Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Escape From Witchwood Hollow by Jordan Elizabeth

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Author: Jordan Elizabeth
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: October 29, 2014
Age Rating: Young Adult
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Everyone in Arnn - a small farming town with more legends than residents - knows the story of Witchwood Hollow: if you venture into the whispering forest, the witch will trap your soul among the shadowed trees.

After losing her parents in a horrific terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, fifteen-year-old Honoria and her older brother escape New York City to Arnn. In the lure of that perpetual darkness, Honoria finds hope, when she should be afraid.

Perhaps the witch can reunite her with her lost parents. Awakening the witch, however, brings more than salvation from mourning, for Honoria discovers a past of missing children and broken promises.

To save the citizens of Arnn from becoming the witch’s next victims, she must find the truth behind the woman’s madness.

How deep into Witchwood Hollow does Honoria dare venture?

When I first read the synopsis I immediately thought of The Blair Witch Project. Not really a fair comparison, but it had a few things in common such as, of course, a witch and woods that people go into and can't escape. That's where the similarities end though, because Escape From Witchwood Hollow is so much more exciting and mysterious.

This novel follow the lives of three different characters. First we are introduced to Honoria, a high school student who is trying to come to terms with the death of her parents as a result of the World Trade Center terrorist attack. She's new in Arnn and some girls from school try to scare her with tales of Witchwood Hollow, which of course only makes her want to investigate them herself. Then we meet Lady Clifford, living in the 1600s, as she is running for her life; she seems clever, but it's hard to feel too much fondness knowing why she is running away. Finally, we have Albertine, a teenager living in England in the 1800s, who wishes she and her sister could be in Arnn with their father. As the story progresses we find out how all of their lives are intertwined. Sometimes when books switch between characters, I like one more than the others so I find myself skipping through to get to the "good parts'. I didn't do that here; I found each of their stories to be equally interesting.

There was even a little romance thrown in, which I wasn't really expecting. Honoria meets a guy named Leon and they have so much in common that it's a no-brainer that they should be together. Well, maybe it's not quite so simple, but I enjoyed watching their interactions nonetheless.

I loved the air of mystery surrounding Witchwood Hollow. I've always thought woods are creepy. I know others would think that's silly; to me, you don't know what might be living in there. The locals all knew about the witch that supposedly haunted the woods and most seemed to believe it as well. Even back in Albertine's time, people were wary of wandering through there even during the day. In a sick way, I was just waiting for someone to unwittingly enter and never come out. Muahahahaha. Ahem. Eventually I got my wish, but then I was just sad and depressed about that poor soul. I started desperately hoping for a positive outcome. So, was there a happy ending? I'll never tell, read it for yourself!

Overall I found Escape From Witchwood Hollow to be equal parts charming and mysterious, with a little horror thrown in. I actually enjoyed the historical element it brought, which for me is huge because usually I avoid anything historical at all costs. The author, Jordan Elizabeth, did such a great job of making the characters and setting come alive; it was easy to get lost while reading (I finished the book in one sitting). I am definitely looking forward to reading more from this author.

If you want to learn more about author Jordan Elizabeth and her other works, visit her website by clicking here. You'll definitely want to visit after you read Escape From Witchwood Hollow, because there's a fantastic bonus scene regarding Leon and it sent chills down my spine. Happy reading!

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