The Lying Woods, by Ashley Elston
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Release Date: November 13, 2018
Length: 336 pages
Times Read: Once
Owen Foster has never wanted for anything. Then his mother shows up at his elite New Orleans boarding school cradling a bombshell: his privileged life has been funded by stolen money. After using the family business, the single largest employer in his small Louisiana town, to embezzle millions and drain the employees’ retirement accounts, Owen’s father vanished without a trace, leaving Owen and his mother to deal with the fallout.
Owen returns to Lake Cane to finish his senior year, where people he can barely remember despise him for his father’s crimes. It’s bad enough dealing with muttered insults and glares, but when Owen and his mother receive increasingly frightening threats from someone out for revenge, he knows he must get to the bottom of what really happened at Louisiana Frac–and the cryptic note his father sent him at his boarding school days before disappearing.
Owen’s only refuge is the sprawling, isolated pecan orchard he works at after school, owned by a man named Gus who has his own secrets–and in some ways seems to know Owen better than he knows himself. As Owen uncovers a terrible injustice that looms over the same Preacher Woods he’s claimed as his own, he must face a shocking truth about his own past–and write a better future.
What I Liked: I am SHOOK at how good this was, and also having anxiety because I want to tell you SO MANY THINGS but I can’t because SPOILERS but uggggh okay must try to get some coherent thoughts together with what I CAN say.
I hope you guys like this gif because it took me forever to find and literally every time I tell you “oh my god” about a book I just read I sing this in my head so now I’m going to use it all the time.
♥ Dual narrators: Present Day Owen & Summer of 1999 Noah. Books that use a well-done multiple narrator technique really sing for me, and this one was fantastic. Both voices were totally unique, and characters flowed back and forth between them realistically. I can’t say much more about the characters because there’s a lot going on with them, but when you think you’ve got them all figured out–you don’t.
There isn’t much that dates the summer of ’99 sections except for one mention of BSB, and really, they are timeless
♥ Jack and Pippa and Gus. The side characters who made this story extra special, and who I wanted more of. I need an entire companion book about Jack, a sequel about Pippa, and a prequel about Gus and Abby, mkay?
♥ Slow reveals that had me thinking one thing, and then as soon I wrapped my head about it, dropping more info that shifted me into a different direction. There is so much I can’t say here, but when you think you know what’s going on–you don’t.
What I Didn’t:
⊗ Seriously. I don’t think there’s anything. It maybe starts a little slow, but by the time I hit the first Noah chapter I was completely hooked, and that was page 24.
Favorite Quotes: “‘You’re not afraid I’m going to steal this truck and never come back?’