The Willows by Krystal George (Review by kiwigirlreads)

The Willows Plot Overview:

The WillowsEvelyn Magwire used to have it all, a happy family, great friends and a loving boyfriend. After her parents are killed in an accident things just keep getting worse and worse for Evelyn. Her grief isolates her from her friends and remaining family and it’s not until another tragedy strikes that she is forced to pull herself together.

When one of her brothers goes missing in mysterious circumstances Evie finds that she is the only one who believes he is still out there and wants to track down the truth. Her enquiry leads her to The Willows – what was her brother doing out there, could he really be a killer, and what dark secrets are hiding in the chilled and deserted woods?

Evie finds herself pulled deeper and deeper into a new world of darkness where it’s hard to tell who is friend and who is foe. In the end Evie must make a choice – will she give in to temptation and even if she can resist, will she ever be the same again?

What I thought:
I was provided an ebook copy of ‘The Willows’ by the author for reviewing purposes. I really like the cover of this book, it's one that I would certainly pick up in a book store if I came across it.

First off I’d like to point out here that my rating system veers towards the harsh, even for books that I absolutely loved, so while I have rated this a bit lower it does not mean that it is not a good book. My review will attempt to explain what I did and did not like and you can judge for yourself. If it sounds like something that you might like then I would certainly recommend you giving it a try.
The Willows is one of those books that had a lot of potential and although it was good you can see how it could have been so much better.  It was pretty short at 140 pages and it really could have done with some extra fleshing out of characters, motives and background. It is a paranormal young adult tale which also has a good mystery to it. I think that it will appeal to younger aged teenagers more than adults due to the plot construction being a bit flimsy.

I thought that the story started off slow, I found it a hard to get into as it went about the build up and background information. However once the action starts and the mystery begins to unfold it does get better, it quickly picks up and moves swiftly towards the conclusion. I did think that overall it was a good story with some interesting ideas and I enjoyed reading it.
The characters were likable but lacked depth; this is where some fleshing out was really needed.  I just never felt like I knew anyone especially well. The main character of Evie seemed to be rather shallow and well, a bit ‘fickle’ at times – she has feelings for a lot of boys during the course of such a short book and there does not really seem to be much of a reason for many of these feelings. I like a bit more grounding to my story lines rather than where a girl sees a handsome vampire and is immediately head over heels in love to the detriment of self preservation

In the same vein I felt that some of the reactions and emotions in the book were poorly executed. The main character has tragically lost her parents, when she breaks down with grief at their funeral people act like she is a freak. The same goes for later when she is back at school, people can’t understand why she is not back to her usual chipper self.  I can’t image that people would be so callous, such a loss would take quite a while to recover from and I would like to think that that most people would be a bit more accommodating especially her close friends.
The storyline was rather interesting, I liked the mystery of it and once it gets started there is enough to keep you interested. There are some twists and turns and at times it even gets to be a bit creepy as the protagonist gets closer and closer to the truth. Although there were some flaws and things that I thought could have been better it was an entertaining story and is a nice addition to the genre

There is a bit of swearing, some blood and a small amount of gore in this book.  It’s pretty minimal compared to others in the genre. There is not much in the way of sexual content either, there is some teenage kissing but it’s pretty tame.

Final Comments and Overall Rating:
I did like the story, and although though it might seem like I was harsh, this was mainly because I did like it and I could see the potential for it to be great. Overall ‘The Willows’ was a quick, easy and enjoyable read. If you like vampire or paranormal romance type books then I would recommend you checking it out.

You can check out more on the authors blog.

Rating: ☆☆