The Lying Woods

The Lying Woods

Owen Foster has never wanted for anything. Then his mother shows up at his elite New Orleans boarding school cradling a bombshell: his privileged life has been funded by stolen money. After using the family business, the single largest employer in his small Louisiana town, to embezzle millions and drain the employees' retirement accounts, Owen's father vanished without a t...

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Title:The Lying Woods
Author:Ashley Elston
Rating:

The Lying Woods Reviews

  • Stacee

    November 2018 finished copy read:

    I am a huge fan of Ashley’s words, so I was all over the chance to read this story as a beta reader last year and I was especially excited to revisit the finished copy.

    Owen is a great MC. He’s confused and rightfully angry and hurt and I enjoyed being in his head while he was navigating a new life. The flashback chapters with Noah are great and I loved seeing the same setting in different times. There’s a small cast of characters, but they pack a mighty punch.

    November 2018 finished copy read:

    I am a huge fan of Ashley’s words, so I was all over the chance to read this story as a beta reader last year and I was especially excited to revisit the finished copy.

    Owen is a great MC. He’s confused and rightfully angry and hurt and I enjoyed being in his head while he was navigating a new life. The flashback chapters with Noah are great and I loved seeing the same setting in different times. There’s a small cast of characters, but they pack a mighty punch. Everyone is fleshed out and known.

    Plot wise it was so satisfying. I loved the slow reveals and the dual POV. It was a slow build up, but it completely works and I was captivated from the beginning. And yes, I’m being vague on purpose.

    Overall, it was a another fantastic mystery with fabulous imagery. I’m always here for a book from Ashley and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

    **Huge thanks to Hyperion for providing an early finished copy free of charge**

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    November 2017 beta read: This was amazing. Captivating storyline, characters who were easy to root for, and some really satisfying reveals.

    I can’t wait to read this one again.

  • Ashlee » Library In The Country

    I rarely read anything outside of fantasy and science fiction but

    . It was absolutely riveting and had me feeling all sorts of emotional and questioning

    Despite being a mystery, this was a totally atmospheric book that had me feeling some serious

    vibes. You don't want to skip this one!

    This story follows Owen Foster, who discovers his father has vanished and embezzled millions from his company and its employees. After Owen is pulled from his boarding

    I rarely read anything outside of fantasy and science fiction but

    . It was absolutely riveting and had me feeling all sorts of emotional and questioning

    Despite being a mystery, this was a totally atmospheric book that had me feeling some serious

    vibes. You don't want to skip this one!

    This story follows Owen Foster, who discovers his father has vanished and embezzled millions from his company and its employees. After Owen is pulled from his boarding school, he is thrust back into small town life and must face the people whose lives his father ruined.

    The Lying Woods has so many captivating elements but most of all is the alternating timeline. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the story shifts from present day Owen to the summer of 1999, when Owen's parents meet. I found myself questioning every little bit of information we gather between timelines - most of all, how could the young man we see falling in love with Owen's mother become so terrible in present day? Don't worry folks, you'll get your answer and you

    . I was shook! Seriously, all I wanted to do was get home from work so I could finish this, it had me that enthralled!

    Additionally, I really appreciated the growth we see in Owen and his characterization throughout the book. From his fierce protectiveness of his mother, to his growing relationship with Pippa, to his compassion for those his father harmed. Owen just wants to fit in again and find answers to his father's actions, but to do so he must let down his own barriers and accept the truth of what has happened.

    There were so many emotional scenes for me in this book. Namely: Gus' grief, Noah's love for Maggie and selflessness, Owen and Pippa after the auction and the whole diner scene was just SO MUCH.

    The Lying Woods is delightful and mysterious. As someone who tends to stick within her SFF bubble, this was a pleasant derailment from

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  • Chelsea Humphrey

    I went into this book expecting a light, mysterious read, based on Elston's fierce following, but I had no clue it would be

    good. Seriously, how have I not come across her books before now? I need to immediately scour her backlist and catch up on all her other books that I've missed thus far. When I saw the description for this one pop up on NetGalley, it was one of those moments where I hit the button based on a pretty cover and a vague, angsty synopsis.

