Author: Dawn Kurtagich
Genre: Young Adult | Horror | Hauntings | Mystery
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
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 (goodreads)?
Fans of The Dead House will easily fall in love with And the Trees Crept In and may even be afraid to turn the lights out!
Plot: And the Trees Crept In takes place in modern-day England with Silla and her younger sister trying to escape a bad situation. They find themselves at their aunt's cold mansion and set up residence there. For three years, everything seems to be going well, until one day everything changes and they don't feel as safe in this home.
Much like The Dead House, we have unreliable narrators and various formats of text. There are journal entries from both the girls and how they react to these strange comings and goings. For me personally, this made it hard for me to get into the story since everything was so disorienting. I know and accept that I'm in the minority with this, so I don't think that readers who enjoyed the format of The Dead House will mind as much as I did. I have to admit that I got surprisingly emotional toward the end of this novel and really enjoyed the turn it took.
Characters: Silla is our main character and she has known hardship. Her family situation is so terrible that her sister, Nori, has become a mute. I really liked how each sister had their struggles and their imperfections. All of the other characters are mysteries regarding their involvement in the hauntings, but I believed that those realizations were played out perfectly.
Worldbuilding: The world of And the Trees Crept In is also disorienting, but that just lends itself to the mystery. While it takes place in 2016, the landscape feels more 18th century with how picturesque and quiet the surrounding areas are.
Short N Sweet: And the Trees Crept In is the perfect read for anyone looking to be scared!