book reviews

Into the Heartless Wood lured me in and stole my soul

Into the Heartless Wood by Joanna Ruth Meyer

Rating: 4.5/5

Publication Date: January 12th, 2021


*by using this link to purchase the book I would receive a small commission at no extra cost to you

I received this for the publisher in exchange for a review. This does not affect my review which is unbiased and honest.

I kept hearing about this book from Taylor Simonds on twitter and instagram and so I knew I needed to pick it up and let me tell you, it was such a magical experience. It was dark and twisted and honestly took me by surprise!

This follows a boy named Owen and how he lives with his father and little sister. They live on the edge of a forest that is ruled by these tree sirens that can lure people to their deaths and steal their souls. Creepy, right? Naturally, Owen gets into a bit of trouble with the forest and instead of his soul being stolen, the tree siren spares him. Owen and this siren whom he names Seren become unlikely friends.

This alternates between Owen’s POV and Seren’s. It was so interesting to read in both POVs but what I found unique and engaging was that Seren’s POV was told in a sort of verse format (unless my kindle was just being weird well then… whoops). I was really intrigued because Seren was so convinced that she was a monster and seeing her question herself was just really interesting to read.

It started out a little slower paced (which is fine by me except that I didn’t actually know what the plot was so it confused me a little) but once I was into the story, it had really just gripped me and I couldn’t stop reading. Both main characters were so interesting and likeable and I was SO INVESTED.

Things took a serious turn about 30% into the book and from then on I just couldn’t stop. i was just so worried about the characters! I don’t want to go in depth about everything because it would spoil all of the fun of the book. All I want to talk about is how I really didn’t know where the story would go and it was honestly such a ride.

I was extremely surprised by the ending. I don’t think I’ve had an ending take my by surprise like this in a very long time. felt like a dark twisted retelling of Beauty and the Beast mixed with little Mermaid. I was here for every second of it.

Not only were the characters really interesting, the world and bits of magic was honestly so exciting and immersive. I could understand all the characters’ motives and I was so curious about what the deal was with the tree sirens and the forest. Everything was so intense and dark.

The only reason it’s a 4.5 instead of 5 is just because I kind of wanted more interaction between Seren and owen. What we did get was great but it felt sort of disconnected and not as romantic and “soulmate” like as it was portrayed. While the story progressed and made my heart ache for the both of them, I could have shipped them more?

However, the dark storytelling was just captivating and told beautifully.

I would recommend this to anyone that likes more dark and twisted fairy tale inspired books. If you enjoy stargazing and discovering true love, fighting for family, lots of emotion and heartache, SIRENS THAT CAN STEAL YOUR SOUL, and different kinds of evil you should definitely read this book. You should read this if you want a sort of forbidden love story, interesting family relationships, love and betrayal, stolen kisses and slow dances, and a whole lot of gasp out loud moments.

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