Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Author Spotlight: The Woods by Chelsea Bobulski + Interview - OUT TODAY!!

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 10:00 AM

CHELSEA BUBOLSKI is the author of THE WOOD (August 1, 2017; Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends), a thrilling YA debut in which a high school student’s father goes missing in the woods they protect and she must seek the truth in what happened, why the wood is changing, and what it all has to do with the arrival of a mysterious stranger. Chelsea was born in Columbus, Ohio, graduated from Ohio State University and now lives in Northwest Ohio with her husband, daughter and German Shepherd/Lab mix. You can visit her at chelseabobulski.com.

Title: The Wood
Genre: YA Contemporary-Fantasy-ish
Author: Chelsea Bobulski
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication: August 1st 2017
Cover Rating: 5/5

The Wood is one of those here and now books with a whole paranormal other world thrown into the mix. Chelsea Bobulski wove such a beautiful story around an intricately build world. When the book ended, I wanted more of that world. Sadly, this book is a standalone novel but at least I have the ability to reread it as many times as I want. If you have read and enjoyed The Archived by Victoria Schwab, just add a tiny bit of Harry Potter Deatheaters into the mix, and you've got yourself a book you are bound to enjoy.

Winter is our main character. Her name is pretty awesome and I think it fits her personality. There is no way this girl could ever be a Sarah or a Ashley.

Winter is a guardian for The Wood, a realm of thresholds where people from all over the world and all over the past, present and future accidentally find themselves if they stumble upon the wrong area. It is Winters job to make sure these people find their way back home safely. These people are called Travelers and if they end up going back through the wrong threshold they would end up in a different time and place and that could possibly alter the entire world. So Winter is tasked with making sure that never happens.

The job is passed down through a family line. Winters father was the guardian before her and would still be the current guardian if it wasn't for one tiny thing. He kind of went missing one morning while he was on patrol. That left Winter, fairly young at the time, with the title of guardian weighing on her shoulders.

So there are the Guardians, who are human, The Old Ones, who are immortal and watch over the Guardians, and then you have the council which is basically just Old Ones who are older and wiser. Together, this group of individuals make up the people who guard and protect The Wood. But, somewhere among all of them, there are traitors who don't like the way things work and want to take it all for themselves.

Enter Henry. Because of this disturbance in the force(sorry, couldn't help myself), Henry's parents have gone missing and he crosses over thresholds in search of them. Henry meets Winter and after some smoother talking convinces her to help him. Did I mention Henry is probably 300 years old in Winters time?

Together, they find out what is going wrong with The Wood and go in search of answers. They don't really go anywhere besides The Wood, and a weird high school bonfire, but I was entirely okay with that. I enjoyed the book having a straightforward path with no stupid side issues or filler. The pair spends most of their time hunting down a journal and scouring other journals looking for answers to why The Wood is changing and becoming malevolent.

Once Winter and Henry have figured everything out there is a big fight between the good guys and the bad guys. Someone extremely close to Winter ends up being a horrible person and Henry has to go home, leaving both him and Winter very sad. Maybe they will be able to see each other again some day. Maybe they won't.

The book teaches you that those little 'what if's' can be extremely dangerous. That is what ended up pushing so many people to form new allegiances. But, tell me why, this book left me with so many what ifs. You would think I'd have learned my lesson. Especially when the book had me leaking tears at the end. Over two little words. Ugh. Is ugh even a word? Can I even use it in a review? Well, I'm using it. Ugh. That is how this book left me feeling.

In the end, I loved this book so much. It wasn't this massive tome with an adventure story to rival all adventure stories. It was just a simple story that was written very well and captured my heart.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars. 

1) What inspired you to write The Wood?
THE WOOD is different from any other book I’ve ever written in that I wrote the first fifty pages completely free-writing, without any plotting or much thinking about it beforehand. Winter’s voice came to me out of the blue and just started telling me her story. I wasn’t sure at the time if it was going to be an Actual Book, but after a grueling revision of a previous manuscript, I needed to remember why I loved writing in the first place, so I went with it. Fifty pages in, I realized Winter’s story was nowhere near finished, and that I better actually start plotting things out before I completely lost track of what was going on. Other than the inclusion of a couple new scenes, those fifty pages have not changed at all in the final book from those free-writing sessions. So, unlike other projects I’ve worked on, there wasn’t so much one specific thing that inspired me to write THE WOOD; rather, it was as if everything I’ve ever loved and lived and felt blended together in my subconscious and became Winter’s story.

2) Do you prefer ebooks or physical books? Why?
Definitely physical books! I just love the feeling of a physical book in my hands, and the smell of books. Can we talk about how amazing that smell is? It just gives me all the good feelings. However, having said that, ebooks do come in handy in the middle of the night when your husband is sleeping and doesn’t want you turning on the light to read, or when you’re on vacation and your baby is sleeping in the same room with you and also would not be happy if you turned on a light to read. Other than that though, it’s physical books for me all the way.

3) If you could bring one fictional character to life from any book, who would you pick and why?
This is such a tough question!!! Would it be super cheesy to say my own main character, Winter? I would just love to actually walk through the wood with her, to see the magic and the mystery of it firsthand. Plus, I just think she has such an interesting life ahead of her, and it would be really cool to see what she would do.

4) Are you currently working on any new books?
I do have a few projects I’m currently working on, a couple YA and a couple MG, but nothing I can officially announce right now in terms of publication. ;)

5) What are 5 random facts about you or your book?​
(1) I always spill something on myself at parties. Always. And yes, it is as embarrassing as it sounds.

(2) I am a chocolate fiend. Don’t ruin my chocolate by putting something else in it. Just pour some more chocolate on top of my chocolate.

(3) I Love Lucy is one of my favorite shows of all-time, to the point where I’ve visited Lucille Ball’s hometown and museum several times (totally recommend it!).

(4) I am a HUGE college football fan. It’s one of the major reasons autumn is my favorite season (along with the leaves changing colors and Halloween and pumpkin-flavored everything). If it’s game day, you will find me in front of a TV, screaming at some refs. Guaranteed.

(5) Playing the Hamilton soundtrack is the only thing that would calm my baby girl down when she was a newborn, and I still dance to it with her in the kitchen almost every night.


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