Synopsis: Fifteen year old Aisha disappears in the forests on a school hiking trip. She's the latest in a string of children to vanish there over the past five years. The towns surrounding the forests are on edge and they demand answers. And wildboy Ethan—Aisha's boyfriend—is on the run after he and his grandfather are blamed for Aisha's disappearance.
Cassie is just about the only friend Ethan has left. She's been secretly in love with him ever since her mother dragged her to the wilds of Australia from Florida six months ago.
Desperate to prove Ethan's innocence, Cassie searches the forests with Ethan to find out what really happened to Aisha. But Ethan's growing strangely silent, and Cassie's left questioning if her feelings for him are clouding her judgment.
Cassie discovers a dark secret lurking in the heart of the forests; a secret world of nightmarish horrors—where nothing is as it seems, where the supernatural invades your soul, where the people she trusted most might be the people she can trust the least, and where escape exists only in dreams.
Review: OMG! This book scared me silly. I did not get much sleep last night I was so creeped out by it. Our lead character Cassie has moved with her mother to Australia. She and her three friends, including crush, Ethan are out in the woods working on a school project. Her friend, Aisha gets ticked because she thinks Cassie and Ethan (her boyfriend) are getting too close, and she runs off. Ethan goes to look for her but can't find her. A search team looks and looks but Aisha seems to have just disappeared without a trace. Ethan and his grandfather are somehow getting the blame for her disappearance, so Cassie, Ethan, and the third friend, Lacey sneak away to look for Aisha.
In the search they find a secret underground place with a clown that makes me shudder and creepy dolls that move around on their own. Between the history of missing girls and these creepy dolls, the book is enough to keep you up at night. I really don't want to get to much into the plot. This book is so well done, that I feel that if I give away too much it might ruin parts of the story. Let's just say Cassie is left not knowing who she can trust - and at times wonders if her crush on Ethan is preventing her from seeing that he may or may not be who she thinks he is.
The plot is excellently done. 5 Star excellent. It's a perfectly paced book that keeps you frantically turning pages to find out what happens next. I read it in one sitting. Here's the thing though, you probably shouldn't read it at night ... especially if you're home alone. It's seriously that scary. And by scary, I don't mean gorey scary. I mean, messes with your head, creepy- never look at dolls the same way scary. The characters are believable. Sometimes they do things and I was screaming,, "No, Don't do it!" But, the kids are fifteen so it's very believable that they would do these things. My understanding is that this book is part of a three part series - though it could have been a standalone the way that it was written.
So, can Cassie really trust Ethan? Will they find Aisha? What are these creepy dolls and why are they there? You will have to read and find out. I hope I've given you just enough information to tempt you to check it out.