“Others look at me and see a witch. A girl who is dangerous and fearless and full of dark thoughts. But they don’t see the parts of me I keep hidden.”
Rating: 4/5 stars
Format: Physical copy
Thank you Simon Teen for sending me a finished copy in exchange for a honest review!
Be careful of the dark, dark wood . . .
Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.
Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.
But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.
Well folks, she did it again.
Welcome to another beautiful world written by Shea Ernshaw.
Winterwood was one of my most anticipated reads for the second half of 2019 and it definitely didn’t let me down. It also further solidified that I have a new auto-buy author who is going to steal all my money in the future, but it’s fine, totally fine. I don’t know what it is about her world-building and soft bit of magic but it totally steals my heart every time. Even though I will say that The Wicked Deep is my favorite book out of the two, Winterwood still was everything I hoped it would be and then some.
Nora, our MC, in the story finds a boy named Oliver in the woods during one of the worst snowstorms that has hit her cozy little hometown in years. There is no way he should have survived but much to her surprise he has. However, he fails to recollect what happened the night he disappeared. Little does Nora know finding Olivier will be the beginning of something much bigger than she can ever imagine. As Oliver slowly unravels what happened the night he disappeared he tries his best to keep his distance from Nora in an effort to not hurt her by exposing the truth. But fate has a way of making sure the two of them always find their way back to one another. The mystery of what happened that night, the soft romance, the setting, and magic in this one will have you flying through the pages in no time.
The setting itself for this one is a place I would gladly love to live in. A lakeside setting surrounded by an enchanted forest that gets so much snow it often falls off the grid for months at a time. YES PLEASE. I’m moving in. It’s seriously the perfect book to cozy up to this fall/winter. Plus, the book also includes excerpts from Nora’s family spell book which talks about all of Nora’s ancestors and the powers they held and their pasts. It works so well for the story because when you get to the end and everything ties together it just pulls on your heart and feels so good. My only reasoning for this one not being a five star read is because I did find this to be a tad bit predictable. However, there’s still so much beauty within this book that it was something I was easily able to overlook.
“The Wicker Woods are where old, vengeful things lurk – things much older than time itself. Things you don’t want to meet in the dark.”
“Walkers cannot trust our own hearts — our slippy, sloppy bleeding hearts. They are reckless, stupid things. Muscles that beat too fast, that cave inward when they break. Too fragile to be trusted.”
All in all, I loved this one. It’s perfect to read during a chilly night, bundled up under blankets, with a warm cup of hot chocolate. From the setting, to the characters, to the magic there’s so much to love and I hope we get more beautiful books from Shea in the future!
Until next time,