Jul 16, 2021

Review--What She Found in the Woods by Josephine Angelini


A thriller about Magda, who's desperate to get over a scandal at her New York private school.

This is Magda's last chance. Recovering from a scandal at her elite New York City private school that threw life into a tailspin, she is shipped off to live with her grandparents in the Pacific Northwest for the summer.

Medicated and uninspired, Magda spends her days in a fog wandering the forest behind the house. But then she stumbles upon Bo. He's wild and free, and he can see the real her. Magda starts believing she might be able to move on from her past and feel something again.

But there's more to this sleepy town than she thought. And what Magda finds in the woods near Bo's forest home is the beginning of a whole new nightmare...




I picked up Josephine Angelini’s What She Found in the Woods while on a thriller kick! I was eager to read a chilling mystery and this one was so very twisted in more ways than one! It’s a read that will keep you guessing until the very end!

Magda did something. Something bad. We’re not entirely sure what she did, but that comes out as the story moves along. Magda is staying with her grandparents for the summer on the opposite coast of her home, trying to escape the fallout of what she did. Magda continues to take her medication to help her along as well. Magda use to visit her grandparents during the summer all the time, but that changed probably around high school. She even reconnects with her “summer” friends like Rob. The guy was practically waiting for her to return.

Then one day, she takes a walk out into the woods and she meets a mysterious “Wildboy.” She’s captivated by him and can’t stop thinking about him. She returns to the woods again and again hoping to see him. Then one day, she does. She and Bo end up spending a lot of time together over the course of the next few weeks. Magda spends her “daytime” volunteering at a women’s shelter and spending time with Rob. But she’s finding herself falling deeper and deeper in love with Bo, so she knows she’ll have to put an end to that relationship soon.

It’s not long before murmurings of a missing woman who is found dead in the very woods Magda frequents and Bo lives in. But the body count doesn’t stop there either and as more young women keep disappearing and being found dead in Bo’s woods, Magda has to wonder…is Bo and his family involved in these murders?

Josephine really knows how to draw a reader in with this twisted mystery! As we see this heinous crime unfold in this small town area, we’re also getting a better idea of Magda’s character. We learn of what she did, we learn of other things she did and why she is on this medication she frequently takes. She soon turns into a character you’re not sure you can trust. As Magda continues to tell us her story, you have to wonder, is she telling us the truth? Why can’t she remember certain events that took place?

The doubts continue to spin through the novel and Josephine really had me going with some things. The end results was surprising, yet as the plot twists started to be revealed to us, I started suspecting half of the shocking surprise! You got love it when your own conclusions end up being right!

Though the romance between Magda and Bo was sweet, I never really found myself rooting for them. I guess I also really didn’t like that Magda was kind of two-timing Bo and Rob. I mean, she wasn’t really into Rob and just kept hanging out with him on a friendly basis, but Rob seemed to really care for her and it kind of felt like she was leading him on at times instead of just ending whatever relationship he thought was brewing between them. As far as intensity goes between Magda and Bo, I also never really felt like I cared if they got together or not. Maybe it was because this was more of a mystery and I felt like the added romance was a little forced. Like because it’s YA, it had to have some romance to it. I don’t know, that just could be my own opinion.

Other than the added romance factor, I have to say I really did enjoy What She Found in the Woods! When you have an unreliable narrator, the story really takes a life of its own. My head was spinning from all the possible outcomes this one could’ve taken. Though I do like the route Josephine chose! This was a smashing mystery that will leave you guessing right until the very end! It’s not one to be missed if you’re looking for a good mystery with a questionable narrator!


Overall Rating 4/5 stars






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