Find it: TEEN F Wees.
If you like a book that is both viscerally creepy and magical, look no further. Alyssa Wees’s The Waking Forest just so happens to be both but in the best possible way. The story opens with a haunting introduction to the Witch in the Woods. She is in her castle of bones and branches, sitting under the moonlight, waiting for the children to find her in their dreams and bring her their wishes. Wees draws readers in with a world that is gnarled and gritty and twisted. And just when the reader thinks they know what kind of story this is going to be… She wakes them up screaming from a nightmare.
Rhea Ravenna is haunted by images of a witch in the woods. Her dreams are more than dreams, they are a presence. And they become ever more real, worming their way into her waking moments and slowly dismantling the boundaries. Wees makes her readers feel the slow burn and churn of terror taking over Rhea’s life. She holds her readers in the very same grip of darkness that holds Rhea hostage.
The process of reading this book was like trying to find your bearings after waking up from a nightmare: heart racing, fear rippling through your mind, and yet you try to convince yourself that there is a logical explanation for it all. Overall, a viscerally creepy story with lots of worthwhile twists and turns.