Author: D.G. Driver
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Juniper Sawfeather seems to have a talent for finding mythological creatures. Or maybe the creatures are finding her.
The mermaids she saved from the oil spill are long gone. There’s no evidence of them, and she’s been branded as a liar and a fake in the media and at school. Her environmental activist parents have moved on to a protest to save Old Growth trees from being chopped down. June isn’t particularly concerned with this cause until after falling asleep at the base of a giant tree she wakes to find herself 40 feet in the air on one of its branches!
From this point on she becomes obsessed with the tree, and it appears the tree is becoming obsessed with her too. Soon, she is trapped 170 feet above the ground, and the magical spirit that resides in the tree isn’t interested in letting her go free or allowing anyone else to save her. Is the tree spirit good or evil? Will Juniper’s feet ever touch the ground again?
After reading Cry of the Sea, author D.G. Driver asked me if I might be interested in reading Whisper of the Woods as well. Juniper and her adventure was still in my head when she asked, so I decided to go for it, even though I’m slowing down on accepting review requests and pushing towards my #2016TBRChallenge. I’m glad that I accepted the request, and it’s going to be difficult to get through 2016 (if the book comes out) to wait read the last installment.
What I Loved: Whisper of the Woods really drawled me into its story, keeping me wondering what was going to happen next – especially the tree itself. ‘Why does it seem to talk only to Juniper, and what is it going to do next?’ were some of the questions I was asking myself while reading. I really enjoyed going on this journey with Juniper and learning more about the legend of the great tree, and it’s tie into the mermaids in Cry of the Sea, especially when I found out at the end that it was based around (I’m sure with creative licenses used at will) a true Indian legend. I was intrigued by the tree’s pull on Juniper from the beginning, how she became obsessed with it and knowing as much information about old trees as she possibly could.
I am also happy to know that while things don’t seem to be exactly great, Juniper’s relationship with her mother seems to be improving from where it left off in Cry of the Sea, and I feel like the third installment of this series will probably be a big one for the both of them.
Not So Much: I was confused by Juniper and Carter’s relationship in this book. Clearly they are in the midst of dating, however it felt like things weren’t going well over all. There was never any real good interactions between them to make it to the end of this book and everything be happy again.
I also felt like there were many times in the story where the tree was manipulating the feelings of Juniper and others who were near or touching it, however that didn’t seem to come up in conversation either. I just feel like things were taken at face value and accepted by the supporting characters: Juniper climbed up a tree, or is she stuck in the tree? There is something weird going on with the tree. Juniper never seems to make a real effort to explain it to anyone believing she wouldn’t be trusted anyway. Even at the end it was glossed over, yet everything is just…okay.
I enjoy stories that suck me in, even if after everything is done I still have questions. This book is clean and very YA appropriate, and I love that there are great messages of caring for the earth, and animals and others woven into to the foundation of this series.