What The Woods Keep

On her eighteenth birthday, Hayden inherits her childhood home—on the condition that she uncover its dark secrets.

Hayden tried to put the past behind her, and it worked. She’s getting ready for college, living in a Brooklyn apartment, and hanging out with her best friend and roommate Del. But now it’s all catching up with her: her mother’s mysterious disappearance a decade before, her father’s outlandish theories about a lost supernatural race, and Hayden’s own dark dreams of strange symbols and rituals in the Colorado woods where she grew up.

As soon as Hayden arrives at her hometown, her friend Del in tow, it begins: Neighbors whisper secrets about Hayden’s mother; the boy next door is now all grown-up in a very distracting way; and Hayden feels the trees calling to her. And among them, deep in the woods, Hayden will discover something incredible—something that threatens reality itself.

What the Woods Keep is the stunning debut of Katya de Becerra, who combines mystery, science fiction, and dark fantasy in a twisty story that will keep you mesmerized right up to the final page.

Where to buy

Teachers' Tips available here

Praise for What The Woods Keep

"Spooky atmospherics and moral ambiguity complement the blend of science and myth to create a thoughtful and compelling horror fantasy.

Blending mythology and a contemporary story of family drama, de Becerra's debut novel is a narrative that will keep readers enthralled.


“The characters in this debut novel are interesting and modern, particularly Hayden’s humorous, vibrant roommate... Adds a new angle to the “small town with a secret” genre.” 

"Choice reads for younger eyes" The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 December 2018 

Readings Bestseller - October 2018

BorrowBox Book of the Month - October 2018

Buzz Books is a list of "what (publishers) think are the most noteworthy upcoming releases to help the public sift through the thousands of new titles".


"If you’re looking for a smart, edge of your seat young adult story, What the Woods Keep is definitely for you."NOVELTEA CORNER 

"My kind of genre-mash-up, that twists urban fantasy and science fiction with the creepy factor that comes with a dark woodland mystery along with a gripping pace and self-sacrificing friendships. Quite unlike anything I’ve read before."KIDLITERATY

"This is not a book you want to read right before bed! A great supernatural story with enough genuinely creepy moments to keep you up at night."Dani Solomon, for Readings Kids.

"Full of relatable characters, epic scenery, and a plot that was frankly unexpected and kept me guessing... Mystery, magic, history, great characters and amazing settings."THE NERD DAILY

"I loved this book! 
It had my heart racing, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough."―BEAUTIFUL BOOKLAND

A magical, intelligent twist on the Nibelungenlied epic, with elements of science, set in a real world that is frightening and wonderful."―Rena Rossner, author of THE SISTERS OF THE WINTER WOOD

"[A] wonderfully dark atmospheric novel." A COURT OF COFFEE AND BOOKS

"The perfect blend of sci-fi, mystery and fantasy... Page turner and intensely unique."―Dana L. Davis, author of TIFFANY SLY LIVES HERE NOW 

"Haunting and disturbing, yet intriguing and captivating." THO BOOK MUSE 

"...Glues you to the edge of your seat... One of the best sci-fi/horror/mysteries I've ever read."Derek Milman, author of SCREAM ALL NIGHT

"A heady blend of science, myth, and horrorNovel Knight Book Reviews

"A dark, creepy tale... a plot-driven story about learning one’s true identity while discovering the unknown, punched with a deeply chilling vibe and consistent spine-tingling narrative."TALE OUT LOUD

"This book was so. damn. good. Lush and creepy, with a totally unique yet totally relatable heroine. I LOVED the way this book pinned logic and science against fantasy and primal fear--and managed to find the common ground between them in a deeply incisive way. A fast, frantic, fascinating read. Very highly recommended for anyone interested in mythology, psychology, or just some good scares."Maxine Kaplan, author of THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL 

the scientific supernaturalness of Stranger Things meets the creepiness of The Haunting."―Astrid Scholte, author of FOUR DEAD QUEENS

"A stellar debut from a stellar author."― Lucia DiStefano, award-winning author of BORROWED

"This is seriously one of the most unique, intelligent, and mystical novels I’ve ever read. The twists and turns continue right up until the very end and the pages will take you to strange depths that are 
unexpected and exciting."KAT'S BOOKS 

An amazing, immersive contemporary fantasy with strong female characters, female friendships and descriptions that will make you feel like you're walking alongside them."Sophie Gonzales, author of ONLY MOSTLY DEVASTATED & THE LAW OF INERTIA

"Part fairy tale, part science fiction, part horror, this novel takes the best parts of these genres and blends them into something completely unique, satisfying, and new... 
Super smart and spooky, this story kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. A must read."Tara Gilboy, author of UNWRITTEN

"...A unique blend of fantasy, sci-fi, and horror story all rolled into one." Caryn Lix, author of SANCTUARY

​"​The book pretty much had everything—friendship, mystery, creepiness, and a dash of romance. Trust me, you’ll want to get lost in these woods!​" Candace Robinson, author of QUINSEY WOLFE'S GLASS VAULT and T​HE B​RIDE OF GLASS

“A real high-tension page turner with a dash of humor to give relief from holding your breath...”Taryn Bashford, author of THE HARPER EFFECT

"If you like eerie towns like in Silent Hill and scary science like in Resident Evil, then this is your jam."Maura Milan, author of IGNITE THE STARS

"What The Woods Keep is about more than revealing a family's secrets, but about accepting yourself, accepting change, [and] about reconciling the known and the unknowable..."AUSSIE SPECULATIVE FICTION


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