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Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book for review

I’m using the early part of 2020 to help me get a little caught up on 2019 releases I never got to, which includes Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw. This is a quiet young adult fantasy novel about Nora Walker, a girl who comes from a family of women with powers and a special connection to the nearby woods. One winter day she finds a boy, Oliver, in those woods, despite the fact that he’s been missing for two weeks and should be dead. As Nora and Oliver grow closer, she works to uncover the secrets he is keeping, and what really happened that day he went missing.

It was actually really hard to write a little blurb for Winterwood that made it sound exciting because so little happens in this book! I love Ernshaw’s writing, and found her debut novel, The Wicked Deep, pretty slow-moving and atmospheric as well, but I definitely think that book had a lot more tension and intrigue pushing it forward than this one. Basically one person keeps a secret (or forgets) what happened and you spend the whole book waiting to find out why–and after all that wait, my initial guess from the very first chapter was correct! I didn’t dislike Winterwood, but it kinda got me into a bit of a reading slump, because it took me two weeks to make it through as I waited for something, anything, to happen. The atmosphere was really lovely but the book as a whole felt a bit tedious. That said, I would probably give Ernshaw another try, because I think with a bit more plot, I could really love one of her books.

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