13. The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge

It was the synopsis of this book that drew me in and I’m glad I ended up buying it (Waterstones Haul), because it was a fantastic read.

The Synopsis of the book (taken from the back) is as follows:

Martha can tell things about a person just by touching their clothes, as if their emotions and memories have been absorbed into the material. It began the day she fell from the tree and became blind in one eye.

Determined to understand her strange ability, Martha sets off to visit her grandmother, Mormor – only to discover Mormor is dead and a peculiar boy is in her cabin.

Then the spinning wheel starts creaking, terror creeps in and Martha is faced with an impossible decision…

Ability to read – This book was short in comparison to others I’ve read. Just a little wider than my index finger in length but no less inviting to read. I found it relatively easy to fall into the world of this book and was able to understand what I was reading with little difficulty. It helped that the main character, Martha, didn’t speak Norwegian because it helped me to stand along side her and walk with her through her journey without getting pulled out because I didn’t understand the language.

There was a strong level of description in this book that allowed me to clearly understand what was happening and allowed my imagination to take over without having to worry about what I was reading. It didn’t matter that I hadn’t been to the island Martha travelled to, there were enough descriptions elsewhere for me not to feel out of my depth or unsure of what I was reading.

Characterisation – Martha is a strong character even when she’s frightened. I think she represents a lot of us because her story is as much about learning to accept yourself as it is about ghosts and Norse mythology. Martha has to walk the journey to discover her new self and it’s interesting to see how she gets from point A to point B.

My opinion of Stig changed constantly throughout the book and I think over the course of reading he became a very deep and complex character. He helps Martha through a hard point in her life and never once complains about the hardships he is also going through. It is heartwarming to see him stand by Martha’s side through everything that has happened.

The connection between Martha and Stig is rare and intense. I never knew which was it was going to go and it was nice that I was constantly surprised by them.

Visualisation – It was easy to visualise what was going on in this book. The level of detail was heavy from start to finish but pushed me further into the depth of the book. I was very happy with what my imagination came up with in terms of this story and at no point did I have difficulty visualising what I was reading or think that anything didn’t fit or didn’t work.

Uniqueness – I haven’t read much – if any – Norse mythology stories, so this was new for me. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed what I was reading and how many times I had to search google to learn more about what I was reading. I never expected that you could mix Norse mythology with darkness, ghosts and romance and yet that is exactly what this book does and does so well.

A wonderful YA read.

Hannah xoxo

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