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The Whispering Trees

(The Thickety #2)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,599 ratings  ·  172 reviews
The story of a good witch, a bad witch, and a forest demon, trapped together in a world that is both enchanting and dangerous.

After Kara Westfall's village turns on her for practicing witchcraft, she and her brother, Taff, flee to the one place they know they won't be followed: the Thickety. Only this time Kara is magicless without her grimoire and Sordyr, the forest demon
Hardcover, 528 pages
Published March 10th 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books
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4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,599 ratings  ·  172 reviews

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Faye, la Patata
Spoiler free!!!

When it comes to dark books, this is dark as dark can be in a supernatural sense, which is quite surprising given how this is a bloody MIDDLE GRADE BOOK. Like seriously, it has a twelve year old and a seven year old, experiencing so many things that would have made me run for the hills already. The blurb calls it a "middle grade fantasy", but a more accurate description would be, "middle grade that sends you to hell, and takes you back just to send you to hell again". Yup.

But wh
This started out well.
Then it got unnecessarily complicated and drawn out. The kids seem to fluctuate in their own ages as much as the age-changing witch they travel with; I have no idea how old they're really supposed to be anymore. There were some SURPRISE!!s, some scary moments, some sadness, but even so, I got bored. It was a struggle to make it through to the end and, for me, it wasn't worth it.

I feel the same way about this as I did the first book. I hope its audience loves it, I hope this
Fi's Journey
"When you use magic, you are simply changing what's real to what you want it to be."

"Believe you have the power to change the world, and you will. Forget the Forest Demon. Doubt is your greatest enemy right now."

I love this series! I love the creatures in the Thickety, the characters, the setting of the forest and the relationship between Kara and Taff is sweet and adorable.
I like the character of Mary who is that evil witch who eats children... While helping Kara and Taff to get out of the T
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy
The beginning of this one just felt too long, like he was adding more random magic training scene in order to ensure that book 2 was the same length as book 1. But once the padding was done, the book took off. Lots of new intrigue, and some seriously icky stuff as well. These books are about as scary as any middle grade book I've ever read, just FYI. I don't mind, and I would give it to my almost-eleven-year-old, but not to anyone younger.
Carina Olsen
Jul 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-i-want
Oh, how I love these books. I just finished reading this book for the third time. This sequel is so amazing. And I love every moment of it. Eee. Like in the first book, the writing is gorgeous. I simply have no issues with it at all. Which is awesome. And I just love this story the most. Reading about Kara is the best. She's amazing. And I love reading about what she's doing. This second book wasn't as dark as book one, yet still pretty dark. I loved it. And oh gosh, that ending. I had forgotten ...more
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I'm That was unbelievably good.

Assorted thoughts:

1. The characters are so complex- Kara, Mary, Safi, Sordyr, and Rygoth especially
2. I love the world building, I love how it is dark and scary but also beautiful
3. Taff is so cute!
4. Whoa, did NOT see that plot twist coming!
5. That ending. Nice bit of light in this otherwise dark and intense novel

I'm probably not going to write a full review for this ('cause I'm lazy #sorrynotsorry). So if want to hear more of my thoughts abo
Michael Fitzgerald
This was very confused. The ending, in particular, was a real mess - rushed and jumbled and unfocused.

The writing tries hard, but is bloated. We get things like "At last [something was] finally [something]". It could have used a real editor to whip it into shape. There are also a number of odd similes that don't really make sense.

As a middle book in a trilogy (ack! just found out this series has FOUR books), this fails in its essential job of holding things together. The character of Lucas is m
Jul 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
In this Book 2, Kara Westfall and her younger brother Taff are trying to escape the Thickety, a mysterious forest where the Forest Demon, Sordyr, lives. They are befriended by a famous witch, named Mary Kettle, whose fearsome reputation was earned eating children. Like Kara, Mary is a wexari: a witch who can do magic without a grimoire. (Interestingly, Mary wakes up every morning at a different age.) Mary encourages Kara to develop her skills to battle a monster, Imogen. Kara's great talent is h ...more
Mel (Daily Prophecy)
Aug 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015, edelweiss

This was a highly anticipated book after the cliff-hanger from the first book - and it lived up to my expectations. It's just as dark and twisted as before. Monsters, magic and dangerous situation, this book has it all! I would recommend to read it together with your child if she/he gets easily scared, because it could give them some nightmares.

