Blog Tour: The Woodlands by Lauren Nicolle Taylor – Review + Giveaway

Posted September 24, 2013 by Sophia

Title: The Woodlands (The Woodlands #1)
Author: Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Publication Date: August 30, 2013
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Word Count: approximately 92,000

Rosa never thought she’d make it to sixteen…

When being unique puts you in danger and speaking your mind can be punishable by death, you might find yourself fighting to survive. Sixteen-year-old Rosa lives in one of the eight enclosed cities of The Woodlands. Where the lone survivors of a devastating race war have settled in the Russian wilderness because it’s the only scrap of land left habitable on the planet. In these circular cities, everyone must abide by the law or face harsh punishment. Rosa’s inability to conform and obey the rules brands her a leper and no one wants to be within two feet of her, until she meets Joseph. He’s blonde, fair-skinned, green-eyed, and the laid-back complete opposite of Rosa. She’s never met anyone quite like him, and she knows that spells danger.

But differences weren’t always a bad thing. People used to think being unique was one of the most treasured of traits to have. Now, the Superiors, who ruthlessly control the concrete cities with an iron fist, are obsessed with creating a ‘raceless’ race. They are convinced this is the only way to avoid another war. Any anomalies must be destroyed.

The Superiors are unstoppable and can do anything they want. After all, they are considered superheroes by the general public. But not everyone sees them this way. When they continue to abuse their power by collecting young girls for use in their secret, high-tech breeding program, they have no idea that one of those girls has somehow managed to make friends even she didn’t know she had. And one man will stop at nothing to save her.

Book Links:
Disclaimer: Review copy provided by Clean Teen Publishing for the blog tour.

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.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • 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

Author Bio

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.

Author Links:

Clean Teen Publishing Links:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

  • 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.
~Happy Reading!

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Sophia is a socially awkward Communications major who has a GIF for nearly everything and is frequently in a Hogwarts House Crisis. More of her bookish reviews can be found at The Arts STL.

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2 responses to “Blog Tour: The Woodlands by Lauren Nicolle Taylor – Review + Giveaway

  1. Hi Sophia– I love your background! This sounds interesting– I do enjoy main characters with attitude..but 1984 makes me squirm WAY too much, so I try not to see out books similar to it, LOL. Especially slow ones. It sounds like this one was okay, though! Awesome review, girly! On a totally unrelated note, your snowflakes keep sending me pack to the top of the page! O.O

  2. Hiya Megan,
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
    Thankfully, I'm not the only one who squirmed at 1984; I honestly can't wait to finish it, Lol.
    As for the snowflakes… that's odd. O_o