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 trace, leaving Owen and his mother to deal with the fallout.Owen returns to Lake Cane to finish his senior year, where people he can barely remember despise him for his father's crimes. It's bad enough dealing with muttered insults and glares, but when Owen and his mother receive increasingly frightening threats from someone out for revenge, he knows he must get to the bottom of what really happened at Louisiana Frac--and the cryptic note his father sent him at his boarding school days before disappearing.Owen's only refuge is the sprawling, isolated pecan orchard he works at after school, owned by a man named Gus who has his own secrets--and in some ways seems to know Owen better than he knows himself. As Owen uncovers a terrible injustice that looms over the same Preacher Woods he's claimed as his own, he must face a shocking truth about his own past--and write a better future.

The Lying Woods Details

TitleThe Lying Woods
Author
ReleaseNov 13th, 2018
PublisherDisney-Hyperion
ISBN-139781368014786
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Mystery Thriller

The Lying Woods Review

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    I went into this book expecting a light, mysterious read, based on Elston's fierce following, but I had no clue it would be THAT 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. *bats eyes* 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 THAT 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. *bats eyes* 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. Did I mention his father's business going under affects nearly every single person in the town? 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.The Lying Woods 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!*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy via NetGalley.
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  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    Starting tonight!!! 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 This is Our Story even though they are completely unrelated. They'll still look great next to each other on my shelf!
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  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    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.
  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
    January 1, 1970
    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.*
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  • Jay G
    January 1, 1970
    Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer...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: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer...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.
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  • Wing-yee (bibliomeds)
    January 1, 1970
    my body is ready for this one. COME AT ME BRO
  • Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide/Novelly Yours)
    January 1, 1970
    Initial Impressions 9/9/18: This was an interesting read! At first it read a little more realistic fiction than mystery/thriller but the end was really packed with punches! There were some clues and the mystery along the way but it wasn't really about investigating and discovering like a lot of mystery/thrillers are, so when reveals and twists started popping up, it was a huge surprise! The ending was really interesting and I loved how it all came together. I love those moments where facts are p Initial Impressions 9/9/18: This was an interesting read! At first it read a little more realistic fiction than mystery/thriller but the end was really packed with punches! There were some clues and the mystery along the way but it wasn't really about investigating and discovering like a lot of mystery/thrillers are, so when reveals and twists started popping up, it was a huge surprise! The ending was really interesting and I loved how it all came together. I love those moments where facts are presented and you realize you should have known them the whole time.
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  • Resch Reads
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 STARSI immensely enjoyed this book, as my first Ashley Elston book, it blew me out of the water! Ashley truly has a craft for flawlessly combining overlapping story lines, tangled emotions, and complex characters into a cohesive story that hooks the reader and leaves you captivated and wanting more. Once I started the book, I couldn't put it down. I was hypnotized by the endless questions, when one was solved, not only would another pop up but there were at least five others floating around 4.5 STARSI immensely enjoyed this book, as my first Ashley Elston book, it blew me out of the water! Ashley truly has a craft for flawlessly combining overlapping story lines, tangled emotions, and complex characters into a cohesive story that hooks the reader and leaves you captivated and wanting more. Once I started the book, I couldn't put it down. I was hypnotized by the endless questions, when one was solved, not only would another pop up but there were at least five others floating around in my mind.This is what I believe makes for an excellent mystery story, when I am in a constant state of questioning and suspense. But not so much suspense that the whole narrative is revolving around a build up you know is going to let you down. Ashley brings in romance, family drama, high school drama, and family friends to graph a compelling plot that I want to know it all...at once! Give me the answers!All the characters are multidimensional but none top Owen, who is trying to navigate high school, scandal, betrayal, and secrets. Oh the secrets in this book gave me whiplash, and left me utterly speechless. But while all this is going on, Owen is surprising relate-able and I think this is Ashley's ability to portray the emotional struggle of her characters. I was drowning in the shock and revelations right along side Owen, I felt his frustration and struggle for answers and in return I sympathized for him and wanted to cheer him on in his search for the truth.The mystery is thick and when everything was revealed, I had to actually pause for a moment because WHAT JUST HAPPENED?! I did not see that coming, I was left reeling while desperately clinging to hope. No, no, this isn't your typical gruesome, murder mystery. This is the type of mystery that has you trying to piece together clues but the puzzle piece that holds solution is elusive. I was left guessing how everything was going to play out till the very end. And in all honesty, as I closed the book, I was left a sh*t eating grin on my face because d*mn that was a good book. I will definitely be re-reading it down the road!
