Saturday, 2 August 2014

Review: The Edge of the Woods by Ceinwen Langley Synopsis:
‘You’re not the first young woman to try to bend the rules, my dear, but they failed and so will you.’

For as long as anyone can remember, young women have vanished into the woods. Believing them to be weak willed and lured by demons, the zealous Mayor enforces rules to protect them: rules that render the village women submissive and silent, or face being ostracized.

Emma’s only hope of a decent life is to be married by her eighteenth birthday, but her quick mouth and low social standing make her a poor prospect. Lonely and afraid, she finds herself dreaming of the woods, and of a mysterious boy who promises freedom and acceptance if she’ll only step across the border into the trees.

With her birthday fast approaching, she has a decision to make: run away from her future, or fight for it.

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

Emma’s society provides a fair few problems for her, and for a long time there’s no escape. Her options were limited, and the only ones she had were near impossible or downright miserable. She also had to consider her poor mother who played such a vital part in the story. I’ve found that parents in YA seem to either only be there for the angst and are very distant or are simply not there at all, leaving the heroines to run rampant. Sure a lot of the time they get up to some cool things; romance, newfound powers and all that great stuff yet it decreases the realism. You can have it all but still with the parents having the amount of influence you see in real life, Ceinwen Langley proves that.

Emma herself is a very strong heroin, but not in the way that she can accept every bad thing that comes her way for what it is, instead she’s able to and twist the rules and never give in to the false temptation of a better path. This is again where her mother and best friend Mona come in, because as she thinks of them it clears her path. She will sacrifice the easy road for them, and it showcases the strength of love that isn’t just in romantic relationships but those friend and family connections.

There was of course a romance, but it played more into Emma’s character than anything else. Even with all its problems it gave her the strength to fight for what she wanted, not only for herself but the village she so reluctantly calls her home. I found her village very interesting with the way it ran in such an old-fashioned way. Anyone could see it was illogical and destructive, but no-one was prepared to change it. Instead they blamed their problems on the woods.

The woods played a big part in this novel as you’d expect, but it isn’t the solution it’s made up to be. Sometimes the fantasy isn’t all you hope for, and it’s better to stay and fix what you know. This is what Emma has to decide between, but when you’ve been blinded of a different future you’re whole life, how can you know you’re making the right decision?

A great YA read and my one complaint: I hear no rumour of a sequel...
Favourite Quotes:
“If you’re going to marry him, you’ll have to kiss him some time. I think you should do it after dessert, so if it’s terrible he’ll still taste like cake.”

“It’s strange to miss someone so badly when they’re right there in front of you. Strange to be so angry at someone you care about so much.”

“There’s always a reason to stay.”

“I’m just someone who knows things need to be better. And maybe that’s all I need to be.”

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