Publisher: Little Brown BfYR

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Review: And the Trees Crept in by Dawn Kurtagich

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I received this book for free from Little Brown Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: And the Trees Crept in by Dawn KurtagichAnd the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich
Published by Little Brown BfYR on September 6th, 2016
Genres: Gothic, Mystery, YA
Source: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
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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.

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.


4 Hot Espressos

Review: The Dead House by Dawn

Posted by on 10/30/2015 • 7 Comments

Disclaimer: this wasn’t a scary book. When we say ‘scary’, that’s something I would give to the likes of Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics and Girl from the Well + The Suffering by Rin Chupeco. This wasn’t even a mind-fuck of a book a la Dangerous Girls

However, that doesn’t mean my mind didn’t reel from it. Even though this didn’t have the quiet or the jumpy horror I am well fond of, how this book delivered a kickass psychological paranormal thriller made me shiver in my boots.

1. Unreliable narrator? Check. 2. A book majorly in a dairy format, showing us the thought processes of our heroine, therefore giving us an intense sneak peek of the insanity of the situation? Check. 3. Notes, transcription of videos, medical reports, letting us also see…

Review: I Crawl Through It by A.S. King

Review: I Crawl Through It by A.S. King

Posted by on 08/24/2015 • 5 Comments

This was an interesting book. It is a contemporary, but it’s told in such a cool way. Like the synopsis says, it’s surrealist fiction. The characters are so in depth and the storyline is intriguing. The base of it is the bomb threats that they get at school every single day. I really enjoyed all of the characters in different ways. They all have issues and can’t quite figure out how to deal. They have different ways of coping and some are really quite unnerving. One’s hair grows when they lie, and they are a compulsive liar, another literally turns herself inside out. One builds a helicopter that is invisible to most people, and the main character, Stanzi is two people in one. They each have these traits about them…

Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Posted by on 08/10/2015 • 3 Comments

This sequel has been a very long wait to read and I had very high expectations going into it. It was a little slow going at first, but it was so good. Even though it was slow, we get all of the characters we love (and maybe don’t love so much) as well as new ones. As with the first one, the descriptiveness was amazing and I loved seeing what everyone has been up to and what the new danger is going to put them through. By the time I was nearing the end of this book I was reading frantically needing to see what would happen. And the end… ahhhhh!! I sure hope the next book doesn’t take as long as this sequel did to come out. I assure…

Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Posted by on 01/28/2015 • 14 Comments

It’s been a while since I have read a fae book so I thought it was time. Besides that, I bought this when I went to the release day launch at a local book store and the little parts that the author read had me really wanting to read it. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t one that will go on my favorites list. The main character was really great and I loved that we discover her secrets and the truth about herself along with her. I really loved the writing too, it was very beautiful and descriptive. The fae world always intrigues me, and I loved getting to visit Faerieland. It’s enjoyable to read about fae when they are portrayed the way old folklore does it. As the creepy…

Behind the Scenes with Ryan Graudin on Writing The Walled City!

Behind the Scenes with Ryan Graudin on Writing The Walled City!

Posted by on 11/03/2014 • 21 Comments

The Walled City took me by complete surprise when I read and loved it a few months back, and now I’m happy to have Ryan Graudin on the blog for a look at how this book came to be! If you hadn’t heard of The Walled City yet, you can find my review here and see what it’s all about!:

Behind the Scenes with Ryan Graudin

Inspiration. For some, the term calls to mind midnight rushes of words: pages and pages granted by some benevolent muse. I’ve never really liked the inspiration=lightning strike metaphor. Instead I like to think of it as a seed. An idea that I plant and water and cultivate, which slowly grows into something I could have hardly predicted.

Every one of my…

Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Posted by on 10/20/2014 • 25 Comments

“There are three rules in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife.”

I admit, this is all I read of the blurb before I dived into this book in line at BEA, so what I expected was some kind of dystopian. And in a way, it is a dystopian-like setting inside the city itself, but this book is not a dystopian/post-apocalyptic story at all. It’s a contemporary thriller. Outside the Walled City, the world is just like ours today, with modern civilization and normal people living normal lives. Inside this city, however, we’ve got another story. In a gist, this book is about the horrors of human trafficking in a city without laws, controlled by gangs and criminals, ruled by brothel owners and drug…

Review: Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King

Review: Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King

Posted by on 10/09/2014 • 18 Comments

So these girls drink the remains of a bat and start seeing the future. Yep, this will be a weird one! You have been warned!

Ok so, only having read 2 books by A.S. King so far, both of them being fairly normal, I wasn’t expecting this level of weird, but somehow it ended up working really well for me. The magical realism aspect of it turned it into a sort of contemporary-slash-dystopian hybrid which was, surprisingly, quite interesting. Though I foresee some people not being fans of this one; it’s definitely not for everybody, and you’ll have to go in with an open mind, believe me.

What helped me really enjoy this novel is Glory’s voice. She’s not at all a very likeable character – especially at first, but…