BOOK REPORT for The Wood by Chelsea Bobluski

Cover Story: Dripping With Depravity

BFF Charm: Yay

Swoonworthy Scale: 8

Continue reading >


 

Talky Talk: Straight Up With An Eerie Twist

Bonus Factors: Sentient Forest, Mysterious Loner Time Traveling Dude

Relationship Status: Are There More Just Like You?

Cover Story: Dripping With Depravity

The fact that I love this cover probably speaks to my angsty, goth-y youth—yeah, the leaf dripping with blood is a little bit The Village, but I would still pick this up off the shelf in a heartbeat. I don’t love the blood in the title font, or the red font at all, but it’s not so egregious that it overshadows the rest of the cover. Luckily, the leaf and the blood actually do relate to the plot, so it’s not just The Cure’s Entire Discography, As Translated To An Autumnal Young Adult Book.

The Deal:

Winter and her father have always guarded the wood: a magical forest with time portals within it. Their job is to find anyone who has accidentally stumbled through a portal, and send them back to their own time, without betraying their strange secrets. Now that her father is dead, the responsibility for guarding this particular doorway falls upon Winter.

Things start getting complicated when a determined 19th century English traveler keeps showing up. Unlike the people who accidentally wander in, he’s hellbent on getting through. When Winter finds him and corners him, he tells her that there’s a plot to harness the magic of the wood—and use it for evil. Can she trust him? With the magic of the wood being poisoned, and council members going missing, she might not have a choice.

BFF Charm: Yay

For all of Winter’s unearthly responsibilities, she has earthly ones, too—school, best friends, and the daughterly sort. It’s an impossible balance to strike. On one hand, she has to protect these time portals so that no one goes back—or forward—and changes history. On the other, her best friend doesn’t understand why she’s such a good student but skips school all the time, never wants to come to parties, and doesn’t care about “normal” things like boys and makeup. Little does her friend know that Winter really does want to be normal. On top of that, her mother knows that Winter’s job is important, but is still frustrated that she can’t keep her kid safe. It’s a lot to deal with.  Winter handles it well. I don’t know if I want to be her friend or be her, especially when you add in the fact that she’s a polyglot. (It’s a necessity—she has to be semi-fluent in multiple languages, so she can find out where and when the travelers are from—but a really cool necessity.)

Swoonworthy Scale: 8

One of my favorite YA romantic tropes is “hiding a love interest in your bedroom.” The Wood has this in spades, and it’s oh-so-nostalgic. Winter might have a frightening, high-stakes job, but she’s still got a mother who wouldn’t take kindly to finding a very hot young man from any era in her daughter’s bedroom.  This is the stuff my teenage dreams were made of. Mild danger! A lot of deception! A boy you literally can’t share with anyone else! NOW KISS.

Talky Talk: Straight Up With An Eerie Twist

Bobluski’s prose pulls no punches. Even though what happens in the woods can be downright terrifying, Winter is capable of handling it. Her personality comes through in the pragmatic narration—even when she’s trying to teach a 19th century boy to survive (quietly) in the 21st century, she retains her capabilities and sense of humor.  

Happily, this is a standalone. As much as I love sequels and series, there is something to be said for the joy of reading a full story in just one book.

Bonus Factor: Sentient Forest

Like the forest in The Raven Cycle, this wood has a mind of its own. Fun to read about—but maybe hold off on the magical tourism.

 

Bonus Factor: Mysterious Loner Time Traveling Dude

History nerd that I am, and always have been, SIGN ME UP for the version of your teenage years where your part-time job involves herding a hot 19th century Englishman into your bedroom and showing him how the TV works. Sure, he might be a lying liar who lies, and she can’t really tell yet, but man, it’s all awfully romantic.

Casting Call:

Mackenzie Foy as Winter

Douglas Booth as “Brightonshire”

He’s English, he’s blonde-ish, he has a jawline that could cut glass. I’ll take it!

Relationship Status: Are There More Just Like You?

Book, I was worried about you. You sounded so good, and I’ve been hurt before—especially since I was in a reading slump before I met you. Luckily, you met and exceeded my expectations. Our date was exciting, eerie, and dare I say it? Even a little bit sexy. Once we started going out, I found it impossible to put you down. I know you’re a one-date kind of book…and I’ll treasure our time together…but do you have any similarly attractive friends?

The Wood is available now.


Jennie lives in San Francisco and has an excessive fondness of historical fiction, spreadsheets, turquoise sparkly things, and bourbon. When she’s not reading, writing, or writing about reading, she cooks obsessively, runs an Etsy shop, and thrifts for vintage everything.