    Weirdly enough, the tre

    I went into this book expecting a light, mysterious read, based on Elston's fierce following, but I had no clue it would be

    good. Seriously, how have I not come across her books before now? I need to immediately scour her backlist and catch up on all her other books that I've missed thus far. When I saw the description for this one pop up on NetGalley, it was one of those moments where I hit the button based on a pretty cover and a vague, angsty synopsis.

    Weirdly enough, the tree on the cover didn't play into the story quite like I had expected, and this my friends was a very good thing.

    Owen Foster is in the middle of a prank war with his best friend Jack when he's called into the principal's office of his highly esteemed boarding school and is informed that his father has committed a modern day Ponzi scheme and left his mother and he to face the tumultuous aftershock, while dad escapes relatively unscathed and millions of dollars wealthier. As expected, Owen has to return back to his hometown with his mother in the wake of losing all of their worldly possessions, and this return includes harassment of all kinds, such as death threats and flaming bricks through windows.

    Naturally, no one is welcoming to Owen and his mother, except a recluse named Gus who offers to hire Owen and pay him in exchange for services rendered in renovating his house and working in harvesting the pecan crop this year. As Owen works on the farm, he comes to learn that his father spent a summer working on this very farm, and we slowly get the back story into why Owen's father has done what he has done.

    I left out a few key plots, such as the letter that Owen receives from his father the day before he leaves Sutton (the fancy pants boarding school), because I want you to experience that part for yourself, and while the tension of that meeting does build over the course of the novel, it's not the main focus. I was blown away by how complex and multi-faceted this book was; it had present day storytelling and flashback moments told at the end of each chapter, explaining what happened that fateful summer in 1999 when Owen's father worked at the farm. There is a bit of budding romance included (past and present), but again, it's not the main focus or done in a way to overshadow all the important elements here. I don't want to say too much, other than just read the book, but it was the type of read that checked all my boxes.

    was a mystery that kept me grappling between various outcomes, included emotional depth not typically found in YA contemporary mysteries, and featured a platonic male relationship that was everything I could have hoped for and more. This book was incredibly satisfying, compulsively readable, and included many lessons that are relevant for teens and adults alike. Highly recommended!

  • megs_bookrack

    follows teenage protagonist, Owen Foster, in the aftermath of his Father being exposed as a white-collar criminal. Mr. Foster steals millions of dollars from his company - the largest employer in town - and leaves Owen and his mother behind to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. People in the town are furious, they believe Owen’s Mom knew what he was doing and they begin threatening her and Owen. Forced to leave his posh private school when they can no longer afford the

    follows teenage protagonist, Owen Foster, in the aftermath of his Father being exposed as a white-collar criminal. Mr. Foster steals millions of dollars from his company - the largest employer in town - and leaves Owen and his mother behind to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. People in the town are furious, they believe Owen’s Mom knew what he was doing and they begin threatening her and Owen. Forced to leave his posh private school when they can no longer afford the tuition, Owen returns to his hometown public school where he finds it close to impossible to fit in. A great number of the students come from families directly effected by his Father's crime. Luckily, Owen is able to rekindle a relationship with his old friend and neighbor, Pippa. Through her guidance, Owen begins to understand the destructive scope of his Dad's actions.

    Angry and confused, Owen vows to learn the truth about what happened. How can the Father he knows and loves actually have done this? He is having a hard time grappling with what seems to be a secret side of his Father's personality. When he first returns to town, Owen secures a job on a local pecan farm and quickly learns that his Dad once worked there as well and and even lived on the property. The owner for the pecan farm, Gus, was not only his Dad's employer but also a mentor to him. Owen feels if he sticks around the farm long enough he may be able to piece together his Father's past; he hopes this will help him to understand the present.

