Book Review: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Through the Woods coverThis was my first book for Bout of Books 11.

I’d seen this book floating around the book blogosphere a little bit, but when it came across the circulation desk at the library where I work, I was blown away by how freaking pretty it was! Don’t hate me, but I didn’t even let this one go out into the stacks before I checked it out.

This book is made up of five illustrated short stories, all of which were creepy, mysterious, and spine-chillingly awesome. I flew through the entire book in about 45 minutes. I just couldn’t put it down.

‘It came from the woods. Most strange things do.’

This is one of the creepiest, most terrifying, and absolutely gorgeous books I’ve read. It pulled me in from the introduction and didn’t let me go until I turned the last page.

Mini reviews of the five stories:

Our Neighbor’s House

Three girls are left home alone when their father goes hunting. But when he doesn’t return, things start to go bad. This story gave me the creeps, in a good way. I thought the ending was seriously cool, and I got me in the mood for the rest of the book.

A Lady’s Hands are Cold

Oh, man. This story is about a newly married couple. The new wife starts to hear voices and we get some seriously amazing illustrations that were just beautiful. The story and the illustrations went hand in hand to create one of my favorite stories in the book.


His Face All Red

Two brothers go out into the woods to find and kill a monster that’s been attacking their town. It’s kind of hard to talk about this one too much without giving anything away, so I’ll just say that this story was great: terrifying and chilling with illustrations that kept me engaged.

My Friend Janna

Two friends pretend that one of them can speak to ghosts, but all their tricks come back to haunt them. This one was pretty darn good and haunting. I enjoyed this one quite a bit, but it was probably my least favorite of the five, even though I still liked it a lot.

The Nesting Place

Wooooo. This one was my favorite out of the five. Man, this one was so scary, a perfect horror story. A girl remembers her mother telling her ghost stories about monsters with rings of teeth. When she goes to visit her brother and his new fiancé, hoooweee, things get freaking crazy and scary and frightening. Holy crap, you guys.

So if you couldn’t tell, I really liked this one. The illustrations were incredible and they matched the tone of the stories perfectly. The stories and the words worked together to create the feel of the book, and I actually felt myself get chills a few times. I would recommend this to anyone who likes comics, anyone who likes horror, anyone who likes to get a little creeped out, and anyone who just liked a good story. Check this one out for sure.

Rating: 9 – practically perfect

Publication info:

Through the Woods

Written and illustrated by Emily Carroll

Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books; July 2014

208 pages (paperback)