August 4, 2012

Review of The Little Woods by McCormick Templeman


Are the woods behind St. Bede’s Academy really haunted, or does bad stuff just happen there? When Calista Wood, a new student, arrives midway through her junior year, St. Bede’s feels like a normal school . . . until she discovers that a girl had disappeared a couple of months earlier. Some kids think she ran away, others think she was murdered, but it’s only when Cally starts digging around that she finds the startling truth.

Watch as Cally enters a world of privilege, weekend-long parties, high school romances, and . . . well-kept secrets. This page-turner will appeal to teens looking for a fast-paced thriller. Written in a voice at once gripping and crystal clear, debut novelist, McCormick Templeman, will take readers on a twisting and turning journey as only a “new girl” can experience.

The Little Woods by McCormick Templeman
Publish Date:  July 10, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

I couldn’t find a book trailer, so here’s a song!

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** This book was provided to us by the publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinion **

Before I began reading The Little Woods by author McCormick Templeman, I looked it up on Goodreads and read a few reviews that expressed mixed emotions.  Some of them gave high appraisal while others were more… harsh.  Basically, I saw that there was a lot of 2-3 star reviews and I have to admit that I lie in that group of people.  For one thing, before even reading the novel and just reading the synopsis on Goodreads, I noticed that The Little Woods is under one of those genres that I just don’t take interest in when I read them: Boarding Schools.  Honestly, if they aren’t clichéd I don’t really mind them, but most of them are focused on drugs, sex and drama.  Which is pretty much what The Little Woods.

Which proves that this young reviewer, makes smart choices for a teenager *la salute*.

However, the novel is split up into two different parts and I found that at the start of both parts they had these really deep quotes that did manage to snag my interest.  And at the start of The Little Woods I did really like the introduction to how the main character Cally’s (Short for Calista) older sister disappeared after visiting the boarding school Bede Academy.  It was really well written and I honestly really enjoyed it because I just assumed that the rest of the story would keep up that pace… and I personally don’t think it achieved constantly keeping up that pace.  But I did like that Cally attended Bede Academy to get into a good university, which should be important to people her age.

Once we enter Bede Academy, I was glad there wasn’t the clichéd bullying of the new girl.  Cally was out of place, but people such as her roommate Helen did befriend her, which leads to her becoming friends with Helen’s friends.  However, I was overly annoyed that this led to Cally getting into smoking weed and ending up in a relationship with a guy named Alex who kept on trying to get in her pants and did bad things.  There was a lot of drama in this novel and because of the immaturity, I couldn’t really be immersed in the novel the way I usually do.

But, I really did enjoy the mystery portion of the novel.  With the roommate before her, Iris, disappearing.  There is a lot of speculation as to what happened to Iris, but the most eerie rumor is that Cally’s now roommate Helen is the person who killed her. Drama aside, Cally does work hard at uncovering the strange notes that Iris left behind in an attempt to find out who killed the girl which leads to a major twist at the end of the novel that not many people could have possibly seen coming.

I would recommend this novel to fans of the novel New Girl, drama, and YA teen-fiction. While the novel didn’t exactly work for me (and it may just be because of my youth), if any of the above was die hard appealing than the Little Woods may just be the novel for you.

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1 Comment

  1. kimbacaffeinate

    Bummer Gabby..the cover has a creepy feel. sorry this one didn’t work for you despite how much you liked the mystery aspect. Great review!

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