The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees #bookreview #YA #fantasy

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more—until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive? 

With a description that reads nearly like a fairy tale and a magical cover, do I really need to explain why I wanted to read this book?

The writing is lush, beautiful, and velvety, with imagery that will transport you to another place.  Some lines I re-read several times because of the way the author weaves words together.  There are basically three stories in this book, and the chapters alternate.  Somewhere around the middle or so, it’s revealed how they’re connected.  Rhea and her family are adorable and quirky, and the Darkness in the attic is spine-tingling and alluring.  It’s a nice touch.

With the first half of the book, I was all in and just wanted to find a secluded corner with no interruptions.  And then I got to the second half, and it lost me.  It has the feel of a fairy tale, but I felt untethered, and unsure of what was real in the story.  Even the dialogue was off, sounding more juvenile, and I found myself skimming the pages instead of savoring them as I had in the first half of the book.

Many other reviewers loved the dreamy, storybook feel of this novel, but I need to feel more grounded in my reading, with a better grasp of the plot.  Even though it turned out not to be for me, I’d still recommend this book because of the extraordinary writing, and I wouldn’t hesitate to read another novel by this author in the future.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.



23 thoughts on “The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees #bookreview #YA #fantasy

    1. The last half lost me a bit, but with so many beautiful lines, I’m glad I read it. I read the author is working on a gothic horror novel, and with her style of writing, I’ll definitely be adding it to my TBR.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Mischenko

    Honest review, Teri. Sorry it didn’t turn out so amazing in the second half. I might still try this one later on. The cover alone made me want to request it! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This line from your review really grabbed me:
    the Darkness in the attic is spine-tingling and alluring.

    Intriguing title, beautiful cover, and I love when words are woven in such a way it makes you want to savor them. It’s a shame the middle of the book spun in a different direction, but I can see why you would read another by the author.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. never heard about this one, but the title reminds me about a book i read once called the foreest of claws and teeth – of course, that book was a dark and enthralling read with nothing to do with what you described. no witches there, or children, though a family relationship.
    I fly through pages when i read, but if i got to the half and found myself ‘untathered’ i ‘d have either dnfed the book there, or, if i was really curious about the ending, i’ve had continued to fly, though maybe a little faster.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At the halfway point, I did skim through some of the pages, Jina – I wanted to see what happened. I’ve DNF’d books before, but I cared more for these characters. And I’ve heard of that book you mentioned – by Holly Black I think? But I haven’t read it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I had never heard of this before, but now I want to read it! (Perhaps shallowly because the author is Alyssa, lol) It looks good, tho! And I am absolute trash when it comes to is-it-real-is-it-not stories 😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

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