The Waking Forest

304p. Delacorte. Mar. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525581161.
RedReviewStarGr 8 Up—A stunning, spooky, and lyrical debut. There is a witch in the woods, who grants dreaming children their wishes by giving them a rose petal to eat, plucked from her own heart. In return, they must give something of themselves, small hurts they will not miss. The Witch of Wishes is happy to take their pain so that someday it may surpass hers. Rhea is a teen long-plagued by disturbing dreams, who is now seeing things, a dark forest behind the house, a boy cloaked in darkness. Then her family members begin to disappear one by one. Rhea realizes she must take things into her own hands, as her world and that of the witch forcibly collide, changing her life forever. Elements of horror are subtly woven into this exquisitely written mash-up of a modern coming-of-age story and fairy tale. The pacing is taut as the tension steadily ramps up, creating an atmospheric read that is impossible to put down.
VERDICT A sure hit for readers of edgy fantasy and fans of Stephanie Garber's Caraval or Heidi Heilig's The Girl from Everywhere.

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