What Waits in the Woods
Cover image and summary from Goodreads:
It’s a beautiful, sunny day. Callie Velasquez holds hands with her boyfriend Jeremy as they follow Callie’s new BFFs Penelope and Lissa up the trail. The four friends are embarking on a camping trip — a trip that immediately goes awry. They lose their way on the trail, and encounter a charismatic stranger with questionable motives. And when Callie stumbles upon a dead body, it becomes clear that the danger that lies in the woods is deadlier than she could have ever imagined. Tensions mount and friendships are tested as these teenagers try to survive the most sinister of circumstances.
I love reading mysteries and thrillers, especially if they can keep me guessing right up until the end about who the culprit is and his/her motive.
I thought this book would be a good, suspenseful read because, like the main character Callie, I’m not outdoorsy. I do not enjoy camping, partly because I don’t like feeling isolated and far away from other people. That’s why I loved the setting: Callie and her friends were on a multi-day camping trip, and it was pretty remote and isolated from the rest of the world. Their cell phones didn’t get signals out there, so if anything went wrong, it would be very difficult to get help.
And of course things started to go wrong! The group lost a bunch of their food and supplies; there seemed to be someone following them through the woods, trying to scare them (which was fun and creepy to read about); and then of course there was the mysterious stranger they met who seemed to be very adept at hunting and killing animals.
I hoped that all of these things would add up to a great mystery-thriller, but it felt as though it took far too long for the ‘thriller’ aspect to kick in. There was some tension, but nothing that frightened me. I did like the tension and drama between Callie and her two new friends, Pen and Lissa. I love stories about friendships, and reading about Callie trying to get along with the girls and forge a bond, despite the tension that crept in.
Then there was Callie’s boyfriend, Jeremy, who came along on the trip. His presence didn’t seem to please Lissa, who was definitely the leader of their group. Jeremy being on the trip contributed to the tension and drama.
The identity of the villain wasn’t difficult to guess, even early on, and the motive became pretty clear to me as the story progressed.
So whilere there were elements of the story that I liked, I was disappointed by the mystery and motive. It wasn’t a bad read, but not one that I loved. Still, it made for a fairly entertaining Sunday afternoon read, so I’m tentatively recommending.