Sunday, May 7, 2017

Review: The Suffering Tree

Author: Elle Cosimano
Started reading: April 29th 2017
Finished the book: May 1st 2017
Pages: 368
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Mystery
Published: June 13th 2017
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads score: 3.6
My score:

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.” But none of that seems to matter after Tori 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.

My thoughts
Trigger warning: Self-harm is an ongoing subject in this book.
This is the kind of story that I've never read before. It seems a historical romance but there are fantasy elements as well. Not sure if this book would be YA in my opinion because of the harsh subjects in the book.

  • Ending: The ending was a good one. I felt satisfied with the ending, which should be the case if the book is a standalone.
  • Lot of mystery: There is a lot going on that you don't understand and it takes almost the whole book for you to get your answers. Things point to some of the wrong people and the wrong places, but you will get your answers in the end!
  • Different POV's: This book is written from 3 different POV's, which made it very interesting for me. You have the current time, you have the visions Tori is having and there is the history told by Nathaniel. I liked the variety and the way the story is told from different POV's. For me, different POV's don't always work or have the effect they should have. But it worked for me in this book!
  • Did not always make sense: There is so much going on in this book that I don't understand. The book had fantasy elements, but I wouldn't call it a fantasy book. The way things evolved didn't always make sense and I'm still not sure I understand what actually happened in the book...
  • Selfharm/Slavery/Rape: Such harsh subjects.. I'm not sure I would put those subjects in a book that I call YA. It's also weird to me that there is no note or warning somewhere in the synopsis or book-blurb. For people struggling with harsh subjects, it could be a shock to read those passages.
  • Didn't enjoy it all the time: There were moments in this book when I wasn't that excited to keep reading. I didn't understand a lot of things that were happening, together with the subjects named above, it wasn't always a pleasant read.
A story with a lot of promise. It didn't always make sense to me, Tori was hard to understand as well as her choices. Wouldn't tag this book as a YA, because of the underlying subjects in the book. When you like your casual zombie-boyfriend and a nice mystery and if you're not scared away by the above named subjects, you might enjoy this book.

Other opinions about this book
"Spellbinding and haunting... Cosimano weaves a riveting tale of secrets, dark magic, love and revenge. Part history, part paranormal mystery and part modern-day thriller, The Suffering Tree hooked me from the moment Nathaniel Bishop climbed out of his grave."
- Cat Winters

"Riveting... A dark mixture of mystery, history, romance, and fantasy."
- Kirkus Reviews

"Cosimano's story is rich in historical detail and eerie atmosphere."
- Publishers Weekly

Memorable quotes from this book
"Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone, But still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute, You didn't grow under my heart, But in it."

"No matter where you are raised or what name you are given, you will endure.
You will swim, you will dance and you will love without fear."

Do you feel harsh subjects in a book should get a trigger-warning?



  1. The cover is quite beautiful but it's bad there were no trigger warnings given about the harsh subjects! Not sure if I'll be picking this book up. Thanks for the helpful review :)


    1. Yeah, I really feel like this kind of subject should receive a trigger warning....


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~ Esther