Kara and Taf are a great duo. I always love to read about brother/sister relationships and their voice sounded ge
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
J. A. White's novel The Thickety: The Whispering Trees is a phenomenal book about a girl named Kara and her brother, Taff. They enter the Thickety, a dangerous forest where the general rules of life are twisted to make magic able to exist freely within the woods. There are so many different unique creatures that live there, but are living in fear for their master, a demon named Sordyr. I really like the fact that Kara wanted to save the world and the creatures in the Thickety. If you want to rea ...more
Jerby  Verderosa
Jan 17, 2019 rated it liked it
So I really breaks my heart to rate this book down when I loved the first one so much, but unfortunately the sequel just didn’t engage me as much as the predecessor.

There is a lot that I still love about this book. I really do enjoy the main characters, and so I was happy just to spend more time with Kara and Taff. There is also some really dark and creative imagery in this book — like bizarre shadow people with human-looking reflections and a demonic dream-witch-beast that traps you in your ow
Norah McCaffrey
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This boo was amazing! I loved the way it was written and I loved the plot. I love this whole series. I couldn't believe they didn't know Grace was a witch. She showed all the signs of one. Over all this was an amazing book and its one of my favorite book series.
Clint Smallwood
Oct 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
not my favorite fantasy book but definitely worth a read - the characters are pretty well written and the end made me very curious for the next book!
BAYA Librarian
Jun 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
At the end of the series' first book, A Path Begins, Kara and her younger brother Taff were driven into the Thickety, a dangerous forest ruled by the evil Sordyr, by her fellow villagers who fear her magic. Now within the forest, Kara and Taff must find a way to survive and avoid the clutches of Sordyr, who wants to use Kara's abilities as a wexari, or a witch who can cast spells without a spell book. But Kara does not know to what purpose. Early in their journey, they meet the infamous Mary Ket ...more
Alice, as in Wonderland
Aug 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm just really liking this series overall as an example of boundaries that can be crossed when it comes to children's literature. If I didn't know that I definitely liked this series after the first one, I most certainly know that I like it now.

Admittedly compared to the first one I'm not sure I like it quite as much? But that is mostly tied to the absence of Kara's home village. The thing that drew me into the first book initially was the twisted morality of the village and the Puritanical pa
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle grade readers
This is the second book in The Thickety series by J.A. White. Our oldest really enjoyed the books in this series and is eager to read the fourth book, while I'm just trying to catch up with her.

The story was very dramatic and has some surprising twists. It ends unsatisfactorily, with no resolution. As frustrating as that is, it certainly leads readers on to the next tale, Well of Witches.

interesting quotes (page numbers from paperback edition with ISBN13 9780062257284):

"'Sometimes lies do grow
Mandy Laferriere
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Kara and Taff are right where we left off--deep in the heart of the Thickety. They soon run into the infamous witch Mary Kettle, who claims she will help the pair by teaching Kara how to hone her skills as a wexari, a special kind of witch who can cast spells without a grimoire. The Forest Demon has many obstacles for Kara, though, and their lives are constantly in danger. Monsters abound, and the detail with which they are created makes them extra scary. The siblings never know who they can tru ...more
Abby Johnson
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I didn't think the series could get any better. Even with a new setting and cast of side characters, the author spun an amazingly twisty, action-filled tale while continuing to maintain the momentum from the previous book. I think it's very appropriate for MG readers who have a penchant for horror as the writing is straight-forward and the actions and events unfolding are based off of pure, uncomplicated but relevant emotions. I don't think I felt bored or thought the story predictable even for ...more
the theme of this one seemed to be you can't trust your surroundings, you can't trust the people around you - nothing is as it seems. when you do have one person you can trust, as kara and taff have each other, use that as bedrock. the evil may become good, or may only be evil due to the control of someone more evil who seems to be good...

