Book Review: THE REVELRY by Katherine Webber

Title in pink on blue image of two girls
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: standalone


Book cover for THE REVELRY: title in pink on pale blue beneath two girls arching back on flowers

I am girl of Ember Grove, and these are my woods…

Growing up in Ember Grove, Bitsy Clark knows better than to mess with the long-held traditions of her hometown. Until her best friend, Amy, persuades her to sneak into the Revelry – the end of school party in the woods, to which only those leaving are invited.

When she wakes the next day, Bitsy can’t remember anything from the night before. Weirder still, whenever she tries to speak about… 

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


THE REVELRY is an eerie little book perfect to read in one go, but will linger into your dreams. It’s about unremembered bargains linking two best friends and the strain it takes on their friendship, it’s about a forest with too much power reaching out into ordinary lives.

This is one of those books that’s very hard to classify. I eventually went with Contemporary Fantasy because the haunted wood and the strange goings on edge it enough into fantastical for me. However, they’re very light fantastical elements vs the tone of two friends struggling – so more like PERFECTLY PREVENTABLE DEATHS in terms of the fantasy vs contemporary balance.

It is a super creepy woods. Some of the ways it works are subtle, things that could be written off as nothingness. Others are impossible to ignore – and sometimes deadly. Plus a wood that can’t be navigated the same way twice? Has locations that appear and disappear? Definitely a wood to stay out of unless you want to lose your life…

I loved the focus on female friendship rather than romance (which feels vanishingly rare in YA at the moment, and made its inclusion and prominence here all the more special.) Bitsy is not in a relationship – it’s not acespec rep, it’s just that the boys she knows aren’t interesting to her (she’s had crushes in the past.)

Instead of involving boy trouble, the book is all about two long-term best friends who find their friendship under strain thanks to the forest’s meddling – and made worse by Amy not believing Bitsy about the influence of the forest. I loved how strong their friendship was, how they still had each other’s backs when push came to shove. And, fitting, the finale is all about them getting into trouble for each other – and then going the extra mile to rescue them.

This was the first YA of Katherine Webber’s that I’ve read (having previously only read her MG), and it’s made me even more excited for her co-written TWIN CROWNS.

Read my reviews of other books by Katherine Webber:

Young Adult (With Catherine Doyle):

Twin Crowns:

Middle Grade as Katie Tsang with Kevin Tsang:

Dragon Realm:

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