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3.4 13
by Patricia Windsor

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Casey, Gena, and Maryann can think of a way better use of a week than a senior trip to Washington, D.C. Casey's plan is simple. Ditch the trip to D.C., camp out at her parents' amazing cabin in Delonga, and accidentally "run into" Lane and his friends on their fishing trip. She knows the boys will be across the lake--her friends will thank her once they're


Casey, Gena, and Maryann can think of a way better use of a week than a senior trip to Washington, D.C. Casey's plan is simple. Ditch the trip to D.C., camp out at her parents' amazing cabin in Delonga, and accidentally "run into" Lane and his friends on their fishing trip. She knows the boys will be across the lake--her friends will thank her once they're up there.
Three girls for three boys will be the perfect party. After all, what could be more fun than five days in the woods? No curfews, no rules, and no parents. No one will even know they're up there.
And no one will hear them when they scream for help.
When the first body shows up, it's shocking. When the knock comes on the back door, it's horrifying. And when they realize there's nowhere to hide, they'll wish they were already dead.
Surviving a week in the woods is a going to be a whole lot harder than these girls could ever imagine.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Donna Scanlon
Teenagers Casey, Maryann and Gena tell their families that they are going on the class trip to Washington, DC, but their real destination is Casey's family's cabin in rural Georgia. Once there, Casey plans to connect with a boy spending the weekend at a cabin across the lake, but in the time-honored tradition of teen horror, Something Goes Horribly Wrong. There's something creepy roaming the hills, and no one knows whether it's human or animal. What soon becomes clear is that it has a taste for human flesh. With all the teens roaming the area—the three girls, the boy across the lake and his two friends, a would-be stalker, the intrepid sheriff's son and his best friend and a local bad boy—the creature can take his pick. Windsor has done a remarkable job. The characters are stock, but she rounds them out deftly, giving them traits that raise them above cliches. The plot moves swiftly; Windsor uses multiple points of view, including that of the monster, to keep the action moving. Although the resolution seems a bit rushed, overall the book is a page-turner. High school librarians might want to know that some of the characters use profanity, although it is not frequent. Otherwise, it is definitely a worthwhile purchase for any teen collection.
VOYA - Stacy Dillon
Gena, Casey, and MaryAnn are cutting school. Not just class, but an entire field trip to Washington, D.C. Casey comes up with the plan while the three friends are in detention. Instead of visiting the capital, the girls will stay at Casey's cabin in Delonga. What she fails to tell MaryAnn and Gena is that the main reason for going is to visit hunky Lane-the boy who works at the country club. The cabin, located in the woods and on a lake, seems nice at first, but with the seasonal residents gone, the woods are not like they are in the summer. In fact, something is living in these woods and leaving the carnage that local Ben Jay stumbles on. An ill-fated visit to Lane's rental finds his friend Jeff missing, and soon Gena goes missing as well. Where could they possibly be? Although Windsor sets up this story as a typical teen scream, there are some extremely graphic and disturbing elements. There are no werewolves or vampires, rather a young man who has suffered at the hands of his sadistic father. The reader gets glimpses into his past and what he has witnessed. All the flashbacks show snippets of torture, cannibalism, and abuse. Although the pacing is superb and the reader can imagine this title in movie form, the choppy writing, gruesome scenes, and lack of character development keep it from being a must-have title.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-When Gena, Casey, and Maryann ditch their school trip to D.C. to stay at a lakeside cabin for a week, their biggest concern is getting caught by their parents. They plan to have a carefree time of eating junk food, meeting up with boys, and partying. Soon after their arrival, though, things begin to go horribly wrong. A number of terribly mutilated animals are found nearby, and two teenage boys go missing within one day. The girls and remaining boys decide to investigate and consequently draw the attention of the killer. Soon Gena is also missing, and Casey and Maryann are trying to fend off a vicious murderer. Though the story follows the formulaic plotting devices satirized in the "Scream" films, Windsor will keep teens hooked through the gruesomeness alone. The descriptions of what the killer does to his victims are enough to give readers a cold shiver of fear. Each chapter is narrated by a different character, including the killer and the sheriff's teenage son, which allows for rounding out of the perspective in the book, but no deep character development. Larger public libraries will want to purchase the book for horror fans, but schools can probably pass.-Stephanie L. Petruso, Anne Arundel County Public Library, Odenton, MD Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.21(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.55(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Read an Excerpt