another surprising ending. one goal achieved, and a new, even bigger goal unlocked. you can't go home again and you don't even want to.
H.L. Stephens
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a stellar continuation of the Thickety series and an altogether enjoyable read. I loved the overall adventure, the twists and turns and the unexpected surprises that came up along the way. I am chomping at the bit for the third book and conclusion to the trilogy though I have grown to love the characters and will hate to see the final ending of such a charming and at times delightfully creepy read. I would have loved these books as a kid, and I am completely enthralled as an adult.
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm impressed with how well White is maintaining momentum in this series--I always worry about middle books in trilogies, because they're so crucial to building toward the final book. This installment was great! It was fantastically creepy to spend so much time in the wilderness, and I was pleasantly surprised by the twist at the end. Can't wait for the next one!!
C. L.
Mar 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Creeptastic follow up to the first. A bit repetitive in the middle, it picks right back up again at the 2/3rds point and then you are sailing. Can't wait for the next. Recommended.
Moon Silver
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
To begin with, yeah this book wasn't as enjoyable to me as the second one. But that was because one, the first book, as a starter, was drawing me into the world of The Thickety, which made the whole thing very exciting. But as a second book, to continue this newfound excitement became a little more tricky. And secondly, I was under the pressure of finishing this book in 5 days while I spent two months on the first. So that may have had an effect on it too. Thirdly, this one was real creepy. In c ...more
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
When my daughter recounted the first book in the Thickety series to me, I thought, "Whoa, that's a little dark for a ten-year-old." I told her if she wanted to read the next book, I would need to read it with her. And am I glad I did - though not for her sake, but because I enjoyed it so much. "The Whispering Trees" was a thrilling follow-up to the first book. It definitely IS dark; there are sinister characters; and sometimes it is downright, squeal-into-your-pillow creepy! Certainly an enterta ...more
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hyemin Lee
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
In “The Thickety: The Whispering Trees” written by J.A.White, Kara and Taff wanted to escape from the Thickety where Sordyr was trying to keeping them there. They met famous witch, Mary Kettle, and get helped from her. Mary Kettle was encouraged Kara to develop her ability to fight against Sordyr. And she save the world from Sordyr. I would have enjoyed the book more if there are more pictures in the book. I like to read the book which includes picture but not much. It helps me more understandin ...more
Laura Ann
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
As a lover of the written word, turning the physical page and the images painted with poetry of a collection of words gathered together, I loved this book even though I accidentally read the second book not book one. However, as drawn into the story as I became I was disappointed with the constant thought that this book was intended toward my young middle school reader and I felt it was entirely too dark for young readers. I myself will go on to read the other books in the series but will not ha ...more
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, fantasy
This book was incredible! Even better than the first one! Can't wait to get the third book from the library! This series might be a bit scary for younger children, but I think a little fear is good for a child. I remember reading The Legend of Sleepy Hollow when I was a child and I loved it. This story reminds me a bit of that. Also a little reminiscent of the Scarlet Letter (especially the first book). It addresses how our ideas about a person can deceive us about that person's true nature. We ...more
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People aged 8-13
This book follows up nicely from the first book. I like how these books start with something that wasn't mentioned in the previous book: you start with something vague and somewhat irrelevant and then as you read on it all pieces together and you get what they're trying to say.

I think this book was brilliant; it almost gives you a chance to be part of the story; you get to decide who to trust and who not to trust. For example, I was beginning to trust some people until I realised they were not w
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J. A. White lives in New Jersey with his wife, three sons, and a hamster named Ophelia that doesn’t like him very much. When he’s not making up stories, he teaches a bunch of kids how to make up stories (along with math and science and other important stuff). He wishes dragons were real because it would be a much cooler way to get to work.

Other books in the series

The Thickety (4 books)
  • A Path Begins (The Thickety, #1)
  • Well of Witches (The Thickety, #3)
  • The Last Spell (The Thickety, #4)
“Why destroy the World when you can watch the World destroy itself?” 2 likes
“Stories are just stories," Kara said. "People used to speak ill of me all the time. Doesn't make it true." "Sometimes lies do grow in the telling," Mary said. Then she leaned forward, her gray eyes flickering in the firelight. "But in my particular case, everything you've heard is true. Every unimaginable horror happened just the way the talespinners say. It's important you know that, Kara Westfall.” 0 likes
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