Book: Into The Heartless Wood by Joanna Ruth Meyer
Published January 2021 by Page Street Kids|368 pages
Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library
Genre: YA Fantasy
Epic, heartbreaking, and darkly atmospheric, Into the Heartless Wood is the story of impossible love between a monstrous tree siren and a boy who lives at the edge of her wood.
The forest is a dangerous place, where siren song lures men and women to their deaths. For centuries, a witch has harvested souls to feed the heartless tree, using its power to grow her domain.
When Owen Merrick is lured into the witch’s wood, one of her tree-siren daughters, Seren, saves his life instead of ending it. Every night, he climbs over the garden wall to see her, and every night her longing to become human deepens. But a shift in the stars foretells a dangerous curse, and Seren’s quest to become human will lead them into an ancient war raging between the witch and the king who is trying to stop her.
I LOVED Into The Heartless Wood! It’s so beautiful, and if you haven’t read it, I recommend it!
Honestly, I wasn’t sure about it at first. But the more I read it, the more I fell in love with it. It’s beautiful and musical, and Seren’s chapter’s are particularly beautiful and heart wrenching. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked Owen’s chapters too, but there was just something about Seren’s chapters that I absolutely loved.
Everything fell into place at the end of the book, and I was actually interested to see how everything came together. And how this war not only came to be, but how it all ended. It really felt like Owen and Seren were pawns at times, but they did make their own choices. Owen in particular allowed Seren to see that she did have a choice, and I’m glad Owen finally saw that she wasn’t the monster he thought she was.
I also love the idea of tree sirens. It sounds strange, because when I hear siren, I think vast oceans and sailors being lured to their death. It’s basically that, but in a forest instead of an ocean. The whole story behind Seren and her family is one I really liked reading, and I loved seeing how Seren wanted more. I loved that she protected Owen, and save him again and again. I hated seeing her be forced to do things she didn’t want to do, but that she had the chance to do something different. Be something different.
Now that I’m thinking about it, Seren’s chapters made me think of the Shatter Me series. Particularly Juliette at the beginning of the series. I think it’s how it’s formatted, and though Seren’s mind isn’t fractured the way Juliette’s is, there’s just something about the way their thoughts are formed, and how they tell they their story that go pretty well together. Though their stories are so completely different, it was interesting that there was something similar about how we saw them.
5 stars. I loved this book, and would happily reread it!