Make sure to add a shadow boy to your sister story and foxes to taste, or recipe for a The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees (and a giveaway)


the waking forest

The Waking Forest

By: Alyssa Wees

Publisher: Delacorte

Publication Date: March 12th, 2019

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more—until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?



1 witch in the woods

1 girl with nightmares

1 princess with two hearts

1 vanishing forest

4 sisters

1 shadow boy

A skulk of foxes

A pinch of wishes

A cup of dreams

A sky full of stars

I’ve always loved Alice in Wonderland, both the animated Disney film and the books. But even though I enjoy falling down the rabbit hole into a world of sensible nonsense, Alice’s adventures also make me almost unbearably anxious. Especially as a child, I would watch the movie and worry that no one was truly helping her, that she was all alone, that she would never be able to find her way home. Things seem to get worse and worse for her even as the world and the characters become more and more magical, and just when you think it’s all over, that the Queen of Hearts will chop off Alice’s head, that she’ll never return to reality or see her beloved Dinah again—Alice wakes up. It was all a dream.

Or was it?

It was this question of Or was it? that rang in my head as I wrote The Waking Forest. A girl with nightmares, a witch in the woods, and a princess with two hearts—none of them are as they seem. This is very much a sister story, of girls turned inside out, of worlds that are supposed to stay separate colliding and collapsing. And foxes, lots of foxes. Throw in a shadow boy and you have a tale that tastes like the line between sleeping and waking, like a fairy story that is no fairy story. There is anxiety in the journey, yes, but there is also always a light in the darkness, and overhead a sky full of stars to lead the way home.

In between training in ballet and watching lots of Disney movies, Alyssa grew up writing stories starring her Beanie Babies. She earned a BA in English from Creighton University and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. Currently she works as an assistant librarian in youth services at an awesome public library. She lives in the Chicagoland area with her husband and their two cats.

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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. The author image, info, giveaway, and more were provided by The Fantastic Flying Book Club.

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