ABOUT THE BOOK:
Release Date: June 13th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
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Synopsis: "It's dark magic brings him back."
Tori Burns and her family left D.C. for claustrophobic Chaptico, Maryland, after suddenly inheriting a house under mysterious circumstances. That inheritance puts her at odds with the entire town, especially Jesse Slaughter and his family-it's their generations-old land the Burns have "stolen." As the suspicious looks and muttered accusations of her neighbors build, so does the pressure inside her, and Tori returns to the pattern of self-harm that landed her in a hospital back in D.C. It all comes to a head one night when, to Tori's shock, she witnesses a young man claw his way out of a grave under the gnarled oak in her new backyard.
Nathaniel Bishop may not understand what brought him back, but it's clear to Tori that he hates the Slaughters for what they did to him centuries ago. Wary yet drawn to him by a shared sense of loss, she gives him shelter. But in the wake of his arrival comes a string of troubling events-including the disappearance of Jesse Slaughter's cousin-that seem to point back to Nathaniel.
As Tori digs for the truth-and slowly begins to fall for Nathaniel-she uncovers something much darker in the tangled branches of the Slaughter family tree. In order to break the curse that binds Nathaniel there and discover the true nature of her inheritance, Tori must unravel the Slaughter family's oldest and most guarded secrets. But the Slaughters want to keep them buried at any cost.
*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher for a blog tour via Netgalley. This fact has not changed my opinion. ****
I was really excited to read this book. It is totally up my alley, historical mystery with subtle magic. And while it was an interesting read I quite love it how I was hoping.
One thing I did like about this book was the atmosphere and world of this book. When it comes to this kind of historical mystery, the most important thing is that world. You have to establish interest in both the present and the past. The author definitely managed to do that. With flashbacks to the past she established what life was like for indentured servants, and in present day the high stakes plot added to the drama. Both settings were equally engaging and while I did prefer the ones in the past I never felt like I'd rather be in the opposite place, which is common. Then of course there was the magic added. I usually like my books with a lot of magic but the subtle amount here just added to the drama and mystery.
Which was the other thing I liked about this book, I liked the mystery and plot development. This is a book that is full of surprises and twists. Some of them were pretty easy to solve and others of them were not. As the book unfolded it did so in a way that there were more and more surprises and a big finish that was full of action. There were kind of two mysteries here and each of them were interesting but if I'm being entirely honest I did feel like they were a little needlessly complicated. With one of them I felt like I had an obvious solution that could solved things much sooner and with the other I felt like it had a left field reveal. However I was engaged in both their conclusions and with a lot of mysteries that isn't the case.
But I will say, I didn't really like the pacing of this book. It's not a particularly long book but it did take me awhile to get into it. It's one of those books that does built to an exciting conclusion but it took it's sweet time to get there. It took me three days to read the first half of the book and then I read the second half in a day. And even then it felt like it was progressing slowly. I wanted it to get to the big finish but it just wasn't getting there. I wish it had been a little more evenly paced.
I also didn't really like the characters here. It's not that they weren't interesting. For example, many of the secondary characters were pretty odious which is what you want to see when it comes to a mystery. But the main characters just didn't impress me much. They just didn't jump off the page. I think for the most part they just fell a little flat because they didn't have much personality. The main character Tori was fine and I liked the fact that she stuck up for herself and her family but it honestly felt a little misplaced at times. I couldn't quite figure her out and that made it hard to connect. And then there was Nathaniel, the romantic lead. He also just didn't seem to have much of a personality. And their relationship I just didn't understand. It wasn't really instalove but it had all the hallmarks of that trope. I kept hoping that they weren't going to get together because there was nothing really connecting them and then suddenly they did. I think I just wanted a little more from the characterizations here.
But in general it was an okay read. I'm a plot driven reader so I enjoyed how it all unfolded and the way the mystery revealed itself. There was a lot of drama and an atmospheric setting to keep me engaged. I just wish it paced a little more evenly and there was better characterizations.
I give The Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano 7.5 out of 10 stars
Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Borrow. I think fans of YA historical mysteries will enjoy this book and should check it out. There's a lot to like for fans of the genre or for those just looking to tip their toe in and try it out.
Author of NEARLY GONE, NEARLY FOUND, HOLDING SMOKE, and THE SUFFERING TREE (Disney*Hyperion, 2017). Represented by Sarah Davies of The Greenhouse Literary Agency.
There are two giveaways for this tour! One on the FFBC Tours site where you can win (1) of (9) witch bottles (US Only). You can find that here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86242/?
And one that just right here on My Thoughts Literally where you can win a SUFFERING TREE bundle which consists of a finished copy of the book, a sticker and a bookmark.
Have you read The Suffering Tree? What did you think? What are your favorite mysteries? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!