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Reviews of: The Twisted Tree

  • 4 stars 13 customer reviews

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    • 5 stars
    • By

    'You can't hide from the darkness'

    'You can't hide from the darkness' You really can't. This is a tense atmospheric thriller. It's one of those rare books that is 'beautifully written' but this doesn't mean it falls short on plot or characterisation. The main character Martha is well-rounded trying to come to terms with her disfigurement in today's selfie obsessed world and trying to understand the gift she's acquired and wishes she hadn't and I defy any girl not to fall in love with Stig! This story will appeal to all ages, the theme of Norse mythology threads through the book without swamping it.I can easily imagine this as a film.

    • 4 stars
    • By

    Really interesting

    ★★★★☆/★★★★★

    Book Review: The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge

    The Twisted Tree was a dark and interesting read for me. The setting for the story is the small island of Skjebne, a place where Martha has many lovely memories of summers spent on the island with her grandmother and mother, she soon discovers the island is a much stranger place in the middle of winter, where Norway sees less than 4 hours of proper sunlight a day.

    Marta was an engaging protagonist and I enjoying reading about her story. Her relationships with both her mother and Mormar (which translates to mothers mother), and also how she dealt with the introduction of Stig were interesting to read. I really liked reading about the Norse mythology aspect of the story and how it was woven through. Martha's 'power' was a clever addition and not one I've read about before. I loved how the story culminated and was happy with the conclusion.

    If you're looking for a short, slightly sinister and interesting read, then I would definitely recommend The Twisted Tree - perfect for fans of Coraline.

    • 5 stars
    • By

    A book that deserves more than 5 stars. Go read it!!

    I absolutely loved The Twisted Tree. Wonderfully spooky, full of twists and turns, and so gripping I didn't want to put it down. Martha was a believable main character and I loved that she was vulnerable and brave at the same time. Stig was really interesting too, and the slow burn romance was really well done. It would have been a great read without the whole mythology aspect, but the inclusion of Norse myth pushes it over the edge into brilliance. This is a book that deserves more than 5 stars. Go read it!!

    • 5 stars
    • By

    OMG This book is amazing!

    I knew I would love this book when I read the blurb - and OMG it's everything and more! The story is about a girl called Martha who can tell things about people by touching their clothes. She only has to brush past someone to pick up on their emotions. After an eventful journey to Norway, she finds her beloved grandma, Mormor, is dead, and a weird boy is hiding in her cabin.

    Things then start to get spooky ... I won't tell you what happens (because spoilers) but you're in for a great ride!

    The descriptions of the cabin were amazing, I felt like I was actually there with Martha and Stig and the wind howling outside. I loved the romance aspect and was really rooting for them to get together. I read the book in one sitting and literally could not put it down. (I stayed up until 2am and was properly creeped out when I turned off the light!) Even now I find myself keep thinking about the story, as if I’ve left part of myself in the cabin with them.

    This book has everything - a great plot with twists you don’t see coming, interesting and well-rounded characters that you care about, beautiful writing. And the Norse myth and Norwegian language made it even more special. I would give The Twisted Tree more than 5 stars if I could. It's my new favourite book. I just hope there's a sequel!!

  • The Twisted Tree Review

    The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge was such a conflicting book for me. I thought it would possibly be a little spooky or a bit creepy, which in all honesty it was at times. I found myself keeping an eye on shadowy corners! 

    I loved the concept of different clothing offering visions of feelings or facts depending on their material. The protagonist has these powers from the beginning of the novel, she seems fairly knowledgeable about what is discovered by touching clothes. 

    However the main character came across as very naive, she's a young girl who has run away from home to the house of her Grandmother, not an easy journey but she battles through. When she discovers a stranger after initially throwing him out she begins to care for him within a matter of hours and then after a day or two they're in love. Inst-love is a very common thing in YA books currently and it drives me mad. 

    This novel also lacked detail in many areas, the protagonist spent majority of her time in the house however there were hardly any descriptions of the layout or visuals to aid the reader. 

    It was enjoyable one off read leading up to October with a few creepy moments, but nothing worthy of a horror fan.

    • 3 stars
    • By

    First Impressions

    The Twisted Tree follows a girl named Martha who lost her eye in an accident and has since been able to sense people's emotions and memories when she touches her clothes as she travels to visit her grandmother in Norway to find out more about her strange ability. This story takes elements from horror and Norse Mythology to provide a captivating novel for teens and adults alike.

    The first few sentences of The Twisted Tree drew me in because they were strange. They left me with a lot of questions, so I continued to read...

    The writing style is easily comprehensible and descriptive, so it read easily and it was enjoyable.

    The first chapter made me quickly sympathise with the main character because she's shy and embarrassed. She has normal, ordinary struggles which make her relatable and likeable.

    I found that there were moments inside Martha's head without any action or dialogue that dragged out a little, with a bit too much telling rather than showing, but I still liked reading.

    Although the first chapter took a little while to build up to any important events, I was still wondering after reading the introduction, and I was intrigued by the character so I didn't have to push myself to continue to read, it was easy because it was well-written and character-driven.