    This story reads like a hard-hitting contemporary but there is a strong mystery element that runs throughout. The format was great because you get half of the book from Owen's present day perspective and the other half from his Dad's perspective at the time that he worked on the pecan farm and first met Owen's Mom. You get to see their relationship build and learn about the obstacles they overcame to be together. I liked this structure a lot as I felt it was a very creative way to reveal the truth at the heart of this story.

    Elston’s writing is smooth and organic. She is really a fantastic storyteller. You sit down to read a few pages and the next thing you know hours have gone by. I truly felt drawn into these characters and this story and I needed to know how Mr. Foster could have done what they said he did. It seemed so out of character with the person you meet through his own perspective. The major twist in this gave me chills. It was completely unexpected and then everything unraveled to the truth very quickly.

    This is a story of first love, redemption, discovering who we really are and what is truly important in our lives. I loved the dual perspectives and also thought it was interesting to explore white-collar crime as a topic in YA. I don't think I have ever read something like this before. Elston has very quickly become one of my 'autobuy' authors and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.

    Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney-Hyperion, for giving me the opportunity to read this book early and provide my opinion. I cannot wait for more readers to get their hands on this so I can finally discuss it with some of my book buds! This is definitely going on my favorites list for the year.

    Original:

    One of my most anticipated books of the year. I am actually proud of myself for holding off until release month. A feat I frequently FAIL at!

    I love how they kept the cover to this along the same vein as

    even though they are completely unrelated. They'll still look great next to each other on my shelf!

  • Jane

    I really loved this book. That’s about as eloquent as I’m capable of being after that emotional rollercoaster.

  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    I love a good mystery, especially one that is shrouded in family secrecy and lies.

    The Lying Woods was so much fun. Great characters that were hard to resist and a storyline that flashed back and forth from present day to the past that was just as captivating and shrouded in mystery as the present day mystery.

    I loved how not only the stories but the characters themselves intertwined and came together. With shocking discoveries and revelations, this one kept me turning the pages and on my toes.

    I love a good mystery, especially one that is shrouded in family secrecy and lies.

    The Lying Woods was so much fun. Great characters that were hard to resist and a storyline that flashed back and forth from present day to the past that was just as captivating and shrouded in mystery as the present day mystery.

    I loved how not only the stories but the characters themselves intertwined and came together. With shocking discoveries and revelations, this one kept me turning the pages and on my toes.

    *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

  • ALEXA

    I can honestly tell you that I had no idea what to expect going into this one, but that was a good thing! While it starts off a little slower and it took a number of chapters before I warmed up to the main character, it’s definitely a really well-written contemporary mystery. It builds up really well to the big twists and turns, and I was very impressed.

  • Jay G

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    3.5/5 Stars

    *Thank you to the publishers for the copy in exchange for my honest review*

    Owen Foster has everything he's ever wanted but, one day it's all taken away when he discovers that his father skipped town after stealing all of the money from the employees working for the oil company he owns. Now, Owen must face the after math of his father's actions, moving back to the small town

    Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my youtube channel:

    3.5/5 Stars

    *Thank you to the publishers for the copy in exchange for my honest review*

    Owen Foster has everything he's ever wanted but, one day it's all taken away when he discovers that his father skipped town after stealing all of the money from the employees working for the oil company he owns. Now, Owen must face the after math of his father's actions, moving back to the small town he grew up in. People aren't exactly happy to have him back and his mother begins receiving threats. That's when Owen stumbles onto Preacher Woods and meets Gus, who offers him a job helping to harvest pecans. As time goes on, Owen learns more secrets about the small town, his father and where he may have run off to.

    The book was extremely slow for the first half, but as the story progresses and you slowly discover things along with Owen you can't put the book down. I really liked Owen as a main character, I honestly didn't think I would end up liking him as much as I did but I found him to be very relateable. I loved the dual narrative between Noah and Owen. I enjoyed the flashbacks to Noah during the summer he met Maggie the most and found myself wanting more of his perspective. The way everything came together was amazing and so well done. I definitely did not see the big twist coming and it had my jaw dropping on the floor.

  • Wing-yee (bibliomeds)

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