Sunday, May 12, 2019

Book Review: The Answers Are In The Forest (The Answers Series Book One) by Katie Kaleski

Title: The Answers Are In The Forest
Series: The Answers Series Book One
Author: Katie Kaleski
Publication Date: April 9th 2019
Genre: Young Adult Horror, Mystery
New town. New house. Unexplainable occurrences.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that there’s something strange about the house my mom and I moved in to.

Weird drawings, toys appearing out of nowhere, the sound of footsteps and kids giggling at night—it all points to one thing…our house is haunted.

Instead of packing my stuff and running as far away from the creepy house as possible, I decide to investigate. Risky? Stupid? Maybe. But rather than feed my fear, the mystery that surrounds the haunting leaves me wanting answers.

I'm a big fan of ghost stories and haunted houses, so when I heard about The Answers Are In The Forest by Katie Kaleski, I knew it was a book I had to read. Luckily, it was a good read.

I went into The Answers Are In The Forest thinking this would be more of a haunted house/ghost story, and while there are ghosts, it's not a spooky ghost story. This is more of a horror mystery than a ghost story. Local children ranging in age from 8 through 15 have been murdered. They use dead rabbits as vessels for their spirits to talk to Gabby, the main character. Gabby feels compelled to solve the mystery of who the killer is. However, this puts Gabby in grave danger. I will say that the plot has been done before in other books, but The Answers Are In The Forest still makes for an interesting read. I didn't predict who the actual killer was at all. Even those I thought were guilty turned out to be innocent. Sometimes the plot felt a bit confusing, but I was able to figure it out easily enough after reading a bit more. There is a bit of a cliff hangar at the end of the book, but this is to be expected as it's part of a new series. For those that aren't big into series, I think this book could do alright as a standalone.

All the characters felt like real life people. There were times when Gabby felt a bit spoiled, but she is a teen, and we've all had moments like that. I did admire her tenacity to find out what happened to the murdered children no matter the danger to herself. I found Gabby's mom to be annoying. This wasn't because she was written poorly, but I just didn't like how uninterested she was in what was going on with Gabby especially when Gabby ended up in the hospital. Gabby's mom started out being somewhat caring, but she seemed to just become uninterested as the book progressed. My favorite character was Rusck. I just loved how caring and loyal Rusck seemed to be. I also admired his determination.

The pacing for The Answers Are In The Forest was done well for the most part. There were a few times that it did go too quickly, and I found myself wondering what had just happened. However, it would slow down to a good pace quickly enough, and I was able to enjoy reading it again.

Trigger warnings include profanity, violence (sometimes fairly graphic), and murder (both children, adult, and animal).

Overall, The Answers Are In The Forest is an interesting read although the plot has been done before. The characters are interesting enough and the plot flows well for the most part. I would recommend The Answers Are In The Forest by Katie Kaleski to those aged 15+. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series!
(A special thank you to YA Bound Book Tours for providing me with an eBook of The Answers Are In The Forest by Katie Kaleski in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.)
Katie Kaleski has started down many career paths and held many jobs—indie craft store clerk, pizza maker, photo developer, shoe salesperson and cashier, dental assistant in the army, daycare teacher, student teacher—but her favorite one by far is being a writer.

She’s originally from Chicago, so she says things like pop, gym shoes, and front room. Her favorite food group is sugar, and she loves writing young adult and romance novels.

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