Winterwood | Book Review #21

Hey guys! As you know I have a list of books that needs to be reviewed and posted. I don’t want to review all the books I read, but there are some books which I want to talk about. So I might be posting reviews besides my usual schedule. This is just a heads up if you see me spamming your inboxes. Also, my PC is down so I’m editing my posts on my phone, which I hate doing. But I have to make it work for a while.

Have a great day and here we go!

About the Book

Title: Winterwood • By: Shea Ernshaw 

Published on: November 5th 2019

  By: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

Pace: Fast • Pages: 323

Age: 14 and up • Standalone

Genre: YA Fantasy

Song: Dead in the Water by Ellie Goulding

Be careful of the dark, dark wood…

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.


Wicker Woods

Have you ever felt the cold sinking in your bones while reading? I usually feel that way reading Poe or any thriller or horror stories. But this book was on the same league as Poe. Nora comes from a long line of witches. She is ostracized by everyone in Fir Haven High and by the camp. She is a legend of sorts and she hates the attention. Her house was filled with objects that belonged to people at some point which is lost in the Wicker woods but she finds them and keeps them as trophy at her home.

The first glimpse of Wicker woods was eerie and silent. Only the Walkers had access to the woods and anyone who tries to get into it is either killed or lost. This wood is where the opening chapters of book is set in and it gave me goosebumps. It wasn’t creepy but there was something about the cold and stillness of that place that made me shiver.

Many sentences were repeated which is a literary tool here as in Poe’s poems. It served as a reminder that something happened to Oilver and Nora was determined to unravel that mystery.


Each chapter in this book started with a Walker’s hitsory. It was about what their Nightshade was and how it would manifest in their life. Nightshade was a gift each of these women possessed which varied and never remained the same for any two members. Nora thought she never possessed one but then it came to her when she needed it most in the book. The series of events in the last few chapters felt rushed but it gave the most deserved ending the book needed.

Oliver Twist

I’m never a fan of insta-love. Oliver and Nora did seem to like each other only after meeting a few times. But what I did like about them was how they found each other in the end, no matter how list they were. There’s a twist in book which was revealed at right time making me like the story more. All along, Nora had the wrong notion about Oliver and to see how that changed in the book was satisfying to read.


Winterwood is absolutely diverting, beguiling and unputdownable. This was my first Shea Ernshaw’s book and I loved it. While there many books on witches, I saw this book offering me something more than the evil side of them. Their Nightshade were evident enough to this. With an atmospheric setting and the right amount of magic, it was a perfect read for me. If you want a standalone fantasy to read, then I highly recommend reading this book.

I’m a Walker who found her nightshade. I am a Walker who wants to be called more than a witch.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
TW // Drowning Imagery, Murder, Absentee Parent
About the Author

Shea Ernshaw is the New York Times Bestselling author of the YA books: THE WICKED DEEP, WINTERWOOD, and A WILDERNESS OF STARS. As well as her debut adult fiction novel: A HISTORY OF WILD PLACES (2021). She is the winner of the 2019 Oregon Book Award, and both of her YA novels were Indie Next Picks.
She often writes late, late, late into the night, enjoys dark woods, scary stories and moonlight on lakes.

Have you read this book or is it on your TBR? Let me know in the comments.

“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.”

— Charles Dickens

Paperbacktomes Gratitude Pic 2021


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