Book Review | The Girl Who Came Out Of The Woods #20booksofsummer

I’ve managed to wander back to my original challenge list for this next book. I was having trouble choosing so I went for this one because of the cover.

the girl who came out of the woods

A commune hidden from the world. A terrible accident. A lifetime of secrets to uncover. The new YA thriller from Emily Barr.

I’ve been trapped here for days. What if I die here? I decided to write down my story so that one day, when I’m discovered, they will know who I was and why I was here.

Arty has always lived in the Clearing, a small settlement in the forests of south India. But their happy life, hidden from the rest of the world, is shattered by a terrible accident. For the first time in her sixteen years, Arty must leave the only place she’s ever known, into the outside world she’s been taught to fear.

Her only goal is to get help from a woman called Tania, who used to live in the forest, and the Uncle she knows is out there, somewhere. As she embarks on the terrifying journey, pursued by an enemy she can’t fathom, Arty soon realises that not everyone is to be trusted. She’s looking for answers, but what she’ll learn from Tania and Uncle Matthew is a shocking truth about her past.

Everything is changing too fast for this girl who came out of the woods, and is she running into a trap…?


Amazon | Goodreads | Book Depository

I had read one of Emily Barr’s books before but I have to say that whilst it was enjoyable I wasn’t sure if the author’s style was entirely for me, however I was instantly attracted to the cover of this book and when I read the blurb I decided that I really needed to give this book a shot.

I was definitely pleasantly surprised, although it is not what I would call a thriller as the blurb labels it, it is more of an exploration of Arty coming to terms with the outside world whilst trying to deal with the end of the life she has always known. I really liked that the book was mostly set in India, that there was the contrast between the seclusion of the forest and the bustle and chaos of Mumbai and I think that it would have been difficult to capture that same atmosphere in a different setting.

This book is the kind of book that will be spoiled with too much information, so I won’t say too much about the plot, but it is written in a dual timeline, and this really does add some tension and a little bit of mystery to the story. There is a variation in tone between the two timelines and it is quite nice to have the distinction it breaks up each part of the story well and does keep you invested in the story. There are a few unexpected things that happen that shake up the story a little and there are things that come up that all tie back in together in a very clever way, which was enjoyable.

Arty was a great character, I loved the ethos of the clearing and how they all worked together to build a life away from the modern world, and it was really interesting to hear her experience of this. Her optimism in the face of so much uncertainty was refreshing, as was her loyalty to her family, she was naive but in a very natural way for this kind of situation and she was the kind of character that I easily found myself rooting for.

The only thing that maybe caused a bit of a pause for me was when Arty finds herself out of the woods, she is in a lot of situation where she was almost too lucky all of the time, I kept thinking that something bad was going to happen or someone was going to take advantage of her, but it was fairly smooth sailing. I just felt that she would have had a little bit more trouble than she did but then I wonder if I’m just being overly cynical.

The Girl Who Came Out Of The Woods is an interesting book with an element of mystery but at its heart is an emotional story of loss and survival with a bright spark of a main character.


20 books 2019

Reviews of other Emily Barr books

The One Memory of Flora Banks


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