by Kieran Scott
Available March 31, 2015
Novice hiker and camper Callie Velasquez agrees to go on a four day camping trip with her BFFs Penelope and Lissa. Her new boyfriend Jeremy tags along and the group sets off into the woods. Callie is unsure of herself and terrified to admit it to the others. After a spooky story around the campfire, Callie hears a maniacal laugh coming from the woods. They aren't the only ones out in the dark--they have company.
The next day after a frightening accident, they lose their cellphones and food. A stranger appears out of nowhere and says he can help them find their way. Ted lives in a cabin a few miles away and promises to take the campers there where they can use the phone, take showers and wait for their parents to pick them up. Callie and the others are leery. Is Ted to be trusted? Why was he so far from his cabin? How did he suddenly show up where they were?
Someone is trying to scare the kids. There's a doll with blood on it. Next, there's some voodoo-like twig dolls left at their campsite. And the laugh. Someone is following them.
Plot twists and dark secrets complicate the trip until Callie isn't sure what to believe. Could someone in their group be the real killer? Can she trust Jeremy?
A few problems with believability: Why do the parents of high school girls allow their daughters out into the woods for several nights ALONE? None of them have a weapon. None of them was ever an Eagle Scout or a master tracker. None of them knows the woods like the back of their hand. They don't have the proper equipment for emergencies. They have no backup plan. Also, would a new girl like Callie trust near strangers enough to agree to go on an unsupervised camping trip? It's not like she knew any of her group for very long. If you can suspend disbelief about all of that, What Waits in the Woods is an easy read with a twist or two.
Recommended grade 9-up. Murder, suspicion, stolen moments in the woods, mental illness.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the ARC from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.
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