Aug 31, 2020

ARC Review--The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry

When people go missing in the sleepy town of Smith's Hollow, the only clue to their fate comes when a teenager starts having terrifying visions, in a chilling horror novel from national bestselling author Christina Henry.

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.

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

If you’re looking for a spine chilling read this fall then look no further than Christina Henry’s The Ghost Tree! This is a creeptastic mystery with murder, monster, magic, and mayhem! This is a read you will not want to put down until its very surprising ending!
I’ve pretty much been a fan of Christina since her early days and I was excited for her foray into the horror genre! Her Urban Fantasies tend to have creepy moments, but this was novel that was full on creep fest! I also want to note here, that though our cover description depicts a teenage heroine, this is still very much an adult novel due to content and the like. So don’t go into this thinking it’s a YA horror story, for it’s not! Just want that advisement to you all early.
The year is 1985, and yes, that’s the year we stick to, we follow Lauren a fifteen-year-old girl out to just have fun for the summer before she starts high school. Though things are already pretty intense for her. Her family life hasn’t been the same since her dad died last November and her best friend, Miranda, is drifting further and further away from her as she matures at lightning speed, trading fun and games for boys, boys, and more boys. This summer though will be different for a whole lot of reasons and its starts with the finding of two murdered girls.
What made this story even more intense and intriguing was how the point of view changed just about every chapter. Now don’t let this confuse you or throw you off. Christina does it in a way that makes it flow so easily. One chapter we’re reading from Lauren’s point of view then she sees her mother about town with her brother and looks away, then we’re in her mom’s point of view who goes about her day then her son starts saying a neighbor is crying, then we jump to that neighbor’s point of view. It may sound confusing, but trust me, it works, it so works! And I actually enjoyed reading from all these different perspectives because this quiet little town of Smiths Hollow is hiding some seriously dark secrets.
For you see, there’s a curse on the town and has been for centuries, cast upon by witches. Every year a girl goes missing in the town, and every year a girl is soon forgotten in this town. This is some seriously heavy juju, bad juju.
One thing that positively delighted me in a weird way was how I started to think that this mayor of the town, who knows exactly what’s going on with these missing girls, act very much like the mayor in the movie Jaws (and probably the book too, but it’s been many years since I read that) and then this mayor starts thinking about the movie and THAT mayor and understanding the mayor’s actions! It was a laugh riot to me since I love that movie and I know Christina does too! It was a great way to throw in a cameo appearance and hello, super scary creature that kills people, more coincidences!
It’s hard to get into the mystery element of this one without diving too deeply into a backstory that comes into play. Needless to say we get to know the hows and whys of this town being cursed. And why a girl gets killed every year. Why no one ever remembers this happening, year after year after year.
It’s a pretty intense story and creepy to boot. So naturally, I was eating up the pages. I was shocked that I was halfway through it only my second day into reading! The words just fly off the pages and the pacing in sooo intense that I just had to see what would happen next. The multiple points of view was a game changer that really kept you on your toes. And every now and we got inside the head of the monster who seemed to have more brain for thought than you’d expect. I was quite pleased with myself when I was able to make some accurate guesses as to the turnout of this one.
If you’re looking for a dark and chilling read this fall, I would highly recommend reading The Ghost Tree! It’s one that will have you looking at forests and old trees with a more careful eye for sure. You’ll be kept up long into the night wanting to reach the chilling and epic ending, just be sure to lock your doors before falling asleep!
Overall Rating 5/5 stars
The Ghost Tree releases September 8, 2020

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