A while back, I announced that I won Dawn Kurtagich’s giveaway. It included an ARC of her newest novel, AND THE TREES CREPT IN. To say I was excited would be an understatement because I freaking loved THE DEAD HOUSE (which I apparently neglected to write a review for…).
Anyway, while on vacation, after finishing HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, I dove into this super creepy novel.
After a few distractions (like finishing Preston’s THE CABIN), I finally finished it. And boy, was it a doozy!
Dawn Kurtagich’s AND THE TREES CREPT IN
Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2016
What It’s About:
To escape their abusive father, Silla takes her little sister, Nori, with her to La Baume, the house her mother grew up in. Her mother’s older sister, Cathy, still lives there. And while Silla has never met Cathy, she knows that escaping to her mother’s childhood home has to be better than staying with her father…
Or is it?
(Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)
When Silla and Nori arrive, everything is wonderful. Cathy is like a mother they always wished they had. Until…things change.
Two years after their arrival, (crazy) Cathy disappears to the attic and refuses to come down, leaving Silla to care for Nori herself. Food is diminishing in the house, and the garden has gone barren. With the threat of World War III on the verge, everyone in the nearby town has disappeared.
But then, things start getting worse.
The trees are, literally, moving closer to the house and begin to engulf it. And the Creeper Man, a demon that Cathy and her sisters created when they were younger, has come for Nori.
With the help of a mysterious boy, Gowan, can Silla save her sister…and herself?
What I Thought:
I’m going to be honest. This book was creepy AF. Like, I thought THE DEAD HOUSE was creepy, but Kurtagich REALLY outdid herself on this one. There were times that I had to stop reading and put it down because it turned my stomach. (But it’s a testament to how good the book was — and Kurtagich writes — that I kept picking it back up.)
Disclaimer: I’m not going to focus too much on the characters and plot because to do so would spoil it. And I really don’t want to spoil this book for anyone. (Even those of you like me, who love to be spoiled.) So, you’re just going to have to read it!
Instead, I’m going to tell you about how well-written it is.
First, the “mixed media” effect. Kurtagich did something similar in THE DEAD HOUSE, and I was excited to see she employed it again in AND THE TREES CREPT IN. But, she didn’t take the same “tricks,” which was even more awesome. Instead, she uses “broken book entries” to help tell the story and reveal Silla’s thoughts. (I won’t lie, it took me about 3/4 of the book to realize there was a very important reason that some of the words were SO LARGE compared to the others…)
She also includes multiple POV (but sparingly) to give more to the story that Silla is telling. So, the readers get to see Cath as a child and also Nori’s version (in pieces). It’s really interesting. What I also liked about this was that it was blended so well that it didn’t “shock” the reader out of the story. Sometimes, the narrative switches to abruptly without really letting the reader know it is. Kurtagich (and the book designers) did an awesome job of visually letting the reader know when this was happening. So it wasn’t nearly as jarring.
Finally. The ending. I won’t spoil it — but I really want to meet someone who’s read this so we can gush over the ending!
It was just so well done. I don’t even know what else to say about it without ruining for everyone, and I refuse to do that.
But, let me just say this. The ending brought the entire story together so clearly and untied all those knots that were created in the first 300 or so pages. And it wasn’t a cop out (like some authors do). It was a genuinely well written ending. It made so much sense, and made the book just…wow.
So, who’s going to read it? When can we talk about how awesome it was?
Support our blog and buy your copy at Amazon through this link: