What I Liked:
- It’s set in a different country other than the US – No offense whatsoever to fellow US peoples, but I’m kind of a bit tired of reading books near the same settings over and over again when it comes to futuristic-like novels, despite the fact I love them all the same. The Woodlands being set in a different country (not the UK either) is a nice, new refresher in terms of setting.
- Rosa’s character – I don’t know why I find female main characters having a bit of an attitude appealing. For some reason, it just makes the book more interesting. Rosa also undergoes major changes throughout the story; from a closed off troublemaker/rule breaker/rebel to someone who’s more open and letting others in.
- Not so appealing – Let’s just say I was expecting a tad bit more than George Orwell’s 1984 (oh, and I can’t wait until we move on from that in English soon) style in a way that’s thankfully appropriate for a YA audience (but then 1984 isn’t YA in the first place. Though in terms of relation to 1984, I meant the Superiors remind me of the Party and Big Brother. Thankfully, The Woodlands isn’t as awkward and doesn’t make me squirm uncomfortably as 1984 does. It’s also a bit… slow paced.
- A little confused – I am so confused about her father/stepfather. Rereading the parts over and over again after finishing the book unfortunately didn’t shed any further light either. And I had a little over an entire week to ponder on it. But still… over a week. That’s usually enough time for a light bulb to illuminate in my mind and for me to come up with a reasonable bridge to gap my confusion and wrap my mind around it.
Overall: Pretty cover, good idea, nice setting refresher, but I think I may have overestimated my thoughts on Taylor’s debut novel. Though for a debut novel, it honestly wasn’t that bad. I found it okay-ish, but The Woodlands didn’t exactly make a majorly grand impression for me in the end.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Owls
Lauren Nicolle Taylor is a 33-year-old mother living in the tiny, lush town of Bridgewater on the other side of the world in Australia. She married her high school sweetheart and has three very boisterous and individual children. She earned a Bachelors degree in Health Sciences with Honours in Obstetrics and Gynecology and majored in Psychology while minoring in Contemporary Australian Writing.
After a disastrous attempt to build her dream house that left her family homeless, She found herself inexplicably drawn to the computer. She started writing, not really knowing where it may lead but ended up, eight weeks later, with the rough draft of The Woodlands.
In 2013, Lauren Nicolle Taylor accepted a publishing contract with Clean Teen Publishing. Her first published novel, The Woodlands, was released on August 30, 2013. Currently, Lauren has finished her manuscript for the second book in the series titled: The Wall, as well as partially completed the third book in the series which at this time is unnamed.
If US Grand Prize: Print copy of The Woodlands, bookmark, surprise Clean Teen Publishing swag gift, and reader’s choice of two digital Clean Teen Publishing books.
If International Grand Prize: $10 Electronic Amazon Gift Card, The Woodlands bookmark, surprise Clean Teen Publishing swag gift, and reader’s choice of two digital Clean Teen Publishing books.
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