What She Found in the Woods

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Pub Date Dec 01 2020 | Archive Date Feb 02 2021
SOURCEBOOKS Fire | Sourcebooks Fire


This is Magda’s last chance.

Recovering from a scandal at her elite, New York City private school that threw life into a tailspin, she is shipped off to live with her grandparents in the Pacific Northwest for the summer.

Medicated and uninspired, Magda spends her days in a fog wandering the woods behind the house. But then she stumbles upon Bo. He’s wild and free, and he can see the real her. Magda starts believing she might be able to move on from her past and feel something again.

But there’s more to this sleepy town than she thought. And what Magda finds in the woods near Bo’s forest home is the beginning of a whole new nightmare… 

This is Magda’s last chance.

Recovering from a scandal at her elite, New York City private school that threw life into a tailspin, she is shipped off to live with her grandparents in the Pacific...

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EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781728216270
PRICE $10.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 78 members

Featured Reviews

I haven't been this sucked in my a YA novel since gulping down We Were Liars in one sitting.

Magda is a former party girl from New York high society that gets exiled to live with her grandparents in the Pacific Northwest after a major public fall from grace and a subsequent hospitalization. She splits her time between volunteering at a women's shelter and hiking in the nearby forest. While in the woods, she meets a guy her age that was raised in the wilderness and quickly becomes intrigued by him and his family's alternative way of life. When she hears rumors in town about a murderer that kills women in the woods, she starts to question whether or not her new love interest might be as innocent and untainted by society as she thought.

Here are a few of the things that made this novel so compulsively readable:

-The pacing, split timeline, and voice were all flawless.
-I'm always hesitant to pick up thrillers that include addiction and mental illness. The author handled both of those things in a way that was thoughtful, sensitive, and informed. (I particularly appreciated her notes about why she chose to write about opiate addiction in the back of the book.) Instead of adding to the stigma around people that are already suffering, the author shed some light on the way those populations are treated as disposable without being preachy.
-While I've seen a few reviews mention that the attraction between Bo and Magda was too much like insta-love, I disagree. I found their mutual curiosity and chemistry to be fully fleshed out and believable. (Plus, Bo's total lack of toxic masculinity was refreshing.)
-Madga is a character that would be easy to write off as unlikeable given her past wrongs, but the author made me genuinely care about how her story played out.

I'll definitely be going back to pick up Josephine Angelini's backlist books!

Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review.

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This was a great read! I had so much fun reading this story and all it's twist and turns. The story revolves around Magdalena, who is moved in with her grandparents after a huge scandal in her New York school and her parents divorce. Still reeling from everything that has happened Magda is trying her best to get by day by day in her new home. Things start to look up when a mysterious boy named Bo literally lands on her. But just as things are looking up dead bodies start to turn up and Magda starts to question everyone around her, even herself. The story deals with mental illness, physical and emotional abuse, drug abuse, self harm, discussions of racism, and eating disorders. The way the story unfolds itself is interesting as Magda isn't a reliable narrator and we learn more and more about what has happened to her in the past that affects the present through small glimpses as the story goes on. The mystery was a unique one and I really liked the way it played out. The romance between Bo and Magda was very sweet and I liked how much they cared and took care of each other. Overall, I had a lot of fun reading this book and would definitely recommend it!
* Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review*

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Sooooo much better than I was expecting!

I’ve never read anything by this author, but what an intro!!!

Dark, twisted, delicious.

I love the flashbacks. These are my favorite parts of good thrillers. Especially at the hands of an unreliable narrator.

I didn’t love Lena, but for whatever reason, that made me love the story more.

I also really loved the journal pages. They brought a cool, almost ‘presence’ tothe book.

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What She Found in the Woods lingers with you long after you've finished it. Haunting, twisted and dark it draws you in from the first page with it's flawed but relatable characters and it's well-paced plot that has so many twist and turns.

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This was an excellent book that caught me right from the first page. The author did a great job capturing the voice of Magda, and creating a sympathetic yet flawed character. I wasn't expecting to see the story evolve into such a dark mystery that kept me rushing to find out what would happen next. This felt like a true thriller and romance mixed into one exciting story. I will absolutely buy this book for my HS library and recommend it to any of my students who are looking for a suspenseful story!

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I spoiled myself by first reading the author's note/acknowledgements at the book's end. But even that doesn't hint at how bloody absorbing this story is.

WHAT SHE FOUND IN THE WOODS is self-aware of the racism and classism that forms a key part of a subplot. The novel itself is like Alex Mallory's WILD meets Stephanie Oakes's THE ARSONIST, but is a strange and alluring beast entirely of its own. A bizarre lifestyle, family secrets, DIY heart injection, and the bond of staff at a women's shelter combine to make a winning combination. Part of it all is Magdalena, a flawed character who's done well-meaning but awful things. She's aware she isn't owed anyone's forgiveness or approval, but finds meaning in herself via volunteering at a women's shelter. Her friendship with fellow staff member Gina may be unusual, but they've got each other's backs.

The author writes that this book is "unusual" for her. I hope Josephine Angelini writes more psychological suspense, because this is a gem. But the real mystery is why the USA is so late to publish it. (I'm not complaining, being in Australia to get it early, though.)

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