I am thrilled to be a stop on the book tour for And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich, hosted by Rockstar Book Tours! I have a review and interview for your reading pleasure, but be sure to check out the tour schedule below, or click the banner above, for more!
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Series: Standalone Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Psychological Thriller Publication.Date: September 6, 2016 Pages: 352 (ARC) Published By: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Website: Dawn Kurtagich And the Trees Crept In on Goodreads My review copy: Received in exchange for an honest review
Where to get:
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.
I absolutely devoured Dawn's first novel, The Dead House, and was ecstatic when I found out she was publishing a new novel. Dawn has the ability to get inside your head and truly freak you out. And not the kind of freak out where you hide under the covers from the monsters, but where you question everything.
And the Trees Crept In starts out normal enough, but slowly take on a turn for what the fuck is happening?! Silla and her young sister Nori escape their abusive father by traveling to their aunt's house in the middle of the woods. At first, everything is great. They're safe, fed, loved. Then one day their aunt goes up to the attic and never comes back down. They can hear her moving around up there, doing who knows what, but she never descends back down.
It's then up to Silla to keep herself and her sister alive, but it becomes harder with each passing day. Food is running out, the land is dying, and the trees are getting closer. Just when things seem beyond helpless, Gowan mysteriously appears from the woods - with food. Nori automatically takes to him, but Silla is (naturally) wary.
The narrative of And the Trees Crept In is beyond excellent. Not only is Silly possibly descending into madness, but we are along with her. She's your quintessential unreliable narrator - or is she? Are the trees actually getting closer? Is there a voice coming from the basement through the floorboards? Is her sister playing with the Creeper Man?
When it comes to this novel, there are two reading styles: You pick it up and you don't put it down because Dawn doesn't let up or you pick it up and you put it down every once in a while because holy creepy. I am in the former group, but a good friend of mine is in the latter. I couldn't get enough of Silla's narrative and Dawn's writing. He, on the other hand, needed to break every now and then because the trees around his house started creeping in.
If you are looking for the perfect psychological thriller with the right about of creeps and creaks, you do not want to pass up And the Trees Crept In. Dawn quickly became an auto-buy author for me and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!
Interview with Dawn Kurtagich
In tweet form (140 characters or less), how would you describe the story of And the Trees Crept In to those who haven’t heard of it yet?
Stay away from the woods, it couldn’t be clearer, but the trees are creeping nearer and nearer. Closer, closer, he’s always near, beware of creaks at night you hear.
What is your most interesting writing quirk?
I’ve tried to be a fully grown adult with regular mealtimes and regular sleeping times, but when I’m writing intensively, there is no night or day, Monday or Wednesday, weekend or weekday—it all sort of blends together. Things like 9-5 don’t really compute. I do what I need to do as and when. If I sleep at 8am and eat breakfast at 10pm, it has no connection to solar and lunar movements when I’m intensively writing. It is definitely NOT ideal, but it’s what happens every time!
And the Trees Crept In and The Dead House have very different narrative styles. Was one easier or more interesting to write than the other?
Both were enigmas. The Dead House was akin to an archeological dig: the scenes written in a fever were like tiny pieces of an unknown artifact found scattered throughout the site. It was a matter of finding how they fit together to reveal the artifact. But in the process I had no idea whether the pieces belonged to one artifact or several. Whereas And The Trees Crept In was like walking through Silla’s labyrinth, trying to find the center.
How do you get into the mindset you need to be in to write psychological thrillers?
- Pages and pages of geometrical drawings
- Locomotion amidst stormy landscapes.
- Deep nocturnity.
What is the most memorable reaction you've had from a reader?
Some readers have shared their reactions with me in real time on Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook messages.
What can you tell us about the book you're working on now?
If I told you you’d be sectioned. ;) (Andrea's note: Probably worth it!)
If I could tell the world just one thing, it'd be . . . Dare to be yourself. Words to live by.
The title of my autobiography would be . . . WTF? A Biography.
Dawn Kurtagich is a writer of creepy, spooky and psychologically sinister YA fiction, where girls may descend into madness, boys may see monsters in men, and grown-ups may have something to hide. Her debut YA novel, The Dead House, is forthcoming from Orion/Indigo (UK) and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (US) in 2015.
By the time she was eighteen, she had been to fifteen schools across two continents. The daughter of a British globe-trotter and single mother, she grew up all over the place, but her formative years were spent in Africa—on a mission, in the bush, in the city and in the desert.
She has been lucky enough to see an elephant stampede at close range, a giraffe tongue at very close range, and she once witnessed the stealing of her (and her friends’) underwear by very large, angry baboons. (This will most definitely end up in a book . . . ) While she has quite a few tales to tell about the jumping African baboon spider, she tends to save these for Halloween!
When she was sixteen, she thought she'd be an astronomer and writer at the same time, and did a month-long internship at Cambridge's prestigious Cavendish Laboratories.
She writes over at the YA Scream Queens, a young adult blog for all things horror and thriller, and she is a member of the YA League. Her life reads like a YA novel.
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