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  • Niki
    January 1, 1970
    I believe this officially makes Ashley Elston my favorite Young Adult Thriller writer. Possibly favorite YA author period. Not only are her mysteries twisted and surprising every time, her teenage characters are so real and it always surprises me. My number one pet peeve in YA mysteries is teenage characters who act like they’re 35 and totally capable of anything, screw adults and the police. Elston’s characters are not like that. They do they’re best but they do get help when they’re in over th I believe this officially makes Ashley Elston my favorite Young Adult Thriller writer. Possibly favorite YA author period. Not only are her mysteries twisted and surprising every time, her teenage characters are so real and it always surprises me. My number one pet peeve in YA mysteries is teenage characters who act like they’re 35 and totally capable of anything, screw adults and the police. Elston’s characters are not like that. They do they’re best but they do get help when they’re in over their heads, and because of that her stories can be more complex and adult which puts them on par with adult thrillers in terms of how well written they are.Also, with the teens getting help when needed, they are still refreshingly mature. Not even just the main characters, but the side characters as well. When it was revealed Owen would be returning to the public high school in his hometown, which is filled with people whose lives were ruined by Owen’s dad, I audibly groaned along with Owen because I was prepared to read a whole bunch of stereotypical bullying scenes where our narrator gets shoved into lockers or tripped in the hallways everyday.Sure Owen doesn’t get welcomed back to the school with open arms, but these teens are going through extreme hardships that are very relevant to our real world. They’re watching their parents go into financial crisis and they’re scared and they need to put their anger towards something, but they still try. They try to control themselves and they try to be understanding. That’s how teens are, and Elston choosing to write them in such a realistic way makes her books instant buys for me. Also, yeah there’s a fantastic mystery going on as well. I flew through this book in a day and there’s some stellar plot twists, one of which had me putting the book down and saying, “oh my god.” out loud. What more can you ask for?
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  • Skye
    January 1, 1970
    Anything Ashley writes gets auto-added to my "must-read" list. Her books are all awesomely suspenseful YA.UPDATE 5/2/18:So I just got done reading the ARC...Go preorder it. Now. I'll wait.Man, this book was frickin fantastic.
  • Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
    January 1, 1970
    I wasn't quite sure what to expect going into this book.  I requested it because it was listed as a mystery.  I feel like it was so much more though.  It wasn't a mystery in the same way as some of the books I read.  This one had such a focus on relationships, especially family.The story is told by Owen, but there are sections after Owen's that go back into the past and are told by his dad.  These start off with his dad meeting and working for Gus and then meeting Owen's mom.  It's how their rel I wasn't quite sure what to expect going into this book.  I requested it because it was listed as a mystery.  I feel like it was so much more though.  It wasn't a mystery in the same way as some of the books I read.  This one had such a focus on relationships, especially family.The story is told by Owen, but there are sections after Owen's that go back into the past and are told by his dad.  These start off with his dad meeting and working for Gus and then meeting Owen's mom.  It's how their relationship started.Owen is at boarding school when his mom shows up and tells him that they have to leave.  Owen's dad took off with money from his company that wasn't his.  He left them with nothing except for a note that Owen got in the mail the day before.  He doesn't tell his mom about it though.  Owen has to move back home, but not into their massive home.  Owen and his mom move into his aunt's house, even though his mom and aunt don't get along well.  Owen's mom is getting threats, everyone thinks she knew about the theft, and their house and possessions are being auctioned off.Owen struggles to fit in when he gets back.  Everyone is mad at him, too.  Most of the town lost all their savings because of Owen's dad.  He does find a friend in his old best friend, Pippa, but it takes awhile for them to connect again.  He also meets Gus.  Gus gives him a truck to use and a job.  Owen spends a lot of time there with him.Owen wants to know if his dad is guilty and if so, why he did it.  He starts looking into the business and his dad's past.  We see most of the past in the sections at the ends of the chapters.  Owen will eventually find out more than he expected.  There are a lot of secrets that need to come out.I gave this one 4 stars.  Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for my copy for review.
