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Book Review: What Lives in the Woods by Lindsay Currie

My dear bookish friends,

What would you do if for your next holidays you won’t be staying at a nice, modern hotel, but a dark and spooky old mansion surrounded by even darker woods full of creepy legends? The main character in this deliciously spooky middle grade story has to cope with that, so if that sounds like something you might like, please read on! I loved this book!!!

About the Book

Welcome to the decrepit Woodmoor Manor…where something in the woods is always watching. From the author of Scritch Scratch comes a chilling middle grade story about a creepy mansion and sinister creatures in the woods

All Ginny Anderson wants from her summer is to relax. But when Ginny’s father—a respected restoration expert in Chicago—surprises the family with a month-long trip to Michigan, everything changes. They aren’t staying in a hotel like most families would. No, they’re staying in a mansion. A twenty-six room, century-old building surrounded by dense forest. Woodmoor Manor.

Locals claim the surrounding woods are inhabited by mutated creatures that escaped a mad scientist over a hundred years ago. And some say campers routinely disappear never to be seen again.

When the creaky floors and shadowy corners of the mansion seem to take on a life of their own, Ginny uncovers the wildest mystery of all: there’s more than one legend roaming Saugatuck, Michigan, and they definitely aren’t after campers.

They’re after her.

My Review

Ginny attempts to be the next Agatha Christie, and she can’t wait to attend the writing workshop with her best friend during the summer holidays. Her parents have different plans though, when they whisk her and her brother away to Michigan – for a whole month! What could be a cool holiday frustrates Ginny – not only will she miss her workshop, the family will also not be staying in a nice hotel with other people her age – they will be staying in a century-old mansion.

Woodmoor Manor is situated in a forest that is rumoured to be inhabited by scary creatures called the Hitchhikers. Glowing eyes, disappearing campers, strange sounds – Ginny has a bad feeling from the start. This feeling only intensifies when they arrive at Woodmoor; Ginny immediarely has a weird feeling about the old house as well.

What is that weird ticking sound? Why is there a creepy mannequin in her room? Who is hissing her name at night? Why are the lightbulbs in the kitchen exploding? And why does every single weird and creepy thing seem to happen to her only? Ginny soon finds herself threatened by dark and scary forces – and she is unable to fight them alone.

Lucky for her, her family decides to go out for dinner after another disastrous day, and she meets Will. I really liked Will and their growing friendship. Will had to overcome his own fears to help Ginny – he is such a great friend! I also loved that Ginny’s relationship with her older brother got better throughout the story. They might still have the usual little arguments here and there, as siblings do, but they learned to trust and be there for each other.

The whole cast of characters here is awesome, each and every one of them are unique and different, and I loved that. Ginny’s father has a unique job – he is supposed to find ways to restore Woodmoor – and her mother wants to take the summer holidays (and Woodmoor’s big kitchen) as a chance to bake and cook for them all. Will has a special story too: his family owns a holiday house in town, and so he knows the rumours around the surrounding woods. And Woodmoor as well…

The description of the little holiday town was so good, I instantly felt like I was walking through the streets with Ginny and browsing the shelves in the bookshop or looking through the windows of the antique’s shop, and then getting ice cream in the parlour where Will’s older brother is working.

But then there is also Woodmoor itself that I have to mention. The setting is incredible. The old house sets the atmosphere for the whole book – even though it’s been a few days since I finished the book I can still see the dark corridors, the creepy mannequin in the corner of Ginny’s room, the weird pipes that are connecting some rooms, and of course the ballroom. All so full of history, but also teeth-chatteringly creepy.

I have read countless creepy middle grade books by now (I would almost call myself an expert at this point lol), but omg, let me tell you, this book is SCARY!! CREEPY!! SPOOKY! Don’t let the fact that it is middle grade underestimate its creepy power! I made the mistake of reading it late at night twice and then lay awake for hours, my heart was pounding so much! It has some really creepy scenes (some even reminded me of the Netflix show Hill House!!!). So be cautious and read it in the daylight hours lol.

What can I say? Lindsay Currie is my new auto-buy author. She has such a compelling writing style, I was captivated from page one and couldn’t wait to get home from work to read again!

Definitely a 5-star read, and I can’t wait to read more books by the author!


I was so amazed by the writing that I reached out to the author to ask her for an interview, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

Do let me know if you will pick up What Lives in the Woods too, and tell me what your thoughts are!

Thank you all so much for reading!


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