I received an early, uncorrected copy of this book at BookCon. This in no way affects my opinion. Grammatical errors will not be taken into account.
I really liked And The Trees Crept In. The characters were great, the descriptions vivid, and the plot fantastic. So it might be surprising to know that, unfortunately, I DNFed it at 36% (page 127) for exactly one reason: the horror. I went into this apprehensively, knowing it would be creepy, but it ended up being overwhelmingly so. >.<
This book follows Silla and Nori as they arrive at their Aunt Cath’s manor, La Baume, after running away from their shell of a mother and abusive father. At first it’s a refuge, but shortly after the curse of the manor shows itself and everything becomes horrific. It sounds interesting, and it was. I liked the pacing; it was slow and steady as things went bad, but still entertaining.
The one thing that pushed me away was the horror. It didn’t take me by surprise or anything, because I did go into this well aware that it was categorized as horror. I think what did me in was just how well Dawn wrote it. Everything felt so creepy and so real, to the point where I didn’t read when I was alone, when it was late, or when it was quiet or dark where I was reading. It’s likely because I’m a wuss, but I prefer to think that it’s because Dawn is seriously talented. 😛
Our main character was Presilla, though she went by Silla. I liked her. She was dedicated to protecting her little sister and tried to do what she believed would be most beneficial for Nori. Silla even chose to take them both to their Aunt Cath’s house so Nori would be safe from their father. I also liked her paranoia and fear as they spent more time in the manor. It might sound strange, but I just think it’s realistic. Her fear was clearly there, and understandably so. I mean, who wouldn’t be afraid?
Then there’s Eleanor, or Nori, the younger sister. She was mute, though I don’t know how it happened, and she was missing a few teeth and had a crippled arm. It was all caused by her father, who I assume was abusive. Despite all of that, she was still innocent and happy, like a little kid should be, and she trusted and loved Silla wholeheartedly. I thought she was just adorable, and I was constantly hoping she stayed safe and okay. ❤
I wasn’t really sure what to think of Gowan. He was introduced shortly after things started to go downhill, and at first I thought he was nice. Then I thought about it and realized that the information he told Silla seemed suspicious. He was genuinely interested in being friends with the sisters and brought them food when they had none, but I just feel like he might not be what he seemed.
The story takes place at La Baume, a decrepit manor with a blood red exterior. The manor is located in England, in an unnamed rural area near London. I loved the descriptions in this book. I could imagine the run-down interior and the shadows in all the corners. For some reason I pictured it as the Other Mother’s house from Coraline after the truth is revealed, but more old-fashioned and with fewer insects. XD
I also thought Python Woods was terrifying, but equally vivid. It sat outside La Baume, not far from the entrance to the manor, and was every bit of the haunted forest other stories might feature. Within the woods was the Creeper Man, and he was the creepiest part of the story, in my opinion. o.O
I enjoyed the sisterly bond Silla and Nori had. They rarely, if ever, found the other annoying; they loved each other wholly. I liked that, because I don’t think it’s common enough in YA. They stuck together through everything: their father’s abuse, the escape to La Baume, and the downfall of their lives.
That sounds overly dramatic and morbid but I’m leaving it there.
I also liked the friendship Silla and Nori formed with Gowan. He was the only friend they had except for each other, and he helped them how he could. I have a feeling it might not have lasted, but since I didn’t get far enough to find out, I won’t dwell on that. 😉
Up to where I read, there wasn’t anything I would consider a major twist. I think that farther in there’s going to be at least one huge, terrifying twist, because that’s how horror typically goes.
(My sister watches enough horror movies for me to know this haha.)
Even though I DNFed it, I did enjoy And The Trees Crept In. It has a lot of potential, and the chunk I read was great. The reason I didn’t finish was entirely personal and had nothing to do with the book. So if this looks interesting to you, definitely pick it up when it comes out in September. 😀
my rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR? If you have read it, what did you think? I’d love to know! 🙂
I’m off to start my last BookCon ARC, Kids of Appetite by David Arnold. I hope you’re all having a magnificent day/night! ❤
Until next time…
Come visit me! 😀