From the 2014 Carnegie Award Shortlist
I would give this book a rating of 3.5 out of 5. The foreshadowing during the storyline was done well and kept you asking for more whilst the unlikeable characters kept the world realistic. I thought the format of the book allowed you to think more deeply over what you’d just read and made the flashbacks more impactful to read. However, one of the things I didn’t enjoy reading was the Bible quotes; they were dragging and dull to read, which put me off from reading. Characters throughout the book were reasonably well-developed, although I found Judith to be quite sappy at times, but the honesty in Lucas was endearing – somehow the romance between the two felt too cliché to be realistic, unrequited love would have been much more realistic. The ending was satisfactory but considering the story took a mysterious turn, I would have liked some of the questions to remain unanswered for a more dramatic ending and to show that in a harsh, judgemental society you’d never find out all the answers you’re looking for. Now that I’ve finished reading, the title becomes extremely clear and suitable to the plot of the book and the secrets that are uncovered; the cover also fits the theme of the book as one of the main settings is a forest.