Creepy book? 😏 Set in the woods? 🙃 With ghosts and monsters? 😍 YES PLEASE! When I first saw the blurb for this middle grade book I was HOOKED!
While the synopsis for What Lives in the Woods by Lindsay Currie, title, and cover art promises creepy woods and creatures, that isn’t exactly what we get. Instead, this book focuses on a haunted mansion in a small vacation town. Not everyone believes Woodmoor Manor is haunted, but our main character Ginny knows it is👻 The creepy mannequin in her room moves at night, she hears eerie ticking noises, and sees shadows that others are oblivious to.
Ginny and her family are spending the summer at Woodmoor because her dad is working with the local historical society to restore it. Her parents are determined to renovate the place, despite Ginny and her brother not wanting to be there. This whole situation gave me Hill House vibes (that’s exactly what happens in the show) and the whole time I was 😱😱😱
However, Ginny is a huge Agatha Christie fan and aspiring writer, so she gets to work, using her knowledge of mystery novels to find out what the ghost wants. She befriends a local boy in town who has also had paranormal experiences in the mansion, and the two of them work together to bring peace to the restless spirits.
This book had more than enough spooks and scares, even for me, an adult reader. The haunted house was incredible, and I loved seeing a young female character who loved books, reading, and mysteries. The story also introduced a lot of terms and themes from detective books, which would be great for young readers.
I was a little disappointed that there was such little focus on the woods, especially since that’s what I was expecting, but the story overall was very good.
Thank you to the publisher Source Books Kids for providing me with a digital ARC of What Lives in the Woods by Lindsay Currie via NetGalley 🖤 It came out on September 14, 2021, and can be purchased wherever books are sold.