Book review – What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra

Caidyn's review (1)

What the Woods Keep

1/5 – DNF at 44%

CW: child abandonment and general violence

So. I really wanted to like this book. The cover is fantastic, the synopsis sounds pretty good, and the title is definitely intriguing. However, it (obviously) fell apart for me. I tried and gave it nearly half the book just to find that it wasn’t going to be my type a book.

My biggest issue is that it felt like a debut. You all know what I mean, right? The plot felt like it was hitting the big points. The characters felt too convenient and unreal. The writing felt childish and like it wasn’t even meant for teenagers.

It just felt… wrong. I read multiple glowing reviews of this on Goodreads, not finding the strong points that they were mentioning.

Hayden felt like a child. The main character just felt super childish with how she spoke. And, I hated the inclusion of second person in it, like she was talking to me. I don’t know why that’s such a big pet peeve of mine since some of my favorite books (such as, The Book Theif) uses that and I love it. But it didn’t work well when it was mixed with this childish writing. I didn’t want to connect to this character. I just wanted to ignore it and move on with things.

Then, things dropped into her lap. Just literally dropped there and it was all too convenient for my liking. I wanted some kind of struggle, in a way. But, it all just happened and I was confused about why this was a big deal because there was no challenge presented.

The heavy-handed hints about things going on didn’t work for me either. Like, I just wanted it to be explained when it’s mentioned, like, every chapter that people do weird things and hurt themselves around her. And I was halfway through the book without any explanation or any type of movement toward understanding why this happened. It was mentioned constantly, yet no ground was gained with an explanation.

In short:


Talk to me!
If you’ve read this, what did you think of it?
Do you have plans of reading this?

7 thoughts on “Book review – What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra

  1. I agree so much with this entire post!! I stuck it out because I thought maybe it would get better as it went on, but it really didn’t. I’m kind of bummed out because it had so much potential, but then it was so heavy handed and didn’t live up to it at all. I definitely agree about it feeling like a debut, hopefully she keeps at it and improves because I wanted to like this book so much!
    (Also Katya de Becerra lives in Melbourne and signed a bunch of copies at a nearby bookstore so of course I grabbed one of those versions, but now I have a signed copy of a book I didn’t like very much and have no idea what to with it – I don’t really want to get rid of it, but I also know I’m not going to read it again!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will check out something else by her for sure. Because I think that debuts aren’t always a person’s best work, although I have read fantastic ones. It’s an interesting premise, but I wasn’t a fan of how it carried out.

      (Ha! I had a signed bookplate with it since I got it in a book subscription box. So, I sold it to a used bookstore, along with some other signed ones. You could always do a book trade on Twitter!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah I’ll definitely give her another go, it’s amazing to see how much people improve throughout their career and I really do want to see writers succeed!!
        And that’s a good idea. I’m such a book hoarder though, I’ll see if I can talk myself into parting with it!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • For sure they improve and I felt promise with her, just that this book didn’t work. I’m a hoarder, too. My room is scary, but I let go occasionally! Try to rationalize it by saying it’ll go to a good home and, if you do a book trade through Twitter, you get something in exchange!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: October wrap-up – BW Reviews

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