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  • Kathy Martin
    January 1, 1970
    Owen Foster's life makes a U-turn when his mother comes to his elite boarding school and tells him that his father has embezzled from his company, bankrupting it, and leaving his local investors and employees broke too. His father has disappeared leaving Owen and his mother to take the blame and be the target of many of the people in town who lost their livelihoods when Owen's father disappeared. Owen has to leave his friends behind and go back home for the rest of his senior year. Naturally, he Owen Foster's life makes a U-turn when his mother comes to his elite boarding school and tells him that his father has embezzled from his company, bankrupting it, and leaving his local investors and employees broke too. His father has disappeared leaving Owen and his mother to take the blame and be the target of many of the people in town who lost their livelihoods when Owen's father disappeared. Owen has to leave his friends behind and go back home for the rest of his senior year. Naturally, he doesn't fit in at his school and is the target of angry kids whose parents are hurting. His only possible friend is Pippa who was the girl next door and his best friend until his father moved them across town to a mansion and sent Owen away to school. His only refuge is a pecan farm outside of town. The owner offers him an after-school job. The owner also tells him things he didn't know about his mother and her romance with a guy he had hired to work in the orchard.The story changes viewpoint and flashes back to 1999 when Noah tells about how he wound up in this small town working for Gus and met and fell in love with the girl who would someday be Owen's mother. It also tells about Gus and his love Abby who is dying of cancer when Noah meets her and gets the job. This was an enjoyable mystery with many twists and turns. I liked Owen who was confused but still determined to protect his mother and find out what happened to his father and his father's company. He feels guilty when he learns that all of his advantages from boarding school to fancy vacations were paid for by money his father stole. He also feels bad that his mother is being harassed and threatened for something she didn't do and that they are being forced to live with his mother's older sister.I liked the way the story alternated between the present and the past because both stories had interesting characters and romance.
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  • Allison Covington
    January 1, 1970
    First, I’d like to thank NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.Owen Foster has everything he could possibly want: He attends a prestige boarding school, spends holidays traveling, and has a great group of friends....until one day, everything changes. His mom shows up on campus to bring him home because his dad has run off with millions of dollars betraying basically his whole home town. Since his education was funded on stolen money, he must return home to a place w First, I’d like to thank NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.Owen Foster has everything he could possibly want: He attends a prestige boarding school, spends holidays traveling, and has a great group of friends....until one day, everything changes. His mom shows up on campus to bring him home because his dad has run off with millions of dollars betraying basically his whole home town. Since his education was funded on stolen money, he must return home to a place where he is now a stranger and unwanted. Many people believe he and his mom know where the money is and know where his dad is hiding. Owen finally lands a job in an orchard field working for the town recluse Gus. While there, he begins to connect with the past and learns not everything is always as it seems. Will he be able to accept what he learns? This book kept me guessing the whole time. At the turning point of the book, I seriously gasped out loud. This was such a great read. I can’t wait for Elston’s next book.
