Have I mentioned that I'm a book hoarder. I love books. I love to read. I love to escape into another world and get to know that characters! As a teacher, it's hard to find the time to read a non-school related book or to be accomplishing the 5 million other things on my to-do list for school and home. Well one of my goals this year was read more and to find time to get my hoards of unread books read. With that said, I finished one of the books that have been half read sitting on my corner desk in my room.
I was so captivated with this book, but it was taking me forever to read. When I read of an evening, there really isn't any point because I nod off after two pages no matter how good the book is. Well, recently we had a three-day weekend + 3... yes, 3 snow days. So one day was dedicated to reading my book and I got hooked again. Last night I didn't even look at the time and it was 3:15 before I knew it. Whoops, good thing today was Saturday and I didn't have to get up too early. Needless to say I HAD to finish this book, it was driving me nuts. I needed to know who or what the mystery killer was.
The Book: In the Woods by Tana French
(Warning: Some Spoilers)
So I've never done a book review, I honestly feel weird about this, but I felt the need to express my feelings. I invested a lot of my time and anxiety (haha) to reading this book. So here it is...
When starting this book I was completely drawn in by the vocabulary and sentence flow. The pace of the dialogue and character's thoughts were something fresh and new. This may be because I tend to read more young adult books because of my career. I am trying to expand my genre of book hoarding, but it's hard when there are so many GREAT books in YA sections.
As a 6th grade ELA teacher, I focus a lot on character development and analysis. This book. Wow! Tana French, you knocked my socks off. These two main characters; Rob and Cassie are fantastic! There backstories, their many issues, their connection/relationship with each other... I loved it.
The suspense in this book is what caused me anxiety. I had so many questions I wanted answered. I thought the most intriguing part of this book was this mysterious woods, the ancient background, and this creature that a few people kept witnessing and hearing.
I loved Rob's mysterious childhood and the fact that he had this memory loss from the whole incident. This itself would have been a great story on it's own. Then to have the child grow up and actually be apart of a murder investigation in the same area where his friends vanished. The potential of this story had so many possibilities! So so many possibilities... then at the end we are left with what?!?!?!
Those last few pages, I waited for something..... anything... even at the very end. It was like it was this huge build up for days and days all to kind of fizzle out and just go blah at the end. There are so many questions still that I need answered! What was the creature that was so obviously there? There were too many that had heard or seen this thing for it NOT to exist. What REALLY happened out in the woods with Rob when he was 12? Are his friends really gone or are they still out there? Why couldn't Rob get over himself and just go back to Cassie and at least be friends again? Seriously what is up with that ending????Does he reappear in another book or what?? I need answers!
I was so disappointed by that ending. Usually at this point in other books I imagine how differently I would have ended the book myself. Here's several possible endings...
#1. Resolve this stupidness between Cassie and Rob. Actually have a real relationship or go back to being BFFs, one or the other. They are so flipping awesome together. No, I wasn't expecting some fairy tale ending but at least get over yourselves and make up. It's all Rob's fault because he was so stubborn and soooo prideful or whatever you want to call it.
#2. Do more with this mysterious creature. I love a good mythological creature killing people. I would have definitely ended it with Rob finally "seeing" what had happened to Jamie and Peter. This was really what I wanted more than anything. Did this creature lure them into its lair and Rob escaped somehow? I also could have done with this dramatic morbid ending where the creature finally finishes the job and kills him or maybe it kills Cassie and then Rob kills the creature. Something with a little more grit.
#3. Peter and Jamie turn out to be -in this crazy twist of events- Cassie and Sam. I thought maybe they did run away after all. Perhaps they didn't go back to the woods, but Rob did because he had 2nd thoughts about leaving his parents, but like the text said, he couldn't run as fast as the other two, so he didn't get as far as they did when..... he actually saw the creature. Then he froze but the creature was distracted by the teenagers (Cathal, Jonathon, Shane, and Sandra) in the woods. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I at least thought Jamie could somehow be Cassie. Well, I thought that would be a pretty cool twist.
Of course, I know I could keep going with my gazillions of other ways it could have ended, but it just really really bummed me out how it ended on such a blah note.
If you've read this what did you think of it? Did you expect it to end this way? Tell me what you're "dream" ending would be.
I saw there is a second book and it's about Cassie, so my hope is that Rob comes back in this one, but I have a feeling this is going in a whole other direction.