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And the Trees Crept In

Review

And the Trees Crept In

When Silla Daniels’s alcoholic father goes too far she escapes with her sister to the fabled La Baume manor. Ever since she was young, Silla has heard the wonderful stories about La Baume, her mother’s childhood home and where her Aunt Cath still lives. But when she and her sister Nori arrive, things aren't quite right. After a few months itis clear that something is terribly wrong. Are the tress getting closer? Or is it all in Silla’s head? What was that thing in Python Wood? Was it really a tree?

AND THE TREES CREPT IN had a very similar feel too Dawn Kurtagich’s first book, THE DEAD HOUSE. The writing style was very much the same with random diary entries and the occasional note from Nori. To be honest, I thought that THE DEAD HOUSE pulled this off better and that it seemed a bit forced here. On the other hand, while being somewhat confusing, I found a lot of the writing to be chilling and beautiful.

"I found a lot of the writing to be chilling and beautiful. There was an answer to all my doubts and questions and I really liked that factor."

I found myself very confused for the majority of this book. Sometimes it was because as the story progresses Silla becomes more and more unstable and you often don't know the difference between what’s going on in her head, what she thinks is happening, and what’s actually happening. Other times, however, it was because what was happening just didn't make any sense or seemed too abrupt. I’m happy to say that by the end everything came together and the plot holes vanished. There was an answer to all my doubts and questions and I really liked that factor.

For the first few chapters I was under the impression that this was going to be a very creepy book and the first half was. By the second half, though, it was much more of a mystery and any creepiness seemed somewhat forced as the plot developed and we learn more about the characters. When I got near the end of the book and there was no closure in sight I got little worried --- was there going to be a sequel? Or was it just going to end abruptly? Thankfully, neither of those things happened and we got a great ending that I was very happy with.

Throughout the book, Silla is very distant which makes it difficult to connect with her as she is the main narrator. Her mental state deteriorates at the story goes on which gives the book a very eerie feel, but also makes it hard to understand her as a character. Surprisingly, that didn't end up being much of a problem for me. I was able to focus more on the plot and what may or may not be happening than the charters themselves. 

I only gave this book 3.5 stars because while I did enjoy it, parts of the writing made it hard to pay attention to what was going on. The jumping from time to time and place to place near the end of the book was also difficult to keep up with. At the same time, the flashbacks were crucial to the reader understanding the story. Once I realized that they were much easier to read.

I would recommend this book to anyone who doesn't mind a slightly creepy, very mysterious book that keeps you on your toes throughout the whole thing. I got through it pretty quickly and over all really liked it.

Reviewed by Alanna B., Teen Board Member on September 20, 2016

And the Trees Crept In
by Dawn Kurtagich