Sunday, November 23, 2014

Review: Willowgrove by Kathleen Peacock

Willowgrove by Kathleen Peacock
Book Three of the Hemlock series
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

Willowgrove is Kathleen Peacock's riveting conclusion to the Hemlock trilogy, a dark, romantic, paranormal suspense series that pits friendship against survival, and trust against love.

Ever since Mac's best friend, Amy, was murdered, Hemlock has been a dangerous place. But now that Mac, her boyfriend, Kyle, and Amy's ex, Jason, have investigated a mass breakout from Thornhill, a werewolf "rehabilitation" camp, the danger has only grown. Fear of the infection spreading is now at an all-time high, and anyone with a scar is suspected of being a wolf.

What makes Mac even more afraid, though, are the dark experiments that the warden of Thornhill was performing on wolves in a secret asylum called Willowgrove. Uncovering the truth about what happened may be the only way for Mac to save everyone she loves and end her nightmares for good.

What I Liked:

Oh my gosh. OH MY GOSH. Wow. You guys. I don't even know how to express my feels. This book was... amazing. So much heart-pounding awesomeness, so much nail-biting, so much page-flipping. I couldn't finish this book fast enough, and yet, I didn't want it to end. 

Mac, Kyle, and Jason are all back in Hemlock - but things are tense in the town. Serena has not recovered from her ordeal in Thornhill, and even though rumors of Sinclair's death are going around, no one can trust anything. Amy might be the key to it all - if only she were still alive...

Again, wow. I don't even know how Peacock could make this book even more epic than the previous books. Hemlock seemed like a murder mystery book, a whodunit. But then Thornhill really amped up the tension and craziness in the series. You'll recall my review of Thornhill, in which I called the book one of the best sequels I've read. It really set up the scene for an epic final showdown - the conclusion novel.

The mood of this book is so, so tense, scary almost. I was terrified for Mac and Kyle and Serena and Jason at almost every page. It felt like at every chance, someone was being separated from someone else, and I was just SO SCARED of no one coming back together. Mac was too, so it wasn't just me. Peacock did a wonderful job of keeping me on the edge of my seat - I just HAD to keep reading.

I really like Mac. From beginning to end - of the book, and the series in general - her character grows and flourishes. She'll do anything for Kyle, but also for Serena, Jason, and her other friends. Mac is so smart, do determined, so pigheaded sometimes. She isn't perfect and everything isn't always black and white with her, and I love this characterization.

I seriously love the romance, in this particular book. I was worried in the first book because it really seemed like Peacock was pushing a love triangle at readers, but book two changed my mind, and this book really sealed the deal. Kyle and Mac are a fabulous couple. 

Kyle isn't just a fantastic love interest - he's a powerful and memorable protagonist. He's kind but also intense and protective, and I love those traits, balanced with Mac's selflessness and stubbornness. Heck, both of them are really stubborn, and it really works between the two of them.

I wondered how Peacock would approach the overall issue of the book - werewolf rights, I'm calling it. Nationwide, werewolves are not accepted. In this book, so many secrets are uncovered, about the camps, the lupine disease, the history behind it all. Peacock drops secret after secret, twist after twist. I loved it!

Peacock also dialed up the blood and guts and death and injuries and craziness. Seriously, I was so afraid that everyone would end up dead or something. Bodies. Blood. Everywhere. Which really lent to the authenticity of the situation - it felt like the world was ending, honestly. The riots, the National Guard coming to Hemlock, the looting... it felt like a revolution, but like, one that could very well happen today. So realistic!

In the end, things wrapped up... interestingly. We get a lot of resolution, in terms of Mac and Kyle, Mac and her father, the whole werewolf rights thing, Sinclair, Serena, Jason... Peacock hits just about everything, whether "happy" or "sad". Personally, I'm pleased with the ending - not saying whether or not it was a happy one or not, but that I'm very satisfied with it. Peacock write a very great and realistic ending to things, and not just the ideal, optimal ending. 

I want to say more, specifically, but this is a conclusion novel... and I shan't not spoil things! But guys, this book was awesome! Seriously!

What I Did Not Like:

Hmmm, I can't *really* think of anything at the moment. I'm sure there must be something, since I'm a strong believer in the no-book-is-actually-perfect thing, but I can't think of something. So.

Would I Recommend It:

YES! If you've made it this far, then for sure, read this book! If you've read at least book one, KEEP GOING!! It only gets better. This is probably my favorite of the three, then book two, then book one... not that book was bad by any means!! All three are SOOOO good. And this is coming from the girl who was originally hesitant to read book one, because at the time, there were so many "werewolf"-related books publishing, after Twilight. So. You should read this series. Like now.


4 stars. I love this series! Potentially one of my favorites. Also, hey, look at me, finishing another series! Woot! And it was a good one!

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!


  1. I always wanted to read this series ,, happy you like it ,, looks like i will buy it soon ,, thanks for sharing :D

  2. Since I still have to start the series, having book 1 & 2 in the TBR pile, I have skim-read the review, but I'm so very happy to hear you loved it and that it's probably your favourite book of the series!

    1. Thank you for commenting anyway! And OMG you will not be disappointed, Pili :D

  3. Oh wow!! Great review! Naturally EW rejected me for this one so I have been crying silently about that! LOL I loooooove this series as well and have been on pins and needles waiting its release then Kathleen tweeted about all the deaths and I was left shocked, jaw dropping and all!! Soooooo dying to read this one needless to say!! Glad it comes out nice and early in 2015!!!

    Awesome review!

    1. You will love it, Jessica! Don't worry, it's worth the wait, I prooooomise :D Hope you do!

      Thank you!

  4. I have been debating whether or not to read this series.... I'm worried about the potential love triangle. Mostly it seems okay, but I don't know if I'll be annoyed with Jason's character or not. :/ Your review is definitely making me reconsider though. It sounds really good.
    Lovely review, Alyssa!

    1. I never really considered the love triangle in this series a serious one. And Jason gets his own fair ending. So. Don't you worry.

      Thank you!

  5. Aw, yay. <3 Amazing review Alyssa :D I'm so glad you loved this book so much. I.. had huge issues with it :( but I understand why you love it; and I think many will love it. <3 Anyway. I love reading your thoughts about it :) Thank you for sharing sweetie. I cannot wait to read more books by Kathleen; as I adore her :)

    1. I'm sorry to hear that! But yeah, it was a highly satisfying conclusion novel for me. I hope we love her upcoming novels!

  6. I loved the first book in this series but I haven't had time to read the second one yet.

    1. You should, Nereyda! Definitely get on that! :D


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