Cover Image: Dark Flowers

Dark Flowers

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Member Reviews

I really struggled to make it through this book. I felt that Eliza was experiencing something dark, yet remains oblivious all along yet people just go away.. This is where the book fell apart for me. There is no way that this information was not passed along or that there was never any repercussions for these past missing people.. I was expecting young adult here and ended up with some kind of juvenile story ]about magic murder fairies that make everything forgotten somehow. There is fantasy which usually indicates some sort of backstory for presence for some sort of rationale and then there is just a jumbled mess. This fell in the latter category. Thanks for the ARC, NetGalley.

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In St. Agatha's School for Girls, an orphanage, Eliza and Millie are best friends and wish for a family to adopt them both.

However they know how unlikely that will be and plan to escape the orphanage so that they can stay together. As they try to check the grounds that surround the school to see how they could escape they come across something darker and way more dangerous than they imagined and will change the girls.

It was a great exploration of the life of both girls and the fantasies that children can create. It was a dark story and with some great voilent moments. However for me there was some tension missing and a bigger twist ending.

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Wow, what can I say...Dark Flowers is jaw-droppingly unique! After initially reading the blurb, I could never have anticipated the direction of this storyline. That is one of the reasons this is a great book. There are some disturbing themes worth mentioning: mental illness, child abuse, brainwashing, memory loss, orphaned children in care. I found it to be a very dark thriller-fantasy, true to real-life but with a touch of fairytale.

The opening quotation by John Lennon set the tone for the book, it is profoundly beautiful "I believe in everything until it is disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's all in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?"

I rode a rollercoaster full of emotions, my imagination running wild whilst reading Dark Flowers into the early hours. I could not put it down. Fuelled by adrenaline I needed to know what was happening! I was deliciously devastated and shocked at the books surprisingly dark ending. This is a story that will stay with me and I thoroughly recommend!

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Review for 'Dark Flowers' by Caytlyn Brooke Was available to read and review on NetGalley
🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Life at St. Agatha's School for Girls is anything but a fairytale. With ratty blankets and a torturous device called the box, it's not hard to understand Eliza's desperation to escape. When the timing is right, Eliza manages to run away with her best friend Millie, heading through the Louisiana swamps to the town on the other side. But the swamps may be even more dangerous than the orphanage. Silver and black fairies invite the girls to experience a world where they can have it all, but Eliza doesn't trust the sparkling beauty. When Millie suddenly becomes violent and attacks another girl, Eliza knows something awful is about to happen. She will do anything to protect Millie but once Eliza remembers her own terrible secret, it is impossible to forget. The fairies' songs call to Eliza and its getting harder and harder to pretend it's all in her head.

This book had been on my kindle for a while to read and I must admit I had actually forgotten what the description was. I started reading it and when I got to the fairies but I became slightly confused as its not the usual type of book I read. I then found the description and continued to read it. It did take me a while to actually get into the storyline but when I did I really enjoyed it. The storyline itself is unique so a massive congratulations to this first time author. The characters were solid and realistic. I found the book quite easy to read when I had got into it and enjoyed the suspense throughout the book. I was quite surprised by the ending and the twist so that was also a plus. I would say this book is more towards teen age and upwards as I think it would be a bit dark for say under 14 for example, however you never know nowadays. I also recommend this book for fans of suspense, thriller and horror. I rated it 4/5 on Goodreads and Amazon, the missing star would be due to it taking a while for me to get into it.

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Honestly, I couldn't get into the storyline. I did not like the author's take on faeries. I was hoping for more.

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Unfortunately I ended up dnf'ing this book.

There was something about the writing that I cannot put my finger on that I disliked. Also the main character Eliza was not likeable at all and that put me off aswell.

Will keep an eye out for this author though, to see what other books they come out with.

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I have always known that if something is good there's always a bad version. Fairies are made to be such beautiful creatures, it's difficult to think that someone would think them evil, right? Yeah right! Even the prettiest child can have the tendency to be bad. In Dark Flowers, Millie believes fairies exist, but only when she and Eliza run away from the orphanage do they find the fairy realm, and get into more trouble than staying at St. Agatha would have ever brought upon them.

This was one of those difficult to put down dark fantasy novels. It kept me guessing what was fact and what was truly Eliza's imagination. It is an amazing debut novel and I can't wait to read more from this author.

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Thank you to NetGalley and BHC Press for allowing me to read and review Dark Flowers by Caytlyn Brooke.
I was sent an ebook copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review.

I also borrowed this book on the Hoopla library app. My intention was to split my reading time between the audio and kindle versions because after reading the description, I thought I would find myself immersed in a story that I wouldn’t want to put down. This turned out to be partly true.

I give this book three stars because I can see that the author had great ideas going in to the story, but had difficulty carrying them out; understanding the author’s ideas for the story is the only thing that made it possible for me to finish the book. The writing is full of cliches and moments that felt unrealistic. But I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen next … so there had to be something to the creation of this story to keep me turning the pages.
The main characters, Eliza and Millie, are best friends in an orphanage surrounded by woods and swamp and, as they discover, evil fae. The adventures they dream of take them into the swamp where they find more than just a path to their future. One of them finds herself under control of the fae and the other will fight with everything she has to save her friend.
I feel that the pacing was decent, kept the story moving forward, connecting one scene to another without stumbling or stalling. There were a couple plot twists that surprised me and I think the ending was good. I didn’t feel much of a connection to the characters even though I was rooting for them and wanted to know what they would do next. But this is not a story that has really stuck with me, I have forgotten some details and it’s only been a week or so since I finished the book.

