The Lightning Tree


"Remember the acorns. They fall off the tree and into the soil where they sprout into new beings, new trees. It will be like that, like a rebirth."


Synopsis

Nature and humanity have lived side by side for millenia, but have never learned how to communicate. Through a tragic accident nature has created a bridge between two sisters so the two can finally speak. Nature is rising and Flora and Fauna are the only chance civilization has of understanding why.


Thoughts & Feelings

This was a difficult book for me to read in its entirety. I was honestly shocked at some of the content given that it is labeled as YA Fiction by the publisher. There were parts that made me uneasy and gave me anxiety. To put it simply, this is not a book that I would recommend or that I will be keeping on my shelf at home.


First, I want to make it clear that the writing was not the reason why I struggled with this novel. Lene Fogelberg is a very good writer and I believe that she captured the story well. The characters were well rounded and I felt like I could clearly picture each of the scenes and places in the town. The overall story was just not my cup of tea but I know there are others who will enjoy it.


Now for the difficult part, the "why" behind the two star rating. It began with the sexual assault scene. This specific moment lasts for seven pages but feels like so many more. Without giving too much away, or too much detail, it occurs at a party and a group of fellow students are actually cheering the grotesque behavior on. Not ONE person is mentioned as leaving or even hesitating to step in. Instead a crowd gathers, joins in on the encouraging chant, and some even pull out their cell phones to hit the record button. Reading about this moment of absolute terror froze me and gave me massive anxiety. I put my book down and did not return to it that day. Later that night I told to my husband that I wasn't sure if I was going to finish the story. Upon explaining why, I was again filled with anxiety. Seven pages long, about fifty pages into the entire story and I was dreading reading the rest.


The second reason was the descriptions of death, violence, and corpses. I get that fiction/fantasy deaths are typically not as big of a deal. How many of us have seen Lord of the Rings and put little thought into the lives that were being lost in battle? They're fictional characters and most the creatures don't really exist, so it's no big deal right? When I first picked up this book I thought "nature rising against humanity how violent could it be?" Boy was I wrong. The first few victims are described in detail. What the faces look like, the hands, the coloring. It is so vivid that you feel like you've seen the corpse yourself. I felt like it only got worse from there. As the uprising turns into an all out war more description is included and I just felt gutted. It was difficult to read and push through. I honestly sped through the last fiftyish pages of the book so I could just be done.


I first began writing book reviews because of a conversation I had with my sister. We were talking about how strange it is that movies have ratings and content warnings but nothing is required for books. Authors get to choose if they would like a content/trigger warning even if the book contains scenes that could cause someone to have anxiety. I strongly believe that people should know what is inside of a book, especially these types of moments, so I began writing book reviews. I know that not everyone will agree with my thoughts and opinions. As I said before I am sure there are people who have and will love this book. It's just not one that I felt comfortable with and I felt it was important to voice my opinion so you didn't go into the story blindly.


If you have any questions about the novel content please feel free to comment below or reach out to me via email.


Book Tags

Steam Level: clean, kissing

Language: one farmer swear, Lord's name in vain (x4)

Trigger Warnings: sexual assault

Content Warnings: violence, death, descriptions of corpses, underage drinking


Book Information

Title: The Lightning Tree

Series: The Natural Intelligence Revolution Trilogy #1

Author: Lene Fogelberg

Rating: 2/5