Friday, March 29, 2019

Review: The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees

The Waking ForestTitle:  The Waking Forest 
Author:  Alyssa Wees
Publisher: Delacorte
Publishing Date:  March 12th, 2019
Pages: 304
Genre:  YA Fantasy Fairytale
Series:  Stand Alone
Source:  ARC

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?

I was so very excited for this read when I first discovered it. The cover, the title, the synopsis, everything screamed “you will love this book” Well, I didn’t love it. It some issues with the read. I did finish the book because I wanted to find out what happened and I felt I had put so much time into reading it, I needed to finish. It was not what I expected and it just fell flat for me. I am kind of really bummed about this as I wanted to love it, I love fairytale type books. But I just couldn’t find any love with this book.

This is kind of three stories in one. There is the story of the wishing witch, the witch who live in the forest with lots of fox friends and granted wishes for children. Within that story is a story told by a boy that involves a princess with magic who lives in a kingdom where the king, her grandfather, punishes those with magic. Then the third story involves a family of peculiar girls in the modern world, one of the girls seems to have some magic and she befriends darkness.

Confusing right. Yup I thought so too.

There were a couple things I did enjoy about this book. I enjoyed a bit about each story…. Mainly I loved the wishing witch. She was very interesting and I wanted to know more about her. I knew she was important to the entire story and I wanted to know where she fit in. I also enjoyed the sisterly love between the 4 sisters in the modern world. I enjoyed reading about their lives. The boy telling the third story to the witch was okay. I sometimes struggle with stories within stories, but this wasn’t too bad. I did enjoy knowing more about the princess and her world. To be honest, the concept behind the story, the way the stories all intertwine together… that was a great part of the story and probably the only reason I kept on read. The idea behind it all was pretty genius.

What I had an issue with was the execution. The writing was confusing for me. AT times I had trouble keep up with what was going on. The lines were a little blurred on what was happening. There were a ton of characters to keep up with. More than I like. It was hard to keep up with who was who. The ending seemed to confuse me a bit too. Maybe because I was reading really fast at this point so I could finish the book, maybe I missed something. There was one particular character I just didn’t understand who he was or what he was.

The book also had some pacing issues. There were some very slow moments and I was quite bored at times reading this book. This made it extremely hard to really connect with the characters or get into the story. I found I could only read this book in short increments because I would get bored. The need to finish was still there, but it took me way longer than it should have to get through this book.

The characters were okay. Like I said, there were so many of them, and I really couldn’t connect. I didn’t dislike any but there was only a couple I could say I liked. The others were just meh.

I am very disappointed with my feelings for this book. I truly thought I would love it but I just couldn’t.

I didn't feel it. 

Alyssa Wees

Alyssa Wees's debut novel is The Waking Forest. She lives and writes in Chicago. To learn more about Alyssa and her writing, go to her website, and follow @AlyssaWees on Twitter.

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