As for the audiobook version, the narrator was extremely difficult to listen to. Her voice was monotone throughout the entire story, even during moments where the characters were in a highly emotional, scary scene … her voice remained flat. I would rate the audiobook version with one star, if I had to give it any stars at all.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a book that does not have a deep storyline, nothing too serious or involved, but something that will entertain.

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Dark Flowers was a very interesting story about a orphan in Louisiana and takes a turn to both the paranomal the psychological. I loved the concept of this book. However, I had a hard time connecting to the main character. She always felt just beyond my reach, and seemed to frequently take turns in personality that seemed a little to abrupt.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to review this book!

This is a dark, dark little book. When Eliza and Millie take a chance and try to flee from the abusive orphanage where they live, things go from bad to worse. The girls discover fairies in the Louisiana swamplands surrounding the orphanage, but these aren't your storybook creatures. Instead, they are blood thirsty sprites that demand sacrifice.

There were times when the book was a bit confusing, as the voice of the narrator was thrown off kilter. Is Eliza good or evil? What is happening to MIllie? Is Millie possessed by the fairies? I didn't mind the twists and turns so much. I felt that it kept me on my toes. The ending was brutal, and twisted.

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This is one of the best fairy books I’ve ever read! It immediately pulled me in from the very beginning and I was satisfied with the end.

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I really enjoyed this title! It was such a quick and easy read. I hope to read more by this author. I thought the story itself had great pacing and the author had great use of descriptors. Thank you so much to netgalley, the author and the publisher for allowing me to review this title.

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I want to first say that this story idea was a good one. It was interesting.

My problem is this book didn't draw me in at all. I felt detached from the characters and the setting. When I read a book I like to get lost in the characters and the world. That didn't happen here. I was pretty disappointed because as I said before, the story was a really cool idea. It was dark and weird which I like. I just wish it held my interest better.

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I loved this book so much. I just missed the publication date for my review, but this book was the perfect read for my Halloween book of choice!

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I really enjoyed this book! I knew from the moment I read the blurb that I would like it, but I loved it even more than expected! It's dark, intense and had me on the edge of my seat. I love fantasy books so am very surprised I hadn't come across this one sooner.

I was drawn in from the start and hooked throughout. I had no idea how it would end but I was not expecting that!! I love a book with a good twist and this one certainly delivered.

The book has a bit of everything. An orphanage, a mental hospital, nuns, fairies, violence; together it makes a great story!

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Sadly, this book was not for me.
The writing was good but I was not drawn into the story and the characters did not pull me in, either.
I can't put my finger on it but there was something missing. So I sadly did not finish the book at 50%.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this eARC.

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Orphans, faeries, mental hospitals, and a headmaster that greatly resembles Trunchbull from Matilda - this was a creepy fun read!

I enjoyed this one more than I expected! It took me a while to get into it. The first time the faerie realm is described, I almost stopped reading. Unfortunately, the description of the real was a bit too wordy for my tastes. Rather than wowing me, it made me feel bored.

With that said, I'm so glad I kept reading because this story quickly redeemed itself.

I have a soft spot for books that take place at boarding schools/orphanages and this was no exception. The two main characters are incredibly likable, even after finding out that one is actually a villain of sorts.

I would really recommend going into this one blind like I did, so I'll stop my review here before accidentally letting any spoilers slip.

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*I was sent this book as an ebook from #BHC Press through #netgalley for a honest review. This does not effect my review in any way.

I don’t think I would necessarily classify this book as YA, as some of the content is a little dark for that age group.

But it was still an amazing read, it had me on the edge of my seat for sure, so much so that I finished in a day.

I am however not sure I will think of fairies the same way ever again.

A perfect read for this time of year for sure.

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This was such a creepy book. I'm not sure why it's never talked about, but I loved it. Apparently, this was published in 2016. Where was I? Where was the whole book community?
This has all of my favorite topics. A creepy foster home ran by nuns, fairies, an unreliable narrator, and a mental institution. The author just didn't hold back, either. The whole book I was second-guessing whether or not I should believe our main character, Eliza, or the side character, Millie, or neither of them. There was just so much back and forth, but it didn't feel drawn out. This was definitely on the shorter side, but I think that suited this book well. It wasn't long enough to where I got bored by all the second-guessing, but it wasn't too short, and so I felt completely satisfied by the end of it all.
It's hard to delve too deeply into what this is about, since I feel like it'd spoil the book. I went into it completely blind and I think everyone should do the same. Let's just say these fairies aren't what you'd usually expect. On my notes, after they first appeared, I wrote 'vampire fairies?' which I think sums up my thoughts nicely.
Overall, this book is pretty gory (all my trigger warnings are listed out below) and it's focused around two elementary-aged children, so if that sounds like something that would bother you, I wouldn't recommend it. Otherwise, I absolutely would. Especially for a nice spooky book to read around the Halloween season.

trigger warnings: child abandonment, cutting, blood, gore, violence, murder, child abuse

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If you thought fairies were cute little beings like Tinkerbell, think again! Everything is not as it seems at St Agatha’s orphanage. And Matron Criggs is the least of the worries for the girls there, but they don’t know it. A dark tale about friendship and the lengths someone will go to to repay a debt. A creepy good read!

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