Thursday, July 31, 2014

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Through the Woods is a graphic novel made up of five short stories which mostly seem to take place in or around the woods. While these stories won't necessarily keep you up at night, there is definitely a creepy factor to them all.

The graphic novel starts off with the idea of reading in bed in the dark and thinking about what creatures might lurk in the shadows. The first story, "Our Neighbor's House," is about three sisters who are left alone while their father goes hunting. They are given strict instructions to head to their neighbor's house if he doesn't return in three days. When they ignore that direction, a stranger visits and the sisters start to go missing. The second story, "A Lady's Hands are Cold," is about a recently married woman who keeps hearing a strange song coming from different parts of the house. When she finally searches for the source, she makes a startling discovery. Story number three, "His Face All Red," is about a brother who doesn't believe the man in front of him is his brother, especially after what happened to them in the woods. The Fourth story, "My Friend Janna," is about a girl whose best friend used to pretend that she saw ghosts. After a trip to the woods, a strange presence seems to be lingering beside the friend. The final story, "The Nesting Place," is about Mabel's experience with her new sister-in-law and how the monsters her mother used to tell her about might not be stories after all.

The stories in the book are all interesting and a little creepy. Most, if not all of them, leave the ending sort-of open and up for interpretation although still pointed a certain direction. That adds to the eeriness of the story because you're left wondering what's really going on - in a sense, the story will haunt you since it's not neatly wrapped up in a nice bow. I don't think that these stories will give the reader nightmares, but they are certainly twisted. The illustrations add to the suspense of the story.

In the end, if you're looking for a twisted graphic novel with a bit of a creep factor, this is worth picking up. You'll have it read in an hour but the stories will stay with you longer.

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