I thought it was fitting to end then month of October with a truly scary book. And the Trees Crept In is a great example of a slow building horror. When I started reading this book I felt brave, I read it as the sun was setting, carrying on into the night with a lamp and some hot cocoa. By the middle of the book I was checking that my closet was empty, swearing every time there was a suspicious noise in my house & jumping at any notification from my phone. This book truly builds a sense of dread and creeping fear as it continues on, and I couldn’t love it more.
At the beginning Silla and Nori arrive at their aunts old manor house. Silla already thinks theres something amiss with the blood-colored building, but it could just be her imagination. Here the story picks up pace and starts to create a world full of all the classic horror elements: old house, dolls, dark woods, and a journal full of secrets. This story is split two ways: the main story of the girls in the old house, then sprinkled throughout the story are torn journal pages that start to explain why the siblings are there in the first place. The journal explains what happened to their family, their aunt, and the boy that appears from nowhere. The ending is shocking and unexpected, definitely throws readers for a loop, and helps to explain and tie everything into a neat little bow.
I’m happy to give And the Trees Crept In a spooky 7/10 black cats. This book has all of the classic elements of horror, a great storyline, and uses two storylines instead of one to deepen the sense of dread and fear. As the book continues on the reader gets a stronger sense that Silla is going a little crazy & starts to doubt Silla’s point of view. The journal entries give the story some serious scary vibes, and they use bolded words and jumpy language to get that point across.
The story does get a little confusing in spaces, I found myself reading along not knowing exactly what was going on & waiting for an explanation, but that quickly ends with a journal entry or Silla’s thoughts capturing my attention again. My only gripe is that the time frame of the story got a little jumbled. Until the very end I couldn’t tell what period or location the story is taking place in. They mention WWIII & London but besides that it’s very unclear until the very end.
This book is the perfect way to end October with. It’ll leave you looking over your shoulder & second guessing every sound you hear in the night. It’s the perfect blend of horror and mystery for anyone looking for a creepy way to spend their evening. And the Trees Crept In creates an atmosphere of dread and unease the reader just can’t escape and the ending leaves a different impact on everyone. If you like horror and a great story I highly recommend this book, and I won’t laugh if you have to keep the lights on.