    I did find my eyes skipping some long descriptions during which nothing much happened, but there weren't too many for me to stop reading.

    Because of Martha's strange, intriguing ability, we got to see an interesting insight into the other character's backgrounds, which I liked because it was unique and also gave me an impression of the character so that I could brainstorm theories, which I love doing!

    Overall the writing was good, the ideas were captivating and the characters were interesting. Even if the descriptions were a little long and there was too much telling not showing, I still want to read the rest of this book. I'd give it 3.5 stars.

    • 5 stars
    • By

    An enchanting story for anyone who loves things that are magical or mysterious.

    This is a wonderful story that draws you in from the very start, filling your head with curiosity. Rachel Burge's style of writing is very clear and melodious, making it a captivating book that is impossible to put down. You will be devouring every word with fascination.

    The start of the story follows Martha, a girl who has recently been in mysterious accident, leaving her blind in one eye. She is determined to go to Skjebne, to visit her grandmother, who she believes has the answer to why the accident has left her with strange powers. But when she arrives at her grandmother's house, she is greeted by a shocking revelation, one that will shape her future, and her heart.

    I was engaged in the story from the first word, and every word after that was filled with the same thrill and magic. The way it has been written makes your imagination fill with images from the story. The character of Martha has been written in a way that makes you really relate to her, and feel everything that she is feeling. It is impossible not to love her.

    Something about this book really inspired me and made me long for ice and wind of Norway. It fills you with a longing for darkness, and it makes you hope that there is such a thing as magic somewhere in the world.

    Martha's powers are very unique and they make you think about the people that are in your own life and what they are going through. It gives you thoughts and compassion that you never knew you had.

    I believe that this book has the power to change people and the way they act. Its messages are hidden behind mystery, romance, and mythology, but they are still there, trying to escape into the world.

    • 4 stars
    • By

    Good story

    When I started this book I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve never read a book that is Norse Mythology and this is also mixed with ghosts and romance.

    I really enjoyed the book. It wasn’t so heavy on the mythology that it was boring and the romance wasn’t so in your face it was teenagerish. It had a mixture of all and was told well.

    The characters were interesting. There was enough back story given without it involving or needing flashbacks.

    There is definitely an option for a sequel for this story as it gives an ending to the story but is open for more.

    I do not know if I would rush out for more by this author but if there was a sequel to this book I would read it to see how it is developed further.

  • Nordic Thrills

    The Twisted Tree is an impressive YA debut from Rachel Burge. Martha has an unusual gift; by touching a person’s clothes she can tap into their emotions and memories. It began after she was injured falling from the tree in her Grandmother’s garden, and subsequently lost the sight in her left eye. Martha wants to find out more about her unusual and unwanted gift and is sure that her Mother could help her, but she is remaining tight lipped. Determined to find answers, Martha takes off to visit her grandmother – Mormor – in Norway, but finds even more to question when she arrives. Where is Mormor, and who is the stranger living in her house? The Twisted Tree is a dark and atmospheric book, a welcome addition to any YA library. I liked the way Martha struggled with her new found ability; torn between not disappointing her Grandmother, and wanting to return to a normal life, away from the Norse legends that have dictated much of her Grandmother’s life. Unlike many books where the hero embraces their new found ‘superpower’, Martha’s fear and curiosity is much more believable. The secondary characters are also well drawn, with Martha’s new friend Stig causing conflicting emotions, at times clouding her judgment. Mormor’s faithful dog Gandalf is also well portrayed and his loyalty is integral to the adventure. If only everyone could have a dog like Gandalf. A huge feature of the book is the stark Nordic landscape. Burge’s descriptions are so vivid that the reader can visualise the miles of bleak beauty and feel the cold of the snow. The plot is tense and thrilling, and this combined with such evocative writing makes the book extremely hard to put down. Intertwined with Nordic myths, ghosts and Norwegian snow, is a burgeoning romance, but don’t worry, this is much more than a typical love story. The climax is thrilling and does not disappoint after the gradual build in tension. Some elements of the tale are left open, but as much as I enjoyed the book, I hope Burge does not write a sequel. The beginning of Martha’s new life has been shared, and now she should be left to find her way in the world.

    • 3 stars
    • By

    I wanted to like this...

    The first few chapters of this had me really intrigued and I was looking forward to reading more despite this not being my usual genre. There were a few details that had me baffled such as why her Grandmothers neighbour would drop her off without even making sure she could get in the house considering the danger in the local area however overall it started well. I enjoyed seeing Martha explore her family history and the evolving attraction to Stig and even the mythology side of things and found it easy enough to read however the overall story just didn’t grab me and I don’t think it was ended well which compounded my overall opinion of the book. The ‘reading’ of clothes concept was fresh and original but not well enough utilised in my opinion. Perhaps fantasy / mythology fans would enjoy this more, it isn’t a bad book it just isn’t great.

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The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge
The Twisted Tree (English, Paperback)

Part ghost story, part Nordic thriller - this is a twisty, tense and spooky YA debut, perfect for fans of CORALINE and Michelle Paver. Martha can tell things about a person just by touching their clothes, as if their emotions and memories have been absorbed into the material.

4 stars

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