The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees #bookreview #fantasy #YA

Title: The Waking Forest

Author: Alyssa Wees

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Publication Date: March 12, 2019

Page Count: 298

My rating: 3 stars

About the book:

Pan’s Labyrinth meets The Hazel Wood in this novel about a girl with terrifying visions and a wish-granting witch whose lives collide in the most unexpected of ways.

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more–until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?


The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees is a young adult fantasy. The chapters in this story alternate back and forth between different characters and situations giving it almost the feel of reading two different books at once.

One side of this book features a young girl named Rhea who lives with her parents and sisters and has battled having nightmares whether sleeping or awake. The other side of the story  centers around  the witch in the woods that grants wishes  to  those that come find her.

The first half if not three quarters of this one is  slow paced with a almost poetic style of writing to the story telling with more action beginning and picking up pace towards the end. As weird as this may sound to  those that know me and how I  feel about a slow pace I actually think the first half of this one was easier to understand and follow along which made me enjoy it more than the end. With the flowery writing and a certain weirdness to the fantasy this one was just so-so to me in  the end.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon

About the author:

Alyssa Wees’s debut novel is The Waking Forest. She lives and writes in Chicago. To learn more about Alyssa and her writing, go to her website,, and follow @AlyssaWees on Twitter.


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