Would you risk your life to save your best friend?
Julia did. When a paroled predator attacked Liv in the woods, Julia fought back and got caught. Liv ran, leaving Julia in the woods for a terrifying 48 hours that she remembers only in flashbacks. One year later, Liv seems bent on self-destruction, starving herself, doing drugs, and hooking up with a violent new boyfriend. A dead girl turns up in those same woods, and Julia’s memories resurface alongside clues unearthed by an ambitious reporter that link the girl to Julia’s abductor. As the devastating truth becomes clear, Julia realizes that after the woods was just the beginning.
"Here we are, you and me. Not what I expected. But something."
Julia was trapped in the woods, kidnapped by Donald Jessup, someone who wanted Liv but got Julia instead. When Julia saved her best friend Liv almost a year ago while Liv fled; she faced two days of fear and her survival instincts have not gone away. Julia analyzes everything like she is still back in those woods. She analyzes Jessup, her kidnapping, and now the new body that was found. But most of all she analyzes Liv - the friend she saved who's acting anything but normal.
Julia is one tough MC. The fact that she finds a way to save her friend who then runs away, leaving her with a probable killer, is beyond anything I could ever expect from a character or real life person to do. I liked that she was such a fact finder when it came to kidnappings and her own trauma. She was trying to reason her way through what happened to her which made her story very believable.
"Liv wants to leave the woods," I murmur, my head thrown back, tracing the jagged lines in the canopy.
"Most people wouldn't blame her," Kellan says.
From the jeep, Liv yells at us to hurry up.
I'm not like most people.
I stoop up to pick an oak leaf, twirling its stem between my thumb and forefinger. Veins radiate out, starting and ending at the midrib, the leaf's spine. I close my eyes and run my finger over the midrib, a distinct indent on the front, an unmistakable ridge on the back. Starting and ending at the same place. Imminently traceable.
"I'm not ready to leave yet," I say, heading to the truck.
Liv is one shady human being. From the get go, she left her friend and she acts like everything is fine when Julia's back home. She doesn't want to talk about the woods anymore because according to her it's over and it's not like she got raped or anything.... WHAT!? I instantly had my guard up when it came to her and couldn't understand her motives for the things she said or did.
Kellan is the son of the detective/police officer on the case. He comes to her rescue when it comes to reporters trying to get a piece of her story. He's very dark and mysterious and of course beautiful (I've never understood how every boy in YA are called beautiful but I digress). He's drawn to her and she's drawn to him once she sees he seems to care for her. I really liked the way they talked about each other and the kidnapping. I really loved the writing in this story in general. It's really spot on and I couldn't get enough. I do think though that maybe it was too early and too fast for them to get into a semi-relationship thing but I won't go so far as say it was instalove. He is an interesting character on his own. He helps play off Julia's need to find out the why of it all but he is respectful and protective of her most of all.
Literally, other than thinking Liv was shady and her mother is a horrible human being, (Liv's mother Deborah would degrade her any chance she got. I would have ripped out her hair by now if I was Liv.) I couldn't help wonder how this was all going to end. And it ended with an explosion in my mind. In the end I couldn't process what just happened and couldn't believe how it ended. Talk about a great conclusion while still feeling like I needed more (in the good way - not the disappointed way). The mystery was freaking awesome and I could have never predicted the craziness that came with it.
I'm really happy I decided to buy this book because 1) The mystery was awesome and twisted 2) Julia's analytical brain and 3) That cover is gorgeous. If the summary entices you or this review I don't think you can go wrong. It's a well written mystery that will keep you guessing Why? to the very end.
Thanks to NetGalley and Farrar, Straus and Giroux for letting me read After the Woods in exchange for an honest review!