PUBLISHER: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

DATE PUBLISHED: 23rd February 2016

PAGES:  304









Would you risk your life to save your best friend?

Julia did. When a paroled predator attacked Liv in the woods, Julia fought back and got caught. Liv ran, leaving Julia in the woods for a terrifying 48 hours that she remembers only in flashbacks. One year later, Liv seems bent on self-destruction, starving herself, doing drugs, and hooking up with a violent new boyfriend. A dead girl turns up in those same woods, and Julia’s memories resurface alongside clues unearthed by an ambitious reporter that link the girl to Julia’s abductor. As the devastating truth becomes clear, Julia realizes that after the woods was just the beginning.




This book is told in the first person from the perspective of Julia. Julia’s voice was interesting, engaging and believable. This leant itself well to the plot.




The novel commences at the kidnapping of Julia and then flashes forward one year. Julia regains her memory and this ( as well as a dead body being discovers) drives the development of Julia’s character and the plot.




Friendship: The nature of friendship and what one friend would do for another is examined. Julia gives herself up to save her friend. However, how strong is a friendship, really?


Trauma: I liked that Julia’s character reacts believably to the trauma she has been through. She does not just move on, she goes through the motions. In regaining her memories, the reader is able to follow Julia’s development.


Moving On: The idea of moving on, accepting the past and greeting the future, is one that Julia faces.




This book was an excellent examination of the personal trauma one person faces and their journey after coming out alive. The statistics was a nice touch, this displayed the idea that Julia needs to understand what happened and seeks out statistics in an attempt to do this.

A contemporary thriller that takes you on a journey through the psyche of a survivor and the outcome of a horrible incident.






Keep Calm and Read On,



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