A review by shereadstales
The Other Side of Forestlands Lake, by Carolyn Elizabeth


Thanks to Netgalley and the wonderful folx over at Bella Books for the digital galley of this one.

Happy pub day to this spooky, little book. Look at me. Getting a review up on time. It can be done, at least once, in the year of our pandemic 2020.

Willa Dunn and Lee Chandler spent every summer as kids together at Forestlands Lake. Just as the two begin exploring what more there may be between them, Willa’s sister dies mysteriously on the lake, and her family packs up and heads out. Lee hasn’t heard from Willa in twenty-five years, but she’s back at the lake, the famous horror writer she always wanted to be and with her troubled, half-sister in two. Willa hopes this summer will give her a little bit of closure and the chance to mend fences with Nicole who has turned into quite the bitter, cynical teen in Willa’s recent absence. Willa dare not hope she’d be able to rekindle anything with Lee, but Lee’s daughter, Maggie, is obsessed with Willa’s books, and when rumors of a ghost circulate through the community, Willa and Lee will have to team up to save Nicole and whatever spark there once was between them.

This book was the perfect read for this month. A little spooky and creepy, a little romantic, and an intriguing story. Though I am lothe to admit it, the weather here has complimented my reading as well. North Carolina can’t quite decide to be fall, so the spooky vibes are good for October, and the weather was good for the setting.

I enjoyed Willa and Lee’s relationship, their learning each other again, and the added complication of sisters and daughters. Nicole got on my nerves a little, but let’s be honest, most teenagers do. That’s what they are for, and Maggie’s curiosity, kindness, and enthusiasm served as a perfect compliment to Nicole’s grumpy and cynical nature.

There’s a sex scene or two, it is a lesbian romance after all, but if you’re looking for a straight up erotica with little plot and even fewer characters, keep on looking. There’s a lot going on here that takes twenty-five years to figure out, so hope you’re looking for an interesting story.

If you’re looking for something atmospheric to sneak in before Halloween without the horror and gore, check this one out!