Oh my stars, this was the perfect October read for me. Gruesome murders in the woods? Ghosts? Witches? Creepy small town with some serious secrets? Yes, thank you!
What it’s about
From the Goodreads description:
When the bodies of two girls are found torn apart in the town of Smiths Hollow, Lauren is surprised, but she also expects that the police won’t find the killer. After all, the year before her father’s body was found with his heart missing, and since then everyone has moved on. Even her best friend, Miranda, has become more interested in boys than in spending time at the old ghost tree, the way they used to when they were kids.
So when Lauren has a vision of a monster dragging the remains of the girls through the woods, she knows she can’t just do nothing. Not like the rest of her town. But as she draws closer to answers, she realizes that the foundation of her seemingly normal town might be rotten at the center. And that if nobody else stands for the missing, she will.
Doesn’t that sound fantastically October-ish?
Last year, I read and enjoyed my first book by Christina Henry: Lost Boy was a delightfully dark take on the (already dark) Peter Pan story. Pretty confident at this point that she’s just the kind of author I like. The Ghost Tree is well-written and completely engaging—once I started I didn’t want to stop.
The book is set in the early 1980s in a sleepy little town where all is definitely not what it seems. Fifteen-year-old Lauren’s father was brutally murdered recently in the woods, and she’s experiencing all sorts of weirdness herself while also navigating the confusion that is growing from girl to young woman. When her headache leads to a vivid vision of a monster savagely killing two girls in the woods, Lauren is upset enough… but then the bodies of the girls are found and Lauren has to figure out quickly what’s going on.
I don’t want to give too much away, but suffice it to say, I enjoyed the plot and characters very much. The story is told from multiple POVs, and as much as I adored Lauren, I also loved Alejandro’s chapters. The town’s lore is laid out in a wonderfully witchy fairy tale-like story. Fun 80s references throughout, gory horror, a curse, witches and monsters, and I honestly didn’t figure out who the killer was until the end. There’s a lot to love here for horror fans.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my free copy in exchange for this honest review.