By Patricia Windsor

Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Copyright © 2006 Patricia Windsor
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0385903316



He ran at night and hid by day, crawling into dark places that were a little too much like his old lair--but then, it was only the familiar that could make you feel really safe.

He thought he could run until he was dead; there was nothing to hold him back. He'd run until his flesh dropped off and the wind and rain polished his bones. The house was far behind. But how far was far enough?

I am . . . I am . . . He ran chanting, trying to remember his rightful name. Never to be called Boy anymore. He held on to that little frayed string of hope that he could change what had been born into him, put a stop
to the twenty-four-hour picture show going on in his head. But maybe that was like hoping he could stop breathing, smelling, eating. Was it possible to change a taste for blood?

He had been running south, through a landscape of old farms, shanties and trailers, startled by the hulks of rusting cars sitting like giant rats in the moonlight, avoiding the lonely lights in bedroom windows, trembling at the sudden howl of an edgy hound. Keeping to the county roads. He was always lonely at night. Daddy had liked the highways. Get the best girlies hitchhiking on them, he had said. Fresh meat.

Now the sun was coming up and hewas tired. A sign at a crossroads said hatton 5 mi. delonga 8 mi. He was getting close to towns. Ahead he could smell a swampy area. Nobody would be walking through there. The place had a mean, bad look; the kind of place that knew him. Old cypress trees stood on their knees in murky water, their branches draped with shawls of moss. He felt his way between the tupelos and black gum trees, his brown, cracked feet trailing slimy duckweed as he waded through inky pools. This was where he belonged, low and deep, down in the rot-stinking mud, down with the snake-headed skinks, with bottom-feeders and cottonmouths.

People were scared of the swamp, worried about snakes, about being gored by wild pigs.

But no harm would come to him here. The swamp creatures recognized him by his smell, saw into the darkness of his heart and knew him for what he was: one of their kind. He would hide here until dark. Then he'd run again.


The little Honda Civic looked like a red ant moving between the SUVs and long-haul trucks on the highway. Gena sat in the backseat, listening to Casey and Maryann talking and laughing up front, feeling like a third wheel. Feeling carsick too. Though maybe it wasn't so much being carsick as thinking about what she was doing. Riding off to some town she'd never heard of instead of sitting on the bus with the rest of the class on their way to Washington, D.C. How did she get herself into this? Not really a hard question--she knew the answer. By telling a lie.

"How're you doing back there?" Casey asked, half turning around, blowing cigarette smoke into the backseat and interrupting Gena's quiet agony.

"I'm fine." Gena's voice sounded small and unsure, but she couldn't get up the energy to be perky right now. Casey and Maryann were the ultimate in perky. Maryann was swigging Coke out of a can; Casey, holding her cigarette out the window, taking her hand off the wheel to punch in a new station on the radio. They were probably sorry they asked her to come. It was beyond her how they didn't feel guilty like she did.

Gena kept envisioning her mother phoning the hotel and finding out she wasn't there. Or the school bus crashing and everyone getting killed. Gena would still be alive and the lie would be more than obvious. It was such a stupid idea, she almost laughed.

Maryann turned around.

"I was just thinking about my mother," Gena mumbled, trying to cover her anxiety.

"Right," Maryann said, giving her a look.

But Gena wasn't about to tell them she felt guilty. They seemed to be immune to guilt. They hadn't even cared when they were all dragged in by the principal and almost suspended. Maryann said that her father didn't care about anything except that she made dinner and cleaned the house, and Casey's parents were always at the country club or some fund-raiser. Gena sort of envied that they had the freedom to do what they wanted. Her mother was always on her case. Ironically, now she was free that it didn't feel so great. The truth was, she had actually wanted to go on the class trip. But everything got so mixed up after the three of them got in trouble.

The worst guilt was about the pizza party. She had felt like crying then, and she still did when she thought of it. Her mother and Matt, ordering pizza, decorating the kitchen, giving her a bon voyage party. And Matt asking her to bring him a souvenir back from D.C. How in the world was she going to manage that? Finding a souvenir of the nation's capital in a cabin in the woods?

From the Trade Paperback edition.


Excerpted from Nightwood by Patricia Windsor Copyright © 2006 by Patricia Windsor. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Patricia Windsor is the author of many books for young readers. Her book The Sandman's Eyes won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Juvenile Mystery. Patricia Windsor lives and writes in Maryland. The author lives in Maryland.

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Nightwood 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
my brother let me borrow this book. i finished it in a day & was not impressed at all. i mean, it's fun & everything. and some parts are very suspenseful and exciting. but overall, the storyline is flat and so are the characters. it didn't go anywhere or elaborate on anything. it was just very two dimensional. i didn't HATE it or anything but it's just not something i'd read again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The cover and summary intriged me and so I thought this sounds interesting and couldn't put it down. It made me think of certain movies that were mentioned in the book like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It was an easy read but certain parts were hard to read and handle like of course the gore scenes. The ending was a little unexpected though I guess predictable in a way but not bad. The book is about 3 girls who are supposed to be on a trip but head to a cabin where one of them wants to meet a boy who has 2 other friends while a supposed animal-human killer is on the loose. A local boy and his father sheriff with help from a reporter who has done a story on a similiar incident almost, find to track down the killer is in the woods where the girls cabin is.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. Some parts of it were rather gory but other then that it was a good book. The ending wasn't like i expected. It was kind of disturbing. But it made me want to read the sequel. 'even though there isn't one xD'
Guest More than 1 year ago
From the start, this book got my attention and, surprisingly, kept it. I was on the edge of my seat at the end of every chapter. The varying viewpoints gave me different perceptions of what was going on, which I thought kept up the accumulating suspense. Nightwood is one awesome thriller!
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
So, 3 girls go to a cabin in the woods, even though there supposed to be on a trip somewhere else, one of them wants meet a boy who it seems, has 2 other friends. All while an animal killer is on the loose. Meanwhile, a boy and his father sheriff are looking for that same killer with help from a reporter. If you've seen or read enough stories with this story, guess where be the killer hiding? How can you ignore that cover? It does catch your eye doesn't it? Anyway, from the summary this sounded like my kind of read. This was a quick read and an ending that was a little unexpected but at the same time predictable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book a few years ago and loved it. While trying to find something to read a few days ago I thought about it, and decided to read it again--I enjoyed it just as much the second time. I love the characters, the scenes, the gore- even the semi-controversial ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CiciBear26 More than 1 year ago
I was browsing my library when I came across this little book. In my mind, I kept thinking "I need something to read for Halloween" and I found Nightwood, and it seemed perfect. This book is not new (I think it was published in 2006) but it was so different than 'scary' books that you can easily find at a bookstore. Think cannibals and weird, nasty people. Basically, any Sci-Fy movie you can turn on the TV. Nightwood had a totally weird concept, and that's probably why I loved it so damn much. I liked the gore factor, and damn, the ending! I couldn't believe it! It definitely shocked me, and for once, I didn't ever get a chance to predict what was going to happen. Wish there was a sequel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Does anyone know any really good paranormal series or something with stuff happening that is soo creepy, you picture and hope to God you could get the image out of your head? Like with Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz, that stuff was creeppy. Thank you! email me @ other3kings@yahoo.com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book until the end. The book was suspenseful,intriguing, and kept you wanting to read more. I absolutely did NOT like the end. It seemed extremely rushed. It works the story up and then all of a sudden it is over. There are two big things that make a great book. A beginning that keeps you wanting to read more, and an incredible ending. This book had a good beginning, but a very lacking end.