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.
I will be honest, I picked up this book thinking it was going to be a Young Adult Fantasy or at the very least magical realism, base on the title and the mysterious cover. I was about a quarter of the way through the book that I realized, while I was enjoying the book that I had made a mistake and picked a book outside of my genre. However, I was enjoying the book so I decided to finish it and share it with you all.
The setting of the The Lying Woods is in Louisiana. Owen’s boarding school is in New Orleans, but when he’s forced to leave he ends up four hours outside of the city. I always love an authentically southern voice and Owen really hit the mark. The small town feel of his new home also feels real, like it could be the small town my husband and I live in. The woods that Owen adopts also feels familiar but unique. They’re eerie and intriguing, almost acting like a character in the book.
Owen is a complex main character. He’s not always likeable, but he always goes through a lot of development from the start of the book to the end. By the last page I really felt for him and was sorry to leave him behind. There is a large cast in the book, including Owen’s mom, Pippa, his childhood best friend, and Gus, the owner of the woods. They’re all memorable character who go through their own journeys throughout.
The beginning of the book is fast paced. We meet Owen, meet his friends and his school and then are immediately ripped away from him and us. It felt like a bit of a bait and switch and then story really slows down after that. However, there is enough intrigue and mystery that, even though the plot is slow, I don’t mind as much as I might have in another story. There are enough clues peppered in, that it felt more like a cozy mystery at times than a thriller, which I ended up really enjoying!
The Lying Woods is an interesting read for fans of Young Adult and mysteries. The characters are all memorable and fun and you’ll also feel a connection for the settings within the story. The plot can be slow, but the pacing works well for this style of story. If you love mysteries and John Green, you’ll love this book!