“What Waits in the Woods” by Kieran Scott is a murder mystery book. A group of teens: Callie, Lissa, Penelope, and Jeremy go on a camping trip in Mission Hills, New York. The friends were being stalked by a sinister laugh in the depths of the woods. They end up getting lost and find a stranger, Ted. He offered to help them find their way out of the woods. But who can they really trust?
Callie grew up in Chicago most of her life so when she moved to New York it was very different. She made new best friends and got a boyfriend. Lissa and Penelope asked to take her on a camping trip and she agreed knowing that Lissa knew the woods like it was her second home. Callie had asked her boyfriend Jeremy to go along with her too because she felt safer with him. Her friends weren’t too happy with that decision but they let it slide. Lissa and Penelope had been friends since kindergarten so Callie didn’t know them as well as they knew each other. What she did know is that Lissa was very demanding and bossy. Since Lissa knew the woods the best they all followed her and just had to abide by her rules until she led them in the wrong way. Penelope decided that they should play a game of Never Have I Ever and quickly realized it was a bad idea. When it was Lissa’s turn she said, “Never have I ever been cheated on.” And Callie was so confused as to why she was told to put her finger down because Jeremy was not only super nice but was also her first boyfriend. She asked who he cheated on her with and it ended up being Penelope! Callie and Jeremy got into a big argument and they broke up, she didn’t know who to believe anymore.
Ever since the first day they got there Callie could hear laughing and could see quick shadows which had sent chills up her spine, nobody believed her until they all heard it themselves, they got really paranoid. They met a stranger named Ted and decided to let him lead them to his cabin where they had internet connection and food. They all kept hearing the laugh and they came across five dolls one of them were smashed and they all started to wonder what the meaning was. Their last day out of the four days they were supposed to stay there was not how they planned at all. Midnight rolled around and Callie woke up and peeked outside her tent to discover that Lissa was leaning against Ted even though she had a boyfriend named Zach, he was on the football team. Callie knew that Penelope wouldn’t like that because she liked Ted. She just went back into the tent and fell back asleep. The next morning she woke up to Penelope panicking trying to figure out why Lissa was missing. The two woke everybody up to go and help. Callie found herself alone and scared. She tripped over a hand and she recognized the school shirt, when she took a closer look, IT WAS LISSA! Callie started screaming and crying, she couldn’t breathe. Ted found her and was asking why she was screaming, she just kept pointing at Lissa’s dead body and Ted was shocked with fear. At that same moment she seen someone come up behind her, she kept telling herself, “I don’t want to die, no not me”. The man grabbed her shoulders and when she turned around it was Zach! She was so relieved and worried. He admitted that he was the one who was stalking them and she started to wonder if he was the one who had killed Lissa because he might’ve been jealous over Ted. Callie found Jeremy and Penelope and showed them the cold body. Penelope couldn’t help but scream. They carried Lissa’s body all the way back to the cabin. When they got there they were all still skeptical but pleased that they could have a nice shower and a real meal. Penelope went upstairs to go shower first and Callie followed a few minutes after. When she got upstairs it was dark and Penelope was nowhere to be found. She heard a gunshot and following, Zach’s voice in clear terror, “No No! No! Don”t!” Then another gunshot. She heard her name being called, “Callie, Callie come down. I won’t hurt you.” Every second her heart beat got harder and faster. She finally went down and Penelope was holding a gun Ted and Zach covered in blood on the ground. Jeremy was trembling in fear and Penelope knocked him out. It was just her and Callie. At that exact moment she started putting everything together. PENELOPE KILLED LISSA! She was so freaked, she started putting up a fight, in her mind she kept hoping that Jeremy was okay even though they were broken up she still cared. She ran out into the woods. She was almost positive that she was going to die. She heard someone come right behind her and when she turned around it was Jeremy! She was so relieved that she hugged him it felt as if all her worries was put behind her but she knew that she can’t just let it go. The both of them ran and hid in a shed. They created a plan that meant Jeremy would go out in the open and Callie would run back in the cabin and get some sort of weapon. He ran out and a couple minutes later she ran to the cabin, she grabbed the knife with the biggest handle and her thick book that they were all teasing her about.
Jeremy came running back in the cabin and just by a mere chance Zach sat up! Penelope came in the house and right when she was going to attack Jeremy, Callie’s adrenaline pumped through her blood and she grabbed her book and slammed it as hard as she could on Penelope’s head, she knocked her out and they called the police. Ted and Lissa were dead and Zach was severely injured but they made it. A few weeks later Jeremy asked out Callie again and turns out Penelope turned psychotic after Jeremy broke up with her and was put in an asylum.
While I was reading this book my own heart dropped. The author did a good job portraying thriller because it definitely showed that. Kieran Scott, the author, wrote many other novels such as, He’s So/She’s So trilogy, the True Love trilogy, and Greek Magnet. This specific book was written for her mom who loved scary stories. She lives in New Jersey with her family and likes to bake and work out. I would definitely recommend this book to others who may not know what types of books they’re into because just like me I didn’t really know what type of book I would like, but after reading this I was very intrigued. In conclusion this book shows that you should always find your true friends and stick together with them if it feels right. That is what Callie did, she found who was going to actually be there for her, she didn’t know what Penelope was capable of and she knew now to be careful.