And the Trees Crept In
Genre: Gothic, Mystery, YA
Publication date: September 6th, 2016
by Little Brown BfYR
A stunning, terrifying novel about a house the color of blood and the two sisters who are trapped there, by The Dead Houseauthor Dawn Kurtagich
When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt's home, it's immediately clear that the "blood manor" is cursed. The creaking of the house and the stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too--the questions that Silla can't ignore: Who is the beautiful boy that's appeared from the woods? Who is the man that her little sister sees, but no one else? And why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer?
Filled with just as many twists and turns as The Dead House, and with achingly beautiful, chilling language that delivers haunting scenes, AND THE TREES CREPT IN is the perfect follow-up novel for master horror writer Dawn Kurtagich.
-A copy was provided by Little Brown Books for Young Readers for review-
I read The Dead House last year and immediately fell in love. It was eerie, scared the bejezus out of me, and twisted my mind into a pretzel. I LOVED the thriller aspects, the mystery and just the plain horror of it so I was excited to dive into And the Trees Crept In. While I definitely enjoyed the novel, I wasn’t as blown away by it as I was by The Dead House.
This novel starts with a happily ever after. Silla and Nori have escaped their abusive household and are ready to start over at their aunt’s but then things go downhill. Kurtagich is the queen of building tension. When I was half-way through the novel, I had no idea how things could get any worse but holy shit did they get worse. I had to take breaks and walk around and just calm down because I was freaked out.
Besides the lovely (HA) tension, this book also features some great familial relationships. Nori, Silla and her aunt are so great together even when they are not perfect. The romance however did not work at all. Silla and Gowan’s relationship reads more like insta-love even though they have a backstory of sorts. The timeline and Silla’s unreliability as a character make it hard to really understand the kind of relationship they have and it also doesn’t allow for a slow burn romance which I am all about. I guess it might just come down to personal preference but as a couple they were a no-go for me.
My biggest problem with this book was the final twist. Kurtagich is great with twists but I don’t think this one worked–at least for me it didn’t. It left me feeling unsatisfied. To be fair, lots of endings can do that for people but there was just something about this one that made me feel like it didn’t do the amazing story justice. I felt let down and yet I am not sure what ending would actually suit the story.
Basically, the biggest reason this book didn’t live up to Kurtagich’s debut novel for me was that last twist at the end of the novel. Otherwise, it was a fantastic book with wonderful pacing and a whole lot of scary. If you’re looking to pile up on some reads for Halloween (or you just love yourself a good horror), I’d definitely recommend And the Trees Crept In.