The Boy in the Woods (Wherein I realize that if no one is paying me, I might as well stop reading this book)


Where I Stopped: Chapter 15, wherein I finally realized that the funny knot in my stomach that happens whenever I read this book was nausea.

Why I Stopped: There are a Little Red Riding Hood’s basket full of reasons why. And also, no one is paying me to continue reading this sickeningly cutesy book, because if they were, I would totally do it. But for nothing less than twenty bucks. Because I have principles.

What it’s About: A wee little orphan lass named Jess goes to live with her Big Bad Uncle Jonathon, and loneliness ensues. So she starts taking walks in the woods, because that’s what children did when they needed a hug, apparently.

Moxie. Spunk. Pluck. Call it whatever you want, either way, Jess doesn’t have it. She’s an innocent, sweet little girl, in a harsh world, and it seems like with every chapter, we are called upon to observe her sweetness, the helpless little infant. (She’s thirteen, by the way).

This is probably a good time to point out that this is a historical fiction book, set in the… 60’s? 70’s? Is there any surefire way to determine that? Jess is a fan of Elvis, and I’m sure that’s a solid clue, except I don’t know what it means. Whatever it is, it does a pretty good job maintaining it’s old time-y voice. By which I mean that the narrator doesn’t sound like a millenial. Or even close. So there’s a point for that.

Also, the other lead character, Marty, is just a lot bipolar. Their conversations go something like this:

Marty: Jess, no matter what, you cannot talk to me at school. This is of paramount importance. The balance of karma/right and wrong/potatoes in the universe depends on it, alright?

Jess: (chirps) Sure thing, Marty! But you won’t get mad at me for ignoring you, right?

Marty: Um, NO, of course not, why would I?

Jess: Okay.


Marty: Jess, why the heck were you ignoring me? Life sucks, and so do you, you little brat!

Jess: But you told me to!

Marty: Oh, right. My bad. It’s just that the emotional turmoil of having my only friend in the world not talk to me got so overwhelming, that I decided to lash out at aforementioned only friend.

Jess: Okay.Want a cookie?

Fine, I exaggerated. A little bit. On the other hand, the book in general is still pretty good, which is why I wrote this anyway. This is sort of a “Hey, you might find that the positive attributes of this book outweigh the negatives, even though I don’t!” kind of thing. I liked it, but not enough to continue, however, in another life/parallel universe I might have. This is more than a book reccommendation, but not quite a review. So like, the book almost deserves to be read completely, but not quite.

Image Source: KatherineArlene on

7 thoughts on “The Boy in the Woods (Wherein I realize that if no one is paying me, I might as well stop reading this book)

  1. The fact that you didn’t continue is telling enough, whether you get paid or not, because you would have the same sentiments. You’d probably still be tempted to skim through the book. Sounds like one of those. You read, look for meaty stuff, and then go through it quickly until you reach the last few pages to find out what the heck happened before you fall asleep.

    1. You know how sometimes you like a book and hate it at the same time? I kept reading as long as the like exceeded the hate. 🙂

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