Originally published: 2 September 2021
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Published by: Macmillan Children’s Books
Genre: YA Horror
Length: 240 pages
Reading dates: 28-30 October 2021
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.
Teenagers Neena and Josie decide to go hiking and camping in the mountains near where they live – Neena is about to leave for collage and the girls realise that life will change for them and their friendship and want to have one last experience together. Neither girl has really embraced the outdoor lifestyle before but with some coaching from Josie’s brother they decide to go on a 3 day trek and camping trip.
They find the trek hard before they even get going – they can barely manage to carry their equipment. Before long they are bickering as the girls find the hiking much harder than they expected. The tension builds as they realise they are behind schedule to get to their planned campsite before dark. and then things get even worse…
I don’t want to say too much more about the plot because you need to read this book! I fancied a horror read and managed to squeeze this one before Halloween and I absolutely loved it. It was filled with tension and was well paced – the first half of the book is just about the girls getting to their campsite and their relationship felt very realistic. Josie is dreading Neena leaving – she is still mourning the death of her father and doesn’t really have any other friends. Neena resents Josie because she won’t get excited for her new adventure.
This is a full on horror read that doesn’t shrink away from the shock factor. The Woods are Always Watching is thrilling, very gory and shocking in places with some themes some people may find uncomfortable. But as someone who loves a horror movie, the more shocking the better, this was the perfect book for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Thank you to Book Break UK and Pan Macmillan for sending a copy of The Woods are Always Watching for review.
About the author:
Stephanie Perkins is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author. She has always worked with books–first as a bookseller, then as a librarian, and now as a novelist. She and her husband live in the mountains of North Carolina. Every room of their house is painted a different colour of the rainbow.