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  • Rebecca Allen
    January 1, 1970
    I wasn't sure I was going to connect with a character with Owen's privileged background. But the privilege is stripped from him right at the start of the story and he's placed in one painful situation after another. Neighbors gawk and the paparazzi snap pictures whenever he leaves the house, whispers and stares follow him through the school halls, there's an uncomfortable distance between him and his best friend from grammar school, his only potential friend. Everyone else at school is brimming I wasn't sure I was going to connect with a character with Owen's privileged background. But the privilege is stripped from him right at the start of the story and he's placed in one painful situation after another. Neighbors gawk and the paparazzi snap pictures whenever he leaves the house, whispers and stares follow him through the school halls, there's an uncomfortable distance between him and his best friend from grammar school, his only potential friend. Everyone else at school is brimming with accusations. Owen turns down the chance to escape all this by returning to his old school, unwilling to leave his mother to deal with the scandal's fallout alone or abandon his search for the truth.Elston skillfully weaves together two separate narratives with different time periods: Owen's present and the time when his mother and father met. Both narratives are compelling and move the story forward. The ending is super-twisty and entirely satisfying. The Lying Woods is a great read for people who like a who-dun-its done well enough that they can't see the ending coming! Highly Recommended!I requested an advanced reader copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Need more book suggestions? If The Lying Woods sounds good, you might also like these young adult books discussed on The Winged Pen:Allegedly by Tiffany JacksonBlood Will Out by Jo TreggiariLizzie by Dawn Ius
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  • Teri
    January 1, 1970
    After reading a couple of heavy sci-fi/fantasy books, I was in the mood for an intriguing mystery.  I'd never read anything else by this author, but rest assured, I plan on correcting that. I finished this book in less than two days (while I was supposed to be working on several other projects), but just couldn't put it down.  The dual narrative between Owen and Noah is done so well, and goes about revealing the layers of secrets at a perfect pace.  A small town setting and and secluded pecan fa After reading a couple of heavy sci-fi/fantasy books, I was in the mood for an intriguing mystery.  I'd never read anything else by this author, but rest assured, I plan on correcting that. I finished this book in less than two days (while I was supposed to be working on several other projects), but just couldn't put it down.  The dual narrative between Owen and Noah is done so well, and goes about revealing the layers of secrets at a perfect pace.  A small town setting and and secluded pecan farm only add to the years-old secrets.  With the shocking situation Owen and his mother find themselves in, being stripped of everything they own and having to endure horrible comments and treatment from both adults and teens affected by Owen's father, it's incredibly easy to relate to them.  Rather than wallowing in self-pity over everything he'd lost, I admired Owen's determination to better his situation, help his mother, and find his father.Upon reaching the end of the book, I had several theories, but the twist came as a surprise.  Warning:  Whatever you do, don't flip to the end of this novel and spoil it for yourself!If you're looking for an absolutely un-put-downable mystery with deliciously surprising twists, this is your book. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC. 
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  • Dianna
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book for review. Opinions shared are mine. There’s so much to love about The Lying Woods. I adored the small town setting and all the gossipy drama that came with it. Just out of the town’s reach is an old pecan orchard, which is as charming as it is spooky. It’s always fun to learn something new with a book, and I definitely enjoyed the little veiled reveals found in the Trudeau journal.The main character, Owen, was fantastic. I had some reservations about him at first I received a copy of this book for review. Opinions shared are mine. There’s so much to love about The Lying Woods. I adored the small town setting and all the gossipy drama that came with it. Just out of the town’s reach is an old pecan orchard, which is as charming as it is spooky. It’s always fun to learn something new with a book, and I definitely enjoyed the little veiled reveals found in the Trudeau journal.The main character, Owen, was fantastic. I had some reservations about him at first, but he really stepped up to the plate and became the man of the house. His strength and moral fiber was commendable for any young man, but especially one born into an affluent family. The side characters equally charmed me. Owen’s mom, Maggie, was a dear…the kind of person you want to invite over for coffee and a hug. Pippa might have been my favorite character, though. I so admired the way she stood up for what’s right.The Lying Woods would make a blockbuster movie. It’s too hard to lump it into one genre. There’s suspense to keep your heart racing, romance to keep the candles burning, and mystery to keep your wheels turning. Since the main characters are teens without much adult supervision, there’s a fair amount of illicit activity going on. Be ready for some profanity, underage drinking/drug use, and the understanding that some bedroom scenes have taken place. Those elements were mild enough not to deter me. I don’t often give five stars, but this one is right up there. Many thanks to Disney for sending me a copy!
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  • Caroline Hedges
    January 1, 1970
    This was an advanced proof sent to me in exchange for an honest opinion.This book was slow to start and I wasn't sure I was going to like the main character Owen. He came across as a privileged, rich boy. But then he has to move away from his fancy boarding school and back to his humbler beginnings and things to start to pick up. Who is threatening his mother? Has his dad really ran off with all the money? Is there anyone left in the town who will have sympathy for what Owen and his mum are goin This was an advanced proof sent to me in exchange for an honest opinion.This book was slow to start and I wasn't sure I was going to like the main character Owen. He came across as a privileged, rich boy. But then he has to move away from his fancy boarding school and back to his humbler beginnings and things to start to pick up. Who is threatening his mother? Has his dad really ran off with all the money? Is there anyone left in the town who will have sympathy for what Owen and his mum are going through?Owen finds a refuge in a pecan farm on the edge of town and a loner farmer who knew his parents when they were young. Here the book jumps back in time to a summer of freedom and hope, when his parents first met. I liked the switch in timelines, although I did find myself skipping over many of the parts where Noah and Maggie grow to care for each other. But, I am not the target audience for this book so maybe that's for the best!I enjoyed how the characters evolved into better people and the twist at the end was a surprise to me. This was a wonderfully written small town tale, with a helping of suspense and a sweet ending.
