*** Possible Spoilers Ahead! ***
Book Title: Winterwood
Author: Shea Ernshaw
Main Theme: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Thesis: Nora Walker comes from a long line of witches, so the townspeople say. And perhaps they are right. Walkers came from the trees, surrounded by the Winterwood and its dark powers. Nora’s grandmother had her own nightshade, and so does her mother. Nora hasn’t discovered her nightshade yet, and for that, she feels useless, but she does have one aspect about her that makes her useful. She can find things.
Nora can feel an uneasiness from the woods around her, and one night, after setting off into the Winterwoods, she discovered Oliver, a missing boy who should have been frozen to death from living in the woods for two weeks. By discovering Oliver, she also discovers secrets, secrets that should have stayed in those woods. Can Nora figure out the mystery of what boy died in the woods that night? Is Oliver hiding something, a secret he doesn’t want Nora to know? Or will these woods keep their secrets, hidden away from everyone else?
What Drew Me In: So if you have been here for a while, you would know that I did a book review back when my blog was first starting out from Ernshaw’s first book, The Wicked Deep. It was my second book review, back in June 2018! Ah, how time flies. Anyways, I fell in love with Ernshaw’s writing, and how she writes a REALLY good ghost story. So, I made sure to put it on my “to-read” list, and picked it up the first chance I got.
My Thoughts: Since I enjoyed Ernshaw’s first book so much, I was eager to get my hands on this one. At first, I wasn’t sure what I thought of it. The beginning was kind of weird for me to get into, but the more I read, the more I couldn’t stop reading. Like, I read almost 200 pages in one sitting (more like in one bathtub soak). Like I said above, Ernshaw has a great way of unraveling a really good ghost story. So far, all of her books consist of a paranormal aspect (like witches, ghosts, paranormal locations) and a romance between the main characters. Thankfully, it’s not like one of those lovey-dovey, gag me kind of romances. It’s minimal, and that is a welcome relief sometimes in the YA world.
One of my favorite aspects of her books is that the story builds over time. You’ll get flashbacks at appropriate times, and the present scenes build at a rapid enough pace so that the story moves along, but you don’t feel rushed. As I’m reading her story, I imagine us someplace out in the woods, near a spooky cemetery, the darkness around us and the wind whistling through the trees. Her voice is slow and concise, barely over a hushed tone. Gives me goosebumps to just think about it!
Her attention detail is spot on as well. I’m horrible about getting way too into detail and probably boring my readers with useless things to know, but Ernshaw does it in a great way of painting a beautiful picture, complete with interesting locations, quirky characters, and backstory. Nora Walker might be one of my favorite characters in a YA book, just simply of her weirdness and quirks. She reminds me of another character from one of my favorite books, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Violet White was one of those “weird girls”, and the two characters share a lot in common: Very close to their grandmother’s, who have secrets of their own. Used to growing up alone and fending for themselves, and have flighty parents. Into old, vintage things, or things that other people would probably just throw away. Hmm, I wonder if these two are long-lost sisters??
Would I recommend this book?: I think… yes! I really enjoy reading Ernshaw’s books and I’m more than happy to support her on her present and future books. They make great books for teens and adults alike, as long as you enjoy paranormal fiction.
Yay, book reviews! I was hoping to get another one up soon. Life has been a bit crazy since the new year. I have had a lot of training and meetings at work, and it’s springtime, so of course, my seasonal allergies are here to play. I’m excited to read more and take it at a slower pace now that one of my reading challenges is over. I hope everyone is having a fabulous start to your springtime! 💐
The Library Lady ♡