Where the Woods Grow Wild by Nate Philbrick - Book Review

Write on: Mon, 17 Feb 2020 by  in Janelle's Reviews Read 1485

Book Cover: Where the Woods Grow Wild

5/5 stars

I don’t typically read MG fantasy novels (unless The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter count as MG? Then I guess I do read it. Hmmm. Carry on.) Where the Woods Grow Wild took my right back to when I was young, carefree, and just loved to read.

The best way I can describe this book is like this: freaking adorable. I genuinely loved the way Philbrick doesn’t feel like he must conform to any norms of fantasy stories. Does it need to have action and adventure? Okay, I’ll give you action and adventure mixed with flowers and rainbows. Does it need to have young love? Okay, I’ll give you young love, but one of them is disabled. Does it need to have scary creatures and monsters? Okay, I’ll give you scary creatures and monsters, but then I’ll also give you creatures that throw acorns at you. 

This story follows the tale of a young man who stumbles into an enchanted forest and gets lost and the many adventures he finds along the way. He makes new friends, makes enemies, tries to discern who is friend and who is enemy, and discovers the life-changing truth that all young people must face: true friends are hard to come by, but when they do, you will know it. 

But that’s not all this enchanting story tackles. The author addresses issues in a light-hearted, humorous way, it’s true, but he also addresses them without pulling any punches. There are consequences to choices that we make, and the characters must deal with those consequences.

I’d definitely recommend this for younger readers who like standalone stories without too much romance (the characters are never physically involved except to hold hands), creatures who you want to put in your pocket and take home with you, and adults who want a nostalgic read with humor and good writing. 

Last modified on Monday, 02 March 2020 15:29

By day Janelle is a nurse, mother to two autistic sons, and writer. By night, she's immersed in other worlds. Reading fantasy is her happy place. And drinking wine. And eating tacos. 

Grab her flintlock fantasy series The Rodasia Chronicles, or her epic fantasy series The Steward Saga on Amazon.