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  • Kat
    January 1, 1970
    #TheLyingWoods #EdelweissThank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for the E-arc copy of this novel. First off, I am a sucker for any mystery! Ashley Elston does not disappoint in this novel. The setting of the small town full of secrets is a wonderful backdrop for this mystery to play out in. Owen is a wonderful and genuine character that we want to root for no matter what! I love that sometimes secrets surprise even our main characters. Elston does an excellent job pulling you into the story an #TheLyingWoods #EdelweissThank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for the E-arc copy of this novel. First off, I am a sucker for any mystery! Ashley Elston does not disappoint in this novel. The setting of the small town full of secrets is a wonderful backdrop for this mystery to play out in. Owen is a wonderful and genuine character that we want to root for no matter what! I love that sometimes secrets surprise even our main characters. Elston does an excellent job pulling you into the story and making you care about the people. She creates a town where people matter, and you don’t want all the secrets to be so bad that the characters can’t move forward. Yep, I referred to them like real people. You just can’t help it with this one.
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  • Meghan
    January 1, 1970
    From beginning to end this book captivated me. We have been wanting to expand our young adult collection with adventurous captivating books and this was a great fit for that. I have read Ashley's book This is Our Story and throughout our library system, the book has been widely popular with our patrons. Owen's story about being thankful for what you have and counting all of your blessings everyday is what we cal all learn from. Also the lesson here is to make your own history not feed off of one From beginning to end this book captivated me. We have been wanting to expand our young adult collection with adventurous captivating books and this was a great fit for that. I have read Ashley's book This is Our Story and throughout our library system, the book has been widely popular with our patrons. Owen's story about being thankful for what you have and counting all of your blessings everyday is what we cal all learn from. Also the lesson here is to make your own history not feed off of one your descendants have created like Owen's father and the crimes he has committed. A wonderful read that will interest you in every chapter. 5 stars!
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  • Taylor Holt
    January 1, 1970
    THE LYING WOODS has a lot of checkmarks for me. New Orleans. Boarding School. Mysterious disappearance.All that said, this book was an average read for me. I read through it pretty quickly, but I'm not sure how long it will stick with me. I appreciate the work Ashley Elston put into crafting the reveal, but I didn't feel connected enough to Owen and the rest of the characters to be pushed and pulled by the narrative.I received this book from NetGalley - courtesy of Disney-Hyperion - in exchange THE LYING WOODS has a lot of checkmarks for me. New Orleans. Boarding School. Mysterious disappearance.All that said, this book was an average read for me. I read through it pretty quickly, but I'm not sure how long it will stick with me. I appreciate the work Ashley Elston put into crafting the reveal, but I didn't feel connected enough to Owen and the rest of the characters to be pushed and pulled by the narrative.I received this book from NetGalley - courtesy of Disney-Hyperion - in exchange for an honest review. taylorhavenholt.com/thhbooks.html
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  • Amanda Caravello
    January 1, 1970
    I have been a HUGE fan of Elston's writing and she has definitely done it again by writing this incredible novel. I'm so excited to read other people's responses to this book. I'm constantly impressed by the quality of the stories and characters that Elston brings out in the world. This book is worth the time. I loved the story and the characters, truly a captivating read.I received my ARC through a giveaway contest and would like to thank both @book_junkee (twitter) and the author, Ashley Elsto I have been a HUGE fan of Elston's writing and she has definitely done it again by writing this incredible novel. I'm so excited to read other people's responses to this book. I'm constantly impressed by the quality of the stories and characters that Elston brings out in the world. This book is worth the time. I loved the story and the characters, truly a captivating read.I received my ARC through a giveaway contest and would like to thank both @book_junkee (twitter) and the author, Ashley Elston, for this opportunity.(I'll update this further upon the released of the novel.)
