought it would be. I actually expected something utterly horrifying. The book came off as a scary read when I picked it out after reading the back blip. Even the cover, a golden leaf dripping blood, seemed to give me horror vibes. In fall honesty, this just wasn’t up my alley, but I know my best friend may LOVE this. She really enjoys history and with how its infused in this book, I can’t wait to give it to her. So, I’m not saying this was a dreadful book. The writing is pretty great and the first-person POV is always a unique one. So, definitely not, or else I wouldn’t be sending it to my best friend. She’s loves reading as much as me and I would never torture her with a book I feel is all-around dreadful.
“Dad tells me the wood is not a place to play. It is a place for business, and it is more powerful than I could ever imagine.
He tells me I cannot forget the rules of the wood. There are three.
Do not travel from the paths.
Do not linger after dark.
Do not ignore the calling.” (p. 1)
“Trust is not simple. It is not something that can be bought or earned within moments of meeting each other….” (Henry, p. 84)
“Happy people don’t just hit the bottle for no reason.” (p. 139)
“Sometimes talking can be more dangerous than anything else.” (Meredith, p. 240)
More to come soon…
P.S. Song today? Telephone by Lady Gaga feat. Beyoncé
Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!