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07/03/2024 Brawl Review: In the Tall Trees by Angel Van Atta

Welcome back to another Weird Wednesday. But, for the next few months, it’s going to be a different kind of weird.

Since I’ve made a personal goal to read all 32 books that made it into this year’s Books of Horror Indie Brawl, instead of posting haunted locations articles, I am going to be posting my reviews of each book until I have finished them all!


First up is: In the Tall Trees By Angel VanAtta


Mella lives in a tiny house in the middle of a dense forest with her mommy and her baby brother, Pete. Sometimes her daddy comes and with him often the bad man comes, as well. Mella knows that she, her mommy and little brother are a secret family living where nobody knows they are, but she can't remember why that is or why her mommy is chained to the floor. In The Tall Trees is a story told through the eyes of our little hero as she must brave what's out there, lurking in the shadows, to save all that she knows and loves in the world.


This story is both heartfelt and horrific — in all the right ways. Mella’s story gripped me right from the start and it was impossible to put down. Her descriptions of the bad man shook me to the core so hard that I wanted to jump into the book and pull her out, cuddle her, and tell her everything would be ok. Instead, I kept turning the pages, cringing and crying as the story unfolded.


I enjoy stories told from a child’s POV because I believe our inner child stays with us forever. It is who we are for so long while in such a vulnerable state and it is our experiences in childhood that shape who we become as adults. We are all products of our environment and upbringing. Being pulled into Mella’s world is a shocking reminder that not every childhood is magical, that not all children are cared for and loved the way they deserve.


Angel is a talented storyteller and the way she writes from a child’s POV is flawless. Every character in this story is genuine and believable — even when they are being horrible.


Mella stole my heart and as I went along for the ride it was ripped into pieces… I very much look forward to reading the sequel!

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