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  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    The Lying Woods is classic Ashley Elston—great character depth and surprising twists and turns! All of the characters are fully fleshed out and the teens are believable. Perfect YA/upper middle grade read for fans of The Rules for Disappearing!
  • Read InAGarden
    January 1, 1970
    Such a wonderful book. Elston has penned a tale of deceit, love, back-stabbing, self-reliance and truth-finding In The Lying Woods. Readers won't want to put this one down.
  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Ashley Elston is one of my favorite YA authors and the Lying Woods is an excellent example as to why. The Lying Woods is a mystery with twists and turns that keep the reader awake long into the night. Her characters are real and relatable. Owen's relationship with his mom is beautiful and poignant. His struggles with his peers are painful to read with their accurate portrayal of the cruelty of teens. This is a must read.
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    *Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.* Wow! That was a ride. I got strong The Notebook vibes, especially towards the end. The Lying Woods stands on its own two feet though - this is a passionate story, full of mystery, nostalgia, love, jealousy, and grief. I loved the way it hops back and forth between Noah in 1999 and Owen in the present. The parallel stories of the two made the unraveling of the mystery all the more intense. Though i *Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.* Wow! That was a ride. I got strong The Notebook vibes, especially towards the end. The Lying Woods stands on its own two feet though - this is a passionate story, full of mystery, nostalgia, love, jealousy, and grief. I loved the way it hops back and forth between Noah in 1999 and Owen in the present. The parallel stories of the two made the unraveling of the mystery all the more intense. Though it is not as darkly intense as Sadie, fans of that gritty mystery may find this to be their next good read. I can't think of any complaints for this one. It was just amazing. And that ending.
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    Ashley Elston has seriously found her niche in these realistic mystery type books and this one right here was fantastic. More review later...but go ahead and preorder this one. It’s worth every penny and then some.
  • Judy Beetem
    January 1, 1970
    The Lying Woods is one of those books that you pick up because it looks good, then can't put down because its great! The story opens on Owen as he's called to the office of his New Orleans boarding school and receives horrible news. His father, who's company was the major source of jobs and income in the small town where Owen grew up, has disappeared with millions of dollars he embezzled from the company. He's left the town with no source of income and many people out of jobs and without retirem The Lying Woods is one of those books that you pick up because it looks good, then can't put down because its great! The story opens on Owen as he's called to the office of his New Orleans boarding school and receives horrible news. His father, who's company was the major source of jobs and income in the small town where Owen grew up, has disappeared with millions of dollars he embezzled from the company. He's left the town with no source of income and many people out of jobs and without retirement. Owen and his mother, Maggie, are forced to withdraw from the school and return to that town with constant threats and harassment from the devastated townsfolk. They don't believe Owen and Maggie know nothing about Owen's father's disappearance. Owen struggles at his new school with kids who were friends and neighbors before Owen's father became wealthy and moved up and out of town. These kids yell insults, pick fights, and generally make life unbearable for Owen. His only respite is his job on an old pecan farm run by Gus Trudeau, who knew his father and mother back when they first met and started dating.The story switches between Owen and his father's point of view. Owen, as he tries to figure out what went wrong and what exactly his father was up to as well as who is threatening his mother and vandalizing their property. He tries to pick up his friendship with Pippa, who was his neighbor and constant companion in the old days. Pippa wants nothing to do with him at first, but gradually succumbs to his charm and honesty and begins to help Owen figure out his new life.Owen's father, Noah, was a troubled young man who drifted through town and ended up working for Gus and Abby Trudeau on the pecan farm. He becomes part of the family, and comes to care for Gus and his wife Abby, who is in the end stages of breast cancer.. He also falls in love with Maggie, a town girl who comes out to visit Abby. As their relationhip blossoms, and Noah realizes he wants to stay, he cleans himself up and prepares to meet Maggie's parents. Abby's death comes as shock to everyone, even though it was expected, Noah meets Maggie's family in less than ideal circumstances and must spend his time caring for Gus as he promised Abby, trying to get him to live again. Their love gets Maggie and Noah through the difficult time and things are looking up when Noah is arrested and his sketchy past catches up to him. Ashley Elston has crafted a terrific coming of age novel. The two stories entwine and come together in such a creative and unexpected way. I was engaged from beginning to end and can highly recommend this book.
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