by Lucy Christopher
Suggested Ages: 14+ (Sexuality, drug and alcohol use)
Buy from Indigo
Description: Fatal attraction, primal fear, survival in the forest: From the author of the Printz Honour Book Stolen, the highly anticipated thriller about deadly games played in the dark.
Ashlee Parker is dead, and Emily Shepherd's dad is accused of the crime. An ex-soldier suffering from PTSD, he emerges from the woods carrying the girl's body. "Gone," he says, then retreats into silence. What really happened that night? Before he's convicted, Emily must find out the truth. Mina and Joe, the only friends she has left, warn Emily against it, but she feels herself strongly drawn to Damon, Ashlee's charismatic boyfriend. Together they explore the dark woods. Soon Damon brings Emily into the Game: an extreme version of childhood games like hide-and-seek that he and his crowd play at night as a way to break boundaries, to lose themselves. A strange, sexually charged relationship develops between Emily and Damon. And when she realizes he may know more than he'll reveal, she plays the most dangerous game of all, risking her own life for a confession. To expose the lies that will exonerate her dad, she's got to survive one last desperate night in The Killing Woods.
- PTSD is discussed openly and brings up some teachable moments
- Drug, alcohol and sex are treated respectfully and without promoting the use of or making it a after school special discussion - in other words realistically
- Characters are all flawed and very life like - no archetypical characters - very real
- Storyline isn't wrapped up all neatly and Disneylike. There is an essence of hope, but it is real and not staged
- Emily and Damon are deeply flawed, but very likeable. You feel for the predicament they are in
- Was frustrated at times with the description and actions of Emily's mom - but hey it's a teen novel. I do understand mom's actions, but I still don't feel like they were true to character
- Not going to lie, I cried like a little baby at times
- This would be a good one for reluctant readers as it is very fast paced
- Hard to write this review without giving away major plot points
- Have a feeling the author has dealt personally with someone who has gone through PSTD, it just felt so real and so understanding
- Good message about forgiveness and friendship
- Storyline keeps you hooked, you feel yourself rushing through parts of the story so you can find out what really happened
- Cover will hook people
- Ok at times I felt like a mom and wanted to slap these kids for being so stupid - but I let it go because - well -- I remember being a teen and having those feelings and being stupid - thank god fortune was smiling on me and I didn't end up dead - but than again I never took drugs
"I'd rather she do anything except keep playing numb."
"When I missed school for a week, not long after everything happened, the school was ringing just 'bout everyday, and a counselor and a doctor came round to check on me. Maybe killers' daughters don't get the same treatment.|
"I don't understand how I can look at Emily's fingers and I want to hold them. I don't understand how I can both hate and want this girl at the same time - how she can be two people at once. How I can be too."
We received this from Scholastic's as part of our job at Indigo. I am in no way required to review or sell copies