My Rating ~ Four Stars
RELEASE DATE: 2 September 2021
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Bears aren’t the only predators in these woods.
Best friends Neena and Josie spent high school as outsiders, but at least they had each other. Now, with college and a two-thousand-mile separation looming on the horizon, they have one last chance to be together—a three-day hike deep into the woods of the Pisgah National Forest.
Simmering tensions lead to a detour off the trail and straight into a waking nightmare; and then into something far worse. Something that will test them in horrifying ways.
Thank you so much to Macmillan Australia for providing me with a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review!
Neena and Josie are best friends, who are about to separate, when one of them moves away to college and the other stays behind. Hoping for a fun camping trip before they have to say goodbye for months, they decide to hike into the wilderness for a few days. With little to no experience, the trip doesn’t go at all to plan and the girls find themselves at each other’s throats, which is by far not the worst of it.
Growing up, Richard Laymon was my all time favourite author. His adult horror books were the absolute best and The Woods are Always Watching reminded me of his style of writing. Just with more ‘impending horror’ than ‘actual horror events’, which did lean itself more to the YA genre. This was both a blessing and a curse – I appreciated my mind making a trip down memory lane, to the feeling of reading some of my old favourite books, but I found myself comparing, knowing Laymon would have taken the story so much further. That’s just me though, because in no way was the book marketed as being like his books!
I really enjoyed the suspenseful nature of the story and I honestly wish it had been a little longer. It felt like there wasn’t quite enough pages to build up a truly terrifying ‘lost in the woods’ tale. I guess I just wanted to enjoy it a little longer and have more scares along the way! The story also centers almost entirely around the girls, without much in the way of any other characters until the end, so I do acknowledge that a longer book could have felt drawn out under those circumstances.
Over all The Woods are Always Watching was a fun, spooky book that would have me second thinking any camping trip, if I was ever inclined to take one 😄
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