It’s Wacky Wednesday, so it’s my 15 year old daughter Emma’s turn in guest reviewing a YA novel of mystery of suspense from Hyperion called The Lying Woods from author Ashley Elston! She read this in one night over the summer (an advanced review copy), but it just hit the market November 13, 2018! It’s one of the favorite books she read this year, so it would make a great book gift for any teen in your life. I think it looks pretty good myself and I will most likely give it a read too in the near future.
The Lying Woods, Review –
by Emma Al-Mehairi
The Lying Woods is a story of love, loss, abandonment, and the realization that life may not always be what it seems. Owen is a very relatable teenage character. The way he expresses his emotions throughout the book is very similar to many other teenagers I know so it felt authentic. Elston also did a fantastic job of showing what any runner like myself would understand – running helps relieve stress. The way Elston wrote the novel helps to show the backstory that we have to understand, but without making those parts drag on, and the suspense was a page turner. I highly recommend this book to all teenagers, or even adults, who enjoy realistic fiction with a bit of mystery. It’s one of the best books I read this year.
About The Lying Woods –
The truth won’t stay buried in this suspenseful, riveting mystery. THE LYING WOODS combines heart-pounding, high-stakes mystery with palpable tension between each character to create a menacing, gripping read.
Owen Foster has never wanted for anything. Then his mother shows up at his elite New Orleans boarding school cradling a bombshell: his privileged life has been funded by stolen money. After using the family business, the single largest employer in his small Louisiana town, to embezzle millions, Owen’s father vanished without a trace, leaving his family to deal with the fallout.
Owen returns to Lake Cane to finish his senior year, where people he hardly remembers despise him for his father’s crimes. When Owen and his mother receive increasingly frightening threats from someone out for revenge, he knows he must get to the bottom of what really happened at Louisiana Frac—and the cryptic note his father sent him days before disappearing. Owen’s only refuge is the isolated pecan orchard he works at after school, owned by a man named Gus who has his own secrets. As Owen uncovers a terrible injustice that looms over the same woods he’s claimed as his own, he must face a shocking truth about his own past.
Ashley Elston Biography –
Ashley Elston is the author of several novels including: The Rules for Disappearing (a finalist in the Best Young Adult Novel category of the International Thriller Writers Thriller Awards) and This Is Our Story.
She has a liberal arts degree from Louisiana State University in Shreveport and worked for many years as a wedding photographer before turning her hand to writing.
Ashley lives in Shreveport with her husband and three sons. For more information about Ashley and her books, please visit http://www.ashleyelston.com.
Praise for The Lying Woods –
“Fans who have come to expect Elston’s mastery of situational tension, double narratives, and enthralling mystery will not be disappointed with this newest tale that alternates between past and present perspectives as it barrels toward a stunning reveal… Readers won’t even notice the steady pull to the edges of their seats.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“This is a mystery that introduces characters slowly, with a thoughtful alternating story line and backstory that allows the plot to maintain its pace. Owen’s frustration and actions, along with the people whose futures were destroyed by his father, are understandable and build to a satisfying conclusion.” —School Library Journal (starred review)
“Elston… channels E. Lockhart as she overlays an eerie, mysterious atmosphere on top of a riveting family drama spanning decades… Family secrets and forgiveness drive this gorgeously plotted mystery. —Booklist
“The intergenerational plot complicates the adults in the story, resisting typical YA stereotypes and giving Owen some adults worthy of the trust and affection he invests in them. Readers who enjoy a realistic mystery based on contemporary family dynamics and small-town class conflicts are the audience for this.” —BCCB
“A blisteringly quick read, thanks to its compelling story and nonstop surprises.”
“Elston has masterfully plotted this story out and the way everything wraps up is incredibly satisfying. The Lying Woods is an exciting novel perfect for fans of contemporary mystery…. Sure to keep you on your toes.”
—The Young Folks
Thanks again to Emma for reviewing this one!
Emma Al-Mehairi, Guest Reviewer
Emma is a freshman in high school and besides her full schedule of honors and advanced courses, she also runs cross country, sings in the symphonic choir, and enjoys theater and art (especially painting – and is a huge Bob Ross fan!).
She loves being anywhere by the water and has plans to go to college for marine biology, but also one day hopes to write books on the environment to inspire people to continue a love the ocean and what resides within.