Book Review: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Book Review: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Shelved: Young adult fiction (graphic novel, fantasy, horror, short stories)
Buy: Hive
More: Goodreads

‘It came from the woods. Most strange things do.’

I was in a bit of a reading slump (it happens to all of us!) and wanted super quick read to get me back into the reading spirit. I picked up one of the graphic novels I bought recently, Through the Woods, and read it in my garden in one sitting, lazing about in the sunshine. As it happens, it was the perfect juxtaposition. I couldn’t have handled reading Through the Woods in the winter – it’s chilling!

Through the Woods delivers five beautifully dark stories written and illustrated by the very talented Emily Carroll. It is gloriously enchanting from the very beginning. As I’m writing this, I cannot stop peeking at the front cover every so often – the typography, the vivid colours, and the little blue figure walking into the woods. It captures your imagination before you’ve even begun.

I delved into Through the Woods not quite knowing what to expect and was greeted with five stories quite unlike each other. Some evoke memories of Grimm’s fairy tales and some feel more contemporary, more Gaiman-esque, but each is elevated by the haunting illustrations. In the (very few) graphic novels I’ve read, the illustrations are consisted throughout, but Emily Carroll adapts her style to fit the tone of each story. A favourite of mine is Our Neighbor’s House – a creepy yet gorgeous story that feels classic – and the eerie A Lady’s Hands Are Cold. As the stories are left open-ended, the reading experience very much depends on how the reader interprets the tales.

Through the Woods is a wonderful graphic novel – and one where the story telling easily matches the illustrations in quality. I haven’t decided whether I’m brave enough to lend it out…

Published: 15th July 2015 (US) 7th May 2015 (UK)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (US) Faber & Faber (UK)
Pages: 128

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20 thoughts on “Book Review: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

  1. I’ve wanted to read this for so long! I must get my hands on a copy!

  2. I really want to read this graphic novel! It looks absolutely stunning. xoxo

  3. I read this last month also! I really liked the drawings and it was a quick read 🙂

  4. I have never heard of this book before, but it sounds awesome!

  5. I keep wanting to try a graphic novel, and this sounds like a great place to start, thanks!!

    • Yes, I’d definitely recommend it to people who don’t usually read graphic novels, since it’s five different stories and the artwork for each is in a slightly different style. It’s really easy to get into. Enjoy! 🙂

  6. I purchased this as a gift for my sister last Halloween and read it after she had finished it. It is so well-crafted and beautiful! A Lady’s Hands Are Cold was probably my favorite.

  7. Through the Woods is a book I’ve been wanting to get my hands on for some time – not only does it look beautiful but the stories are well talked about too.

  8. Read this in July. Adored it. The artwork was gorgeous!

  9. I love when books do that — when the setting/atmosphere/topic is a complete juxtaposition to what you’re experiencing in the present moment. Recently happened to me with Wolf Wilder by Rundell (set in a Russian blizzard. Made me so cold reading it inside I had to read outside in the summer sunshine and heat!).

    I’ve heard nothing but good things about THROUGH THE WOODS. The gothic stories paired with the gothic art. Really ought to pick this book up…

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