After fleeing their home in favor of their aunt’s old manor, Silla and her little sister Nori finally feel safe with “Crazy” Auntie Cath. Until the day Cath finally loses it, and locks herself in the attic, everything seemed fine. And then the trees started moving closer. And the nighttime story Cath had told them one night soon doesn’t seem like JUST a story anymore.
Why this book?: Halloween! Gimme all the creepy reads.
Creepy atmosphere and story
My first Halloween read ended up being this book, and I was happily surprised when I found that I was actually scared and freaked out by what was going on. So many times when I have gone out looking for horror books or just creepy, then I’m always disappointed. Look at my review of Cat’s Cradle, which I had thought would be at least a half decent book. Look at Ashley Bell, and The Jersey Devil, and The Girl on the Train. I have had nothing but disappointment from the horror and thriller genre, except for a few gems. And this book falls right into that pile.
This story was so beautifully creepy that I found myself reading for the end in the middle of the night, despite it being nighttime making it all the more creepy. The specific, matter-of-fact descriptions for these odd happenings made me want to reconsider everything because you didn’t know what was supposed to be important or different.
I found the story being heavily similar to the tall tale of Slender Man, which seemed nearly on purpose, and nearly just a matter of happenstance.
Creepy was all this story was
This story was completely banking on how much the reader finds the story creepy. Other than that, there’s not much to look forward to.
The romance was awkward and felt forced, especially nearer the end. A sex scene was legit written in during the climax, which was just a cringe-worthy moment because it was just pushed randomly in there. And while there was plenty of development for Silla and Nori, Gowan, the love-interest, was just shoved in there. I didn’t enjoy his character, mainly because all his character was was being a love-interest.
With the entire plot being so creepy and intriguing, the ending was ultimately . . . disappointing. It twists everything you read earlier, trying to hint that it was hiding things from you, when in actuality it hid everything, and there really was no way of knowing that something was being hidden. After finding that completely perplexing, the explanation for what was happening was also disappointing. I found it trying too hard to be new and different, rather than exemplifying what it already excelled at.
Final Rating: ★★★☆☆
While stunningly creepy and new, the romance was a terrible addition and the ending was a complete disappointment. I felt like, nearer the end, there was a lot that could have been done better. I especially enjoyed the fact that little Nori was mute, and used sign language in the book to communicate with her sister. But I just can’t get over that ending.
Would I Recommend?
If you’re looking for a really creepy Halloween read, or just want to question having a night light on at night, this is a really good book to choose. I feel like the ending might have just been my own opinion, so others might enjoy the mind-twisting confusion that it is. You’ll never know unless you try it!
Published: September 26th, 2016
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 352
Synopsis: via Goodreads
A stunning, terrifying novel about a house the color of blood and the two sisters who are trapped there, by The Dead House author 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.
10 thoughts on “Review #31 // And the Trees Crept In – Dawn Kurtagich”
Well, dang. I was rather looking forward to this one, but it sounds like I’ll have to temper my expectations for it. I tend to get growly about both deliberately confusing/manipulative endings and romance for the sake of romance. And a sex scene thrown into the climax just because? No thanks.
Thanks for the warnings! Looks like I can safely push this one a bit further down my TBR list. =)
I was too! Most of the book was amazing, but whenever Gowan came in, I found myself constantly rolling my eyes skyward. I’m also still trying to puzzle out the ending myself, despite reading this nearly a month ago.
No problem! And yea, totally ;D
Well, hopefully you avoided all eye-rolling-related injuries. =)
Great review! So glad to hear that it creeped you out! Those are my favorite kinda books!
Same here! If you happen to know any others, send ’em all my way! 😀
[…] (11/19) And the Trees Crept In – Dawn Kurtagich – Rated: ★★★☆☆ […]
I tried reading this book recently, but I gave up about half way through. It definitely had a creepy factor that I rarely have the pleasure to read, and I appreciated that. But gosh…that plot…I just felt like it was going nowhere, and I started getting really bored and frustrated. I finally found a spoiler on goodreads a few weeks after giving up on the novel, and I’m relieved I didn’t finish the book. The ending is something that would have definitely caught me by surprise (but not in a good way) because I don’t think I wasn’t ever going to draw that conclusion based on the “clues” the author wrote into the story.
Same here, ugh. The creepiness is what really got me, and that’s the main reason why I read so much so fast (I think I read the first 200 pages in one day??). But after a while it felt like it was going nowhere and I was just really disappointed with the ending, especially after going through so much to get there. This one makes me hesitant to try Kurtagich’s other novel, The Dead House, because I’m only hearing praise but what if it’s the same kind of ending??
I know exactly what you mean! The only reason I picked up And the Trees Crept In was because so many people raved about the Dead House, but my library didn’t carry a copy. Honestly, I like Kurtagich’s writing enough that I would be willing to give her a second chance and pick up the Dead House, but I think I might just wait until next October.
You’ve basically just summed up my feelings. I’ll wait until October, when I’m actively searching for creepiness. Kurtagich has the creepiness factor down, but not the plotting.
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