“The Woods Are Always Watching” by Stephanie Perkins
Source: Penguin Teen in exchange for honest review
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Horror, Thriller
Bears aren’t the only predators in these woods.
Best friends Neena and Josie spent high school as outsiders, but at least they had each other. Now, with college and a two-thousand-mile separation looming on the horizon, they have one last chance to be together—a three-day hike deep into the woods of the Pisgah National Forest.
Simmering tensions lead to a detour off the trail and straight into a waking nightmare … and then into something far worse. Something that will test them in horrifying ways.
The Woods Are Always Watching was the perfect blend of survival story and thriller for me. The basic survival story was fascinating. I hate the outdoors. I would die off pretty quick in these types of books but always find them interesting to read.
The first half of the story was believable enough. Neena and Josie are two smart girls. They’re bright but not necessarily ‘outdoor bright’. It fits the characters perfectly. Josie knows a bit but Neena doesn’t know the outdoors. The blend of the two characters make the story seem very relatable and easy to picture myself in this situation. Knowing what to do vs the actual reality of what needs to be done are two vastly different things.
It’s a cheesy break but I did enjoy the break from the survival half of the story into the thriller story. It’s a great way to ramp up the terror. Nature (and being alone) is pretty freaking terrifying. Add in the not-so-pleasant reminder that animals aren’t the only thing to be terrified of? It made for a heart pounding read. My anxiety was on high alert for most of the book.
I thought Perkins did a good job of making Neena and Josie into real girls. I love a good thriller book. Mainly for the adrenaline and the ride. The characters aren’t always fully developed but that’s not why I’m reading the book. Having been a teenage girl having to say goodbye to friends because of college and the mild resentment that comes from that, I felt for Josie and Neena. That little window into their lives made me see them as real people.
The book is paced well and you’re not going to want to put it down. It’s easy to read and the story flowed well.
Perfect for